GOP tries to punish Pelosi over torture, not that they believe it was illegal
Originally published on BuzzFlash.com on Thu, 05/14/2009 – 2:11pm
Even last month, Ari Fleischer was incorporating the GOP talking point of placing the blame on the Democrats for torture.
We have watched the clamor of Republicans blaming the entire torture argument on Nancy Pelosi, though they note that it wasn’t illegal. Progressives, to their credit, say they want to get to the bottom of things, regardless of party. But if we were to divide blame by party, the Republican side of the room would be stacked eight people high.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denies being informed about waterboarding, and that the Bush Administration deliberately misled Congress.
But even if we pretend that Pelosi knew there was waterboarding, what was she supposed to do? She couldn’t release details of the confidential briefing — that would have been illegal. Of course, if the Bush Administration didn’t say waterboarding happened when it did, that is illegal as well. So, at best (or worst), we have two sides in a draw.
If we lined up everyone involved in torture according to accountability, Pelosi — if she was told about waterboarding — would be the equivalent of the 3rd to last person in a national audition line for “American Idol.” And if she wasn’t, we could add yet another illegal act being committed.
So their argument is that Pelosi is in trouble — provided that they did tell her — for condoning something that they say isn’t illegal. Think about this.
If a child cheated on a test, and when caught, pointed out that another student saw him cheating, not that he was cheating, that child would be punished. Not the child who may or may not have seen the cheating, but the cheater himself.
Whatever you may think of the Speaker, Nancy Pelosi didn’t torture anyone, nor did she order torture or write a legally sketchy memo, or put out a PR wave claiming that their actions weren’t torture. And if she did everything that they say she did, then punish her. Until then, the blame rests with those who did the torture, those who wrote the memos, and those who ordered it. Punish them first, then see who is left.