As the House considers the long-delayed war supplemental special appropriations bill, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) is offering an independent resolution that would require the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to create a four-person special “select subcommittee” to investigate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s slanders of the CIA.
Republicans are not being permitted to offer any amendments on the supplemental bill.
The Bishop resolution recites a litany of Pelosi’s denials that she had been briefed by the CIA on the “enhanced interrogation techniques” as the CIA memo first published by HUMAN EVENTS on May 7 stated she had been.
That memo says that Pelosi was briefed by the CIA on September 4, 2002. It describes the briefing on enhanced interrogation methods as follows: “Briefing on EITs including the use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities, and a description of the particular EITs that had been employed.”
Abu Zubaydah was one of three Al-Queda bigs who were waterboarded. Pelosi has denied that she was briefed that waterboarding had been performed and later accused the CIA of lying to Congress.
Pelosi’s conduct has devastated morale at the CIA. CIA Director Leon Panetta has replied to her allegation that the CIA lied about the briefings, saying Pelosi’s accusation is contrary to the facts and that contemporaneous documents show the briefings were as described in the May 7 document.
The fact that the dispute between the Speaker and the CIA Director remain at loggerheads is continuing to damage the relationship Congress has with the intelligence community.
Bishop’s resolution mentions HUMAN EVENTS’ report that the Speaker is continuing to receive classified CIA briefings but will not state whether she believes they are truthful.
House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (Ohio) said Americans deserve answers from Pelosi and the Democrat leadership on this issue.
“It has been a month since Speaker Pelosi made serious allegations against our nation’s intelligence professionals,” Boehner said. “Since then, the Democratic leadership has stonewalled a bipartisan investigation into the matter, while the Speaker has refused to provide evidence to back up her allegations.…Until the Speaker finally agrees to provide them, Republicans will continue to insist on answers on behalf of our intelligence professionals and the American people.”
UPDATE: The House voted on the Bishop resolution, defeating it on a party-line vote. A motion to shelve Bishop’s resolution was passed by a 247-171 vote. Two Republicans sided with the Democrats: Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) and Walter B. Jones (N.C.).
The Democrats continue to stonewall the inquiry into Pelosi’s statements, and the damage to the CIA grows more severe by the day.
The entire resolution is set out below.
H. Res ______
Raising a question of the Privileges of the House
Mr/Ms ___________ of ________ submitted the following resolution:
WHEREAS, The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, a Representative from California, served from 1997 to 2002 as Ranking Democratic Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; and,
WHEREAS, Representative Pelosi currently serves as Speaker of the House, a position of considerable power and influence within the Congress; and,
WHEREAS, Title 3 of the United States Code designates the Speaker of the House as third in line of succession to the Presidency; and,
WHEREAS, Speaker Pelosi has publicly challenged the truthfulness of what she and other congressional leaders were told by Central Intelligence Agency officials about the agency’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists; and,
WHEREAS, in an MSNBC interview on February 25, 2009, Speaker Pelosi stated, “I can say flat-out, they never told us that these enhanced interrogation techniques were being used”; and,
[WHEREAS, Speaker Pelosi’s public statements allege a sustained pattern of deception by government intelligence officers charged by law with informing Congress about the agency’s activities; and,]
WHEREAS, when asked at a press conference on May 15, 2009 widely reported by the news media, “Madame Speaker, just to be clear, you’re accusing the CIA of lying to you in September?” Speaker Pelosi stated, “Yes”; and,
WHEREAS, during the same press conference the Speaker subsequently stated, “So yes, I’m saying they are misleading, the CIA was misleading the Congress” and further, “they mislead us all the time” and “they misrepresented every step of the way”; and,
WHEREAS, in a memorandum to CIA employees on released publicly on May 15, 2009, Democrat Leon Panetta, the CIA Director, stated, “It is not our policy or practice to mislead Congress. That is against our laws and our values. As the Agency indicated previously in response to Congressional inquiries, our contemporaneous records from September 2002 indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, describing the enhanced interrogation techniques that had been employed”; and,
WHEREAS, when asked in a press conference held June 4, 2009, “Madame Speaker, are you still receiving intelligence briefings?” Speaker Pelosi responded by saying, “Yes, I am; yes, I am”; and,
WHEREAS, a June 5, 2009 article on Human Events.com entitled, “Pelosi Still Receives CIA Briefings, But Won’t Say If They’re Truthful” stated, “She refused to answer when asked whether or not she believes intelligence professionals are still lying to her”; and,
WHEREAS, national and international media reports on this controversy have damaged the reputation of the House by raising questions about whether the effectiveness of congressional oversight may have been undermined through false or misleading statements by intelligence officials; and,
WHEREAS, in order to safeguard the reputation of the House it is imperative to reconcile as soon as possible the aforementioned contradictory statements by Speaker Pelosi and CIA Director Panetta;
Now therefore, be it
(1) a Select Subcommittee of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence shall be established to review and verify the accuracy of the Speaker’s aforementioned public statements ;
(2) the Select Subcommittee shall be comprised of four members of the full committee, two appointed by the chairman of the committee and two by its ranking minority member;
(3) The subcommittee shall have the same powers to obtain testimony and documents pursuant to subpoena authorized under clause 2(m) of Rule XI of the Rules of the House.
(4) the Select Subcommittee report its findings and recommendations to the House not later than sixty calendar days after adoption of the resolution.