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Hannity

Consequences of Pelosi Accusations

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 14, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Every time the San Francisco speaker opens her mouth the ice melts a little bit more beneath her feet and it's not the global warming that she is obsessed with. No, this speaker of the House is falling victim to her own casual relationship with the truth.

And that is our headline this Thursday night: "San Francisco Spin." Now it's hard to imagine that Nancy Pelosi believes what she is shoveling but there she was this morning out in front of the television cameras again making a fool out of herself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE NANCY PELOSI (D-CALIF.): I was not briefed on what was in that briefing. I was just informed that the briefing had taken place. The only mention of waterboarding was that the briefing — in the briefing was that it was not being employed.

Every step of the way the administration was misleading the Congress and that is the issue. They mislead us all the time. I was fighting the war in Iraq at that point, too, you know?

This is a tactic, a diversionary tactic to take the spotlight off of those who conceived, developed and implemented these policies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: So let's get this straight. Now first she wasn't briefed, then she was briefed but nobody mentioned waterboarding. Then she was briefed and they did mention waterboarding but only to say they weren't using it yet.

Video: Watch Sean's interview

And then she only heard that there had been a briefing about waterboarding but she didn't know who got it. And the whole time the CIA was lying to her and there was nothing that she could do because raising objections, well, that would be inappropriate.

And the Republicans, well, they're taking it out of context and there should be a commission to investigate everyone but her. Blah, blah, blah.

All right. So you got all that? Well, it didn't satisfy the liberal press corps earlier this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PELOSI: But what is the point? Yes, they did. They misrepresented every step of the way and they don't want that focus on them, so they try to turn the attention on us. Yes, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madame Speaker, just to be clear, you're accusing the CIA of lying to you in September of 2002?

PELOSI: Yes. Misleading the Congress of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so were you.

PELOSI: No, I wasn't — I was informed that a briefing had taken place.

(CROSSTALK)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: So how can this woman stand up there and tell yet another version of what happened to the American people with a straight face? This is embarrassing. Not even Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, seems to believe her, so why should we?

Joining me tonight with more, Republican congressman from Michigan, Peter Hoekstra, and Republican senator from Missouri, Kit Bond.

Guys, welcome to the program. Thank you for being with us. Let me ask you a simple question. It's obvious to me that the speaker of the House of Representatives lied. Do you believe that? Congressman, we'll start with you.

REP. PETE HOEKSTRA (R-MICH.): Well, I think it's very obvious that what the speaker wants to do is she wants a mulligan. She wants a do-over. She knows that what she did in 2002, she's now trying to rewrite history, say that she wasn't informed, that she didn't approve of this and that today she believes that waterboarding and the enhanced interrogation techniques were totally wrong.

You know there's lots of privileges to being speaker of the House. Rewriting history isn't one of them.

HANNITY: All right, Senator, your take on this. Do you think that the speaker of the House was, in fact, telling the truth?

SEN. KIT BOND (R-MO.): Sean, it seems like the liberal Democrats for a while, they were trying to stab the CIA in the back. Now they're calling them liars to their face, and — well, I was not in on the briefing, but I have reviewed the notes that the CIA took contemporaneously.

What they plan to say, what they did say. And it's clear that they briefed her extensively on what had been done and what they were doing and included in those enhanced techniques was waterboarding.

HANNITY: All right. Well, let's talk about what the alternatives are, Congressman, because I think this is really important because we know that there is politics being played here and we're playing politics with our national security, because she is insisting and Democrats are trying to make the case that this is a crime.

But Eric Holder is obviously political and certainly she's in control of all the congressional committees. So the question is, what are the alternatives to help get to the truth? Do you think this is a case for a special counsel? Congressman?

HOEKSTRA: Well, I don't think that this is a case for a special counsel, not at this point. You know I think this is where we hold Congress accountable first. Let's get the documents released publicly that are the contemporaneous notes that were taken by people who were in the meetings.

Let's get the e-mails, the documentation of the preparation before the meetings that the CIA put together so that I think we can get a very clear picture of exactly what happened in these meetings because, you know, where they're trying to put the blame, they're trying to put the blame on the front line at the CIA.

