From the Washington Post via The Raw Story:
Two senior Republicans and Democrats in Congress -- including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- were briefed on the CIA's program to use waterboarding on terror suspects in September 2002 and did not object, according to Sunday's Washington Post.This last bit is a supposition by the Post's reporter, but it does seem entirely plausible. Pelosi seems to be driven by some kind of personal ambition that is at odds with the majority of Democrats in the House; and indeed, she sometimes appears to have an agenda that is in direct opposition to what the majority of Americans want.
In the long-ranging article, which seemingly takes the lawmakers and the Bush Administration to task by discussing the practice's emergence in Nazi Germany and other totalitarian states, a Pelosi aide said the Speaker remembered discussion of "enhanced" interrogation techniques and "acknowledged that Pelosi did not raise objections at the time."
"In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody," the Post wrote. "For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk."
"Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill," the Post added. "But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said."
Only Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) -- then the second-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee who would supplant Pelosi in 2003 -- formally objected. Harman, who was set to lead the House Intelligence Committee when the Democrats retook the chamber in 2006, was pushed aside by Pelosi when she took over as Speaker, in what was seen as an element of personal rivalry.
This is just a single telling example of the character of the Speaker. Congress has less than a year to begin acting less like politicians and more like leaders. Don't think for a moment that in the 2008 election the massive anti-Republican sentiment against the President is going to carry on down to the Congressional level. It's certainly not going to be a slam-dunk.
Especially if people like Nancy Pelosi continue to act contrary to our expectations.