Stewart Skewers Pelosi On What She Knew and When She Knew It

When you're one of the left's favorite politicians, and you get skewered by one of the left's favorite comedians, you know you're in quicksand sinking fast.

Such was the case Tuesday evening when the "Daily Show"'s Jon Stewart, in a segment delicously called "Waffle House," lampooned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Cal.) ever-changing answers to what she knew about detainee interrogations and when she knew it (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t NBer mvfreeman):

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JON STEWART, HOST: Turning now to another Miss California USA who's also been revealing a little too much of herself, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. As a Democratic leader, we all are know where she stands on stress positions, waterboarding, etc., etc: she's agin it! And if she had been told that we were doin' it, well...

NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE (on videotape): They did not brief us that these enhanced interrogations were taking place. 

STEWART: They did not brief her. Now, in the world that we've grown accustomed to living in, these unequivocal statements are generally followed by, go.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER (on videotape): New intelligence records show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was briefed in September 2002 about the harsh interrogation techniques used during the Bush administration. 

STEWART: Yes, yes Smithers, excellent. Let the inevitable dance begin again. 

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER (on videotape): At the time you were briefed, did you raise objections?

PELOSI (on videotape): It is not appropriate for me to talk about what happens at briefings. 

STEWART: When the CIA says, "Tick a lock," that lock is ticked! I'd open if I could, oh what the f***, let's open it.

PELOSI (on videotape): We were not, I repeat, we were not told that waterboarding, or any of the other enhanced interrogation methods were used. 

STEWART: Okay, now that's it, I told you, I cannot discuss the briefings no matter what methods you reporters use I'm not saying another word, except to slowly begin to parse the unequivocal denial of never being told...I'm not a wordsmith, but I think notify might mean told...So, they said they could use harsh interrogation techniques, but not that they would. So, basically we've gone from "I definitely was not told" to "I was told, but they used an auxillary verb with a slightly more passive mood." (singing) "Grammar nerd, say what what? Grammar nerd, say what what?" 

Actually, this really shouldn't be a surprise because Pelosi is employing the same defense Democrats used to explain away their votes for the Iraq war resolution in October 2002.

As media bought it then, why aren't they all buying it now?

Stay tuned. 

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Noel Sheppard's picture