They're trying to put the blame at the attorneys, at the Justice Department, and in reality, Congress, Republicans and Democrats, were part and parcel of putting this program in place because they recognize it was important to keep America safe. And you know what? The strategy worked.

HANNITY: Well — and that's the point but we found out earlier today, Senator, that in fact they're not going to release the success of the enhancement interrogation program as has been requested by the former vice president, Dick Cheney.

So they're not telling the American people the full story. Is there a chance that they'll ultimately end up and capitulate and release that information?

BOND: I think this cherry picking has gone on too far. It — we have been told frequently that they got about half of the active and usable and human intelligence that they had on Al Qaeda from using these enhanced interrogation techniques.

And even the current director of National Intelligence, Denny Blair, when he sent a letter to the intelligence community, he commended them on their efforts and said that they had — that these interrogations had provided very valuable information, but when that was released, somehow the White House took out his statement saying that they had been provided vital information and when I went through — I went through the script that was used for the briefing and it laid out at the time the kind of information that had been developed as a result of these enhanced interrogation techniques.

And they did stop attacks in the United States and elsewhere.

HANNITY: Yes.

BOND: ... according to the notes of the CIA and I think it is absolutely deplorable to call to say that the CIA is lying when we have an oversight responsibility and we need to exercise that to find out precisely what went on, and I hope we can produce a report in our committee and I assume that Pete Hoekstra will want the House committee to make a report as well to the American people.

HANNITY: Well, what about this, Congressman? What about a special counsel? What about having a grand jury? What about her, you know, in the spirit of getting to the truth, she could waive her congressional immunity? What about her swearing under oath what she knew, when she knew it?

She can go through her conflicting statements that we have gone through here and get to the bottom line. We have one, two, three — well, first of all, two CIA directors, we've got a former vice president and others, our own counsel, Peter Goss. They're all saying that what — that she was fully informed.

Why not have her under oath finally get to the truth for the American people?

HOEKSTRA: Well, I think you're absolutely right, that if we're going to have oversight hearings in Congress or whether, you know, we go to a special counsel, I think that may be a little early going to that step and that far in the process, but I absolutely agree that the first witness that we should have should be members of Congress and right now that means that we should start with Speaker Pelosi.

Then we should go through the other people that were briefed through the 40 other hearings. We're not talking about two or three briefings. We are talking a period of briefings over six years with 40 different, separate briefings having taken place.

Let's bring that in. Let's start with Congress before we go to the Justice Department and the CIA. This speaker has now said, you know, we're going to prosecute people in the Justice Department, at the CIA. She's now calling them liars.

I mean what — the other we got to focus on here, Sean, is what we're doing to the morale within the CIA and the intelligence community. We are damaging the morale. We are hurting our national security by this debate going on.

HANNITY: All right. Let me ask you this last question here. By specifically cherry-picking and informing America's enemies of the techniques that we have used and not telling the American people how effective it has been in terms of our national security and saving lives, are we emboldening our enemies? Are we weakening our national security? I mean because this is a really serious charge. Congressman?

HOEKSTRA: I think that what our enemies see today is they see weakness. As I take a look at al Qaeda, radical jihadists, what these folk s understand, they understand strength. What they see from America today, I believe, is weakness. I do believe it emboldens them.

HANNITY: Senator? Last word for you today.

BOND: Very clearly what the opinions that were released shows and will tell leaders of Al Qaeda, anybody else who's an enemy of the United States, don't worry if you get held or captured because what they do to you, the so-called techniques, is no worse than what we do to our military volunteers who go into the Marines, the SEALs, or pilot training.

And they know that they don't have to talk and what this has done, as Pete has said, is put the CIA in a CYA mode. That's where they were before 9/11 and we are going to suffer because the intelligence community cannot trust Congress or their critics if they go out and do what they need to do to get the information to keep us safe.

HANNITY: Yes. And the cynical side of me, gentlemen, believes that the only reason that the Obama administration reversed themselves is because they knew this would get in the way of their agenda and they decided that was more important.

Thank you both for being with us. Appreciate it.

HOEKSTRA: Thanks, Sean.

BOND: Thanks, Sean.

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