Intel Republicans Blast Pelosi on CIA Comments

By Caitlin Taylor

May 14, 2009 1:14pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim that CIA officials misled her about harsh interrogation tactics has prompted a harsh and swift reaction by Republicans on Capitol Hill.  Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., the vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, called it “outrageous” that Pelosi would accuse intelligence officials of lying to her. He also questioned her claim that congressional leaders were powerless to influence Bush administration tactics.  “It’s outrageous that a member of Congress should call a terror-fighter a liar,” Bond said today. “It seems the playbook is, blame terror-fighters. We ought to be supporting them.” Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., the top Republican on the House intelligence committee, echoed Bond’s comments. He’s calling on the Obama administration to release notes of the briefing Pelosi received in September 2002; Hoekstra has reviewed those notes, but declined to say how they describe the briefing. Hoekstra, however, said he finds is “very difficult to believe” that intelligence officials would intentionally mislead leaders of the House intelligence committee, as Pelosi is alleging. He also blasted Pelosi for saying that, since she felt she couldn’t change Bush administration policies, she turned her attention to electing a Democratic congressional majority. “What I heard her say — and I was quite taken aback by her when she said — was that politics are more important than national security,” Hoekstra said. “That’s a very dangerous precedent.” Bond said there have been numerous instances where congressional leaders have privately influenced administration policy on intelligence matters, though he declined to offer specfics. “It’s no excuse to say, ‘I was powerless.’ That’s what oversight is all about,” he said. “There are a whole range of actions, and she did not take them.”

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