Diane Sawyer has done her homework. Instead of simply accepting the garbage that Newt Gingrich was feeding the American public, she had real examples of Republicans calling the CIA liars.
This morning, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich went on ABC’s Good Morning America and called on Democrats to pressure Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to resign her position as Speaker. He claimed that she has “disqualified herself” for the leadership spot, because “if I were a person trying to defend this country, I’d have very little confidence that the Speaker of the House had any regard for what we were doing.”
Host Diane Sawyer challenged Gingrich, noting that he never criticized Rep. Peter Hoekstra’s (R-MI) repeated criticism of the agency, including this statement in 2007: “We cannot have an intelligence community that covers up what it does and then lies to Congress.” Gingrich struggled uncomfortably and repeatedly attempted to change the subject:
GINGRICH: Well, in that case, he’s writing a specific letter asking them to change something they were doing. He did not say the CIA routinely lies —
SAWYER: “Lies,” he said —
GINGRICH: — to the Congress.
SAWYER: Well, he says “lies.” He says “what it does and then lies to Congress.”
GINGRICH: And I think they actually had to come back and testify.
But more hypocritical than his silence in response to Hoekstra’s criticisms of the CIA is the fact that in 2007 Gingrich himself accused the CIA, among other U.S. intelligence agencies, of not just misleading Congress but actively undermining the President of the United States. In response to the release of the 2007 Iran National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) — which concluded that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program — Gingrich said that he believed the NIE and its authors were “damaging to our own national security”:
[The NIE] is so professionally unworthy, so intellectually indefensible and so fundamentally misleading that it is damaging to our national security.
The NIE appears to be a deliberate attempt to undermine the policies of President Bush by members of his own government by suggesting that Iran no longer poses a serious threat to U.S. national security because we apparently have credible reports that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003.
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