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Who "Misleads" Whom? By: Gregory Gethard
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, May 15, 2009

“They mislead us all the time.”

That was the takeaway quote from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s Thursday press conference. The CIA, the nation’s leading intelligence agency, is the “they” in question.

If this is true, shouldn’t we do something about this immediately? Shouldn’t Congress have an investigation of all the times the CIA has “misled” Pelosi and other Congressional members? Shouldn’t Pelosi list all of the times the CIA has “misled” her for the American public to see? For CIA employees intentionally to mislead Congress is a crime of the highest order, even more so if it happens “all the time.”

One wonders, if the CIA does “mislead us all the time,” why Madam Speaker did not make this public long ago. Before Pelosi ascended to become Speaker of the House, she had a seat on the House Intelligence Committee. If Pelosi sat at countless committee meetings while government employees lied to her, she could and should have reacted immediately. Not once during her tenure there nor as Speaker of the House did she mention anything about the CIA “misleading” Congress, until her political popularity with the left-wing base of her party was threatened.

It’s a tremendous statement about the priorities of the Speaker and her party. At a time when American troops are engaged in two separate wars and al-Qaeda could launch an attack on American shores at any given moment, the work of the CIA has never been more important. Yet the leader of the House of Representatives lies about the agency in order to curry favor with the far-Left.

Americans of all stripes should ask themselves this question: If the Speaker of the House says the CIA “misleads” Congress “all the time” and cannot back up her claims (and she cannot), is she really fit to have such a position of leadership? House Minority Leader John Boehner said that he thought Pelosi’s statements were out of line. It's hard for me to imagine that anyone in our intelligence area would ever mislead a member of Congress,” he said. If the House Democrats believe so strongly in Pelosi’s leadership, what does that say about its foreign policy and Homeland Security priorities?

The good news is Pelosi’s comments may have been too much even for members of her own party. During proceedings on the House floor on Thursday, Republican Whip Eric Cantor and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer spoke about the controversy:

    Rep. Cantor: I'd ask the gentleman [Rep. Hoyer] whether he shares this belief, that somehow the CIA or others have intentionally misled this body, because that seems to be some concern that has been raised today? And I yield.
    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer: I have no idea of that, don't have a belief of that nature because I have no basis on which to base such a belief. And I certainly hope that's not the case. I don't draw that conclusion.

Hoyer is no Pelosi ally; Pelosi supported John Murtha for the Majority Leader post, and Pelosi's ouster would enhance Hoyer's future. But for the number ranking Democrat to abandon the Speaker in this manner is significant. Other members of Pelosi’s party should also state clearly whether they agree with her charges. It would certainly be interesting to see if Democrats would risk their political capital to back Pelosi’s accusations. But indications are they will not.

They have worked with Nancy Pelosi as Speaker for two years already. They know who is misleading whom.

Gregory Gethard is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer.

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