Pelosi's involvement came into the spotlight after Obama's Department of Justice last month released the memos written by Bush administration officials providing legal justifications for harsh interrogation techniques that are considered torture by the United Nations and by Obama.
Pelosi has maintained that she was briefed only once about the techniques, but that CIA officials did not tell her waterboarding was actually being employed. Terror suspect Zubaydah was subjected to the waterboard 83 times in August 2002, the month before Pelosi was briefed about enhanced interrogation techniques.
A Director of National Intelligence report released in May directly contradicted Pelosi's statements, saying the speaker was indeed briefed about the techniques used on Zubaydah.
"Let me be clear: It is not our policy or practice to mislead Congress. That is against our laws and our values," the memo said. "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 techniques that had been employed.'"
The controversy is energizing Republicans at a time the party is struggling to find a unifying message. RNC chairman Michael Steele proclaimed yesterday that the party is on the way back.
"The honeymoon is over, and it's time for us to speak truth to power," he said. "The Republican comeback has begun."