Scrapple and Pelosi

Yes, I’m glad that Arlen "the Scrapple formerly known as Haggis" Specter has come out in support of Nancy Pelosi’s suggestion that CIA misled her in her September 2002 briefing.

"The CIA has a very bad record when it comes to — I was about to say ‘candid’; that’s too mild — to honesty," Specter, a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a lunch address to the American Law Institute. He cited misleading information about the agency’s involvement in mining harbors in Nicaragua and the Iran-Contra affair."Director [Leon] Panetta says the agency does not make it a habit to misinform Congress. I believe that is true. It is not the policy of the Central Intelligence Agency to misinform Congress," Specter said. "But that doesn’t mean that they’re all giving out the information."

Because of leaks that have come from Congress, Specter said, he understands the agency’s hesitancy to disclose all its information.

"The current controversy involving Speaker Pelosi and the CIA is very unfortunate, in my opinion, because it politicizes the issue and it takes away attention from … how does the Congress get accurate information from the CIA?" Specter said. "For political gain, people are making headlines."

But one thing should be mentioned about Specter’s comments. Note that Scrapple, unlike John Boehner and Crazy Pete Hoekstra and John McCain, doesn’t claim to know WTF Pelosi was briefed.

Rather, his statement is general (a sentiment Specter probably formed when he was on SSCI): Specter’s noting that CIA is less than forthcoming with Congress, and that that needs to change. (He’s also correctly suggesting that those making headlines are doing so for political spin.)

The distinction is important. This whole debate has largely been drummed up by people who have no fucking clue how CIA briefed Congress in 2002. It’d be nice if that kind of rank ignorance wasn’t making the headlines anymore. 

52 replies
  1. MadDog says:

    …This whole debate has largely been drummed up by people who have no fucking clue how CIA briefed Congress in 2002. It’d be nice if that kind of rank ignorance wasn’t making the headlines anymore.

    Ahhh, but then what use would the Repugs have for their message machine in the wilderness? *g*

  2. fatster says:

    Gonzales approved ‘borderline torture’ months before ‘torture memos’ issued: report


Published: May 20, 2009 
Updated 1 hour ago

    “Months before the first “torture memo” was issued by Bush administration lawyers in 2002, Alberto Gonzales – then White House counsel – personally approved “borderline torture” techniques used on Abu Zubaydah, according to a new report.”…..ure-cable/

    • bobschacht says:

      WTF is White House Counsel doing approving CIA interrogation methods? Isn’t that kinda illegal?

      Oh, wait– is that what Greg Craig is doing these days? /s

      Bob in HI

      • phred says:

        Well Craig has made it clear that they need to defend the institution of the Presidency, so if it was good enough for Gonzo, that oughta be good enough for Craig ; )

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        WTF is White House Counsel doing approving CIA interrogation methods? Isn’t that kinda illegal?

        Well, once you can go around intel oversight by going straight to the Appropriations Committees, why pick nits over other details?

        So much for constitutional government….booooring… (gum snap; hair toss). /s

        • DWBartoo says:

          Beautiful snark, reader, captures the moment perfectly. (Right… What-ever.)



  3. fatster says:

    Maybe I’ve gotten too loose from listening to Hawaiian music, but I have to wonder how much the CIA itself knows about its briefing of Congress in 2002.

    • bobschacht says:

      Ya, that’s a hazard. Feeling really mellow may be incompatible with the sharp mental focus one needs to do some of the work in the weeds that EW does.


      Bob in HI

  4. freepatriot says:

    Scrapple and Pelosi ???

    no thanks

    man, the “Blue Plate Special” has really gone down hill around here

    I’ll just have a cheeseburger

    (I been in a thousand greasy spoons, an it’s really hard to fuck up a cheeseburger. But I’ve seen it done)

  5. freepatriot says:

    Nancy better watch out

    the last guy who thought arlen “magic bullet scotish haggis scrapple” specter had his back ??? he died of knife wounds to the back

    btw, is it “scrapple”, or “the scrapple” ??? and if it’s the latter, wouldn’t “teh scrapple” fit better in the toobz ???

    always consider the arena setting audience

  6. DWBartoo says:

    Of all the burger joints in the world … I had ta walk into this one … and there it was …a cheeseburger, not just any cheeseburger, no … but the … fooked up cheeseburger … and so I said, “Hey Patty, cheese … what ya doin’ in a joint like this?”

    And, you know? I think she looked at me with relish … but I was busy, I was on a case … so I had ta say, “Some other time … we’ll try to catch up on old times” … but she’d already turned away … I guess she remembered, too …

      • DWBartoo says:

        Didn’t cut the mustard?

