American Morning’s Monday audience believed the Pelosi/CIA issue was nothing more than a divergence created by the Republicans to veer attention away from the real story – torture under the Bush administration.
Was this, as the viewers above contend, an attempt by the Republicans to transfer blame for torture to the Democrats? Do you believe the government should continue to investigate the former Bush Administration for its part in approving such techniques to gather intelligence?
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/18/intv.hoekstra.art.jpg caption="Rep. Peter Hoekstra adds to the criticism of Nancy Pelosi and whether she knew waterboarding was being used."]
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi might be fighting for her political future this week. Republicans say if the CIA misled Congress on the use of torture on terror suspects as Pelosi has claimed they want to see proof.
Pelosi wants the full transcript of classified notes of a 2002 briefing on waterboarding made public. She says that will prove she was not told the technique was being used. A top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee insists that he read those notes from that briefing and that Pelosi is wrong.
Congressman Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) is the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. He says Pelosi needs to be held accountable for what she has said. He spoke to Kiran Chetry on CNN’s “American Morning” Monday.
Kiran Chetry: As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, how much information were you or your colleagues given regarding interrogation tactics?
Peter Hoekstra: I expect that what happened is very much like the briefings I received in 2004 when I became chairman of the committee. You get a very, very detailed briefing as to exactly what's going on in the program that the CIA may be laying out for you. When the briefing is complete, there's really a couple of questions that either they ask or that you ask. It's kind of like... is there any other additional information that you feel you need, congressman? And then really the implied question is... do you agree or do you not agree with the program and the tactics that we’ve put in place?
Chetry: So realistically speaking, if Nancy Pelosi at the time was informed about the waterboarding as a potential technique or even currently being used, would it be the proper or the de rigueur thing to do to write a memo expressing your opposition to that?
Hoekstra: Well, actually, the first thing you would do in the briefing, you would express your anger or your disagreement with the policy that you may be briefed on. If you don't get satisfaction from the briefers, because they're not the ones that are really making the decisions, what you would then do is go back to the leadership in your political party, in this case, she would have gone back to the minority leader and said... hey, there's a practice being contemplated or being acted on in the intelligence community that I disagree with and I think that we need to stop it. And then you would go to the president. There's lots of options that you can use.
Here are the big stories on the agenda today: