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Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 17, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Nancy Pelosi’s torture knowledge

Tim Sloan / AFP/Getty Images

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has found herself a central figure in the debate over post-9/11 interrogation techniques.

She’s either incompetent or a liar

Editor, The Times:

For those who like political theater, this Thursday’s press briefing with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi [“Pelosi: I knew about waterboarding by ’03,” News, May 15] has to rank right up there with classics of the careful word-parsing of Bill Clinton when he was trying to distance himself from lies about Monica Lewinsky.

I almost felt sorry for Pelosi as she was bombarded by fairly tough questions about what and when she knew about the use of tough interrogation techniques and whether she was briefed or simply told by third parties. It’s all very confusing and is at the level of he-said/she-said, but now that the Speaker has accused the CIA of lying to Congress it may get ugly from here on out.

Wherever the tale takes us, it should be painfully obvious to all that the Speaker is at best incompetent and at worst an out-and-out liar who is trying to have it both ways on an important issue. Either way, she needs to step down as Speaker or be removed by her own party. This country certainly deserves better in the person who is second in line to the presidency.

— Scott Stoppelman, La Conner

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