        Well, I woulda stuck around, Twain, roughing it, ya know, but I hadda take my lumps elsewhere, besides, I don’t want ta sound unkind, but she was fried …

  7. freepatriot says:

    as I glanced at her stale buns one last time, I knew it wasn’t her fault, her parents were broiled, and she was pan fried

    for number 12

    I know what it is

    but I’m trying to make the emptywheel grammar club, an I think that one is gonna be on the test

    ROTFLMAO, btw

  8. Funnydiva2002 says:

    OK, is anyone else watching Michael Isikoff on Rachel Maddow?
    Prez Obama confronted by civil libertarians/”constitutionalists” at a WH meeting…and getting defensive. Very interesting segment. Hope we get some better confirmation of his report.

    Sorry for the OT, Marcy.

    Funny Wheelie Diva

  9. eCAHNomics says:

    Given the CIA’s record, the null hypothesis should be that the CIA lies, and should be required to prove they aren’t.

  10. hychka says:

    Maybe Arlen is paying his dues.

    Maybe he is his own person speaking his mind.

    Either way, having the former Senate Chair saying what he said couldn’t hurt.

      • eCAHNomics says:

        To be sure. But the gasoline added to the fire was Panetta’s statement. I got folks here twisting my knickers for suggesting that Marcy’s sophisticated interpretation was BS, because Panetta’s plain language said she was wrong. For the moment, I side with the Rs that Obama was behing Panetta’s statement. If he didn’t want to pillory Pelosi, but wanted to gain the luv of his minions, he could have simply said something like: There is some disagreement about the records which will be sorted out in due course by the appropriate people. “We” are confident that the CIA has behaved appropriately and urge everyone to continue the spectacular performance that has been “our” hallmark. Or words to that effect.

  11. Raven says:

    Found this joke about the nueter

    “Jesse Helms and Newt Gingrich were shaking hands congratulating themselves on the introduction of an anti-gay bill in Congress. If it passes, they won’t be able to shake hands, because it will then be illegal for a prick to touch an asshole.”

  12. eCAHNomics says:

    Obama has hands over eyes & ears (he’s at least good enuf to have 4 hands) saying: Lah, lah, lah, lah, I don’t want to hear it.

  13. Sara says:

    Sorry to have left the scene for the past couple of weeks — but my Computer has gone on the fritz, and only works when I threaten it very seriously. Today I actually nearly bought a new one, came home to collect the CD distribution disks, and the old computer which was to be partially cannibalized, and would’d you know it, the old friend turned on and just purred. (I want to wait on a new computer till Windows 7 is fully vetted, so perhaps just a tune up will do — but the problem is it won’t turn on and light up the monitor. — turns on, boots, but no pictures.) Monitor is nearly new, so I doubt it is my more state of the art flat panel thing.

    Anyhow, a nugget I found in books I cleaned up while computer was dead.

    There is apparently a sort of prelude to the released torture memos, dating from January, 2002, and authored by David Addington at the suggestion of Cheney. This is in Phillip Shenon’s book, (Twelve, 2006), “The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation.” Shenon sources this information about a “preliminary model” for Torture memos to “White House Lawyers” (see pp. 123-24) — and my own guess given other parts of the book, wherein he gives favorable detail about at least one of them, would lead me to look at John Bellinger as a lead candidate for Shenon’s source. At any rate the Addington Torture Memo was apparently instantly approved by Gonzales — and until they got OLC and Yoo in on the game weeks later, this was apparently the authorization form designed by Cheney. (I went looking for this detail given being Put Off by Cheney’s current crusade against Obama — and vaguely remembering something in there about Addington.) Just perhaps this is the bit that leads us back to Cheney initiating the process by which Torture Memo’s were first drafted in January 2002,in Cheney’s shop, and then perfected subsequently under DOJ auspices. Perhaps what all this crusade is about on Cheney’s part is trying to avoid any attention to two questions: What was his involvement with that first draft by Addington? and was he first authorized by GWB to draft such a document, via Addington, and have Gonzales sign it as authorizing authority?

    Putting this in context, remember, one of the 9/11 Commission’s interests was whether Cheney had Authority from Bush on 9/11 to go outside the chain of command and order the shoot-down of commercial airliners. Shenon looks at the question about the initial authorization of torture as parallel to the shoot-down order. I don’t think the first draft of torture memos, authored by Addington, and signed off on by Gonzales, has yet been released by Obama — maybe someone ought to start asking for it.

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