The kerfluffle over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's CIA briefing on enhanced interrogation matters a lot.
First, there's the question of credibility. Was Pelosi telling the truth when she asserted that the CIA told her about the techniques but said they hadn't been used? Is she the only person from that September 2002 briefing who is telling the truth, and everyone else is lying? Credibility is the currency of leadership, and Pelosi will be weakened enormously if she lied.
Second, there's the question of equity. If Bush administration lawyers were complicit in torture by drafting memos describing permissible limits of interrogation and should now be disbarred or prosecuted, what about Pelosi, who admits that by February 2003 she knew about these procedures and did essentially nothing?
Finally, there's the question of resolution. Is Pelosi right or are her critics? This issue cannot remain unresolved. Leaving it so will reflect badly on Democrats unless a speedy release of CIA documents and testimony under oath by Pelosi, Porter Goss, and the CIA officials and two congressional staffers who were at the September 2002 briefing bear out the speaker's explosive charge. Refusing to get it all out now will simply confirm what most of Washington concluded after the speaker's incoherent, rambling news conference last Thursday: She's not telling the truth.