Are Pelosi's lies impeachable?

Nancy Pelosi is a liar.

And not just the typical, sniveling, inside-the-Beltway-talking-head prevaricator, either.

Nancy Pelosi is a wide-eyed, stare-you-in-the-face, What-planet-are-you-from? liar.

Proof is provided in Thursday's Wall Street Journal. Rather than just regurgitating Democrat talking points - -Why is it I always have the feeling that Rahm Emmanuel is barking questions into Chris Matthews IFB? -- about recently released documents on the CIA's use of enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs), the WSJ actually read the reports.

Their conclusion?

Whoever advised people to be skeptical of what they read in the papers must have had in mind this week's coverage of the documents about CIA interrogations. Now that we've had a chance to read the reports, it's clear the real story isn't the few cases of abuse played up by the media. The news is that the program was thoughtfully developed, carefully circumscribed, briefed to Congress, and yielded information crucial to disrupting al Qaeda.

As to House Commissar Nancy Pelosi's claim that the Bush administration kept her in the dark about the EIT's, "Flat out, they never briefed us that this was happening,":

The IG report belies House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's claims that she wasn't told about all this. "In the fall of 2002, the Agency briefed the leadership of the Congressional Intelligence Oversight Committees on the use of both standard techniques and EITs..... representatives...  continued to brief the leadership of the Intelligence Oversight Committees on the use of EITs and detentions in February and March 2003. The [CIA] General Counsel says that none of the participants expressed any concern about the techniques or the Program . . ." Ditto in September 2003.

Pelosi was ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in 2002, and was still receiving briefings as Democrat House leader in 2003.

According to a 2007 Washington Post report:

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. 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. 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.

"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.

On Planet Pelosi, the 2002 briefings did not specify that EIT's had actually been used, only that they may be used. "The briefers described these techniques, said they were legal, but said that waterboarding had not yet been used," according to Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly.

As to 2003 briefings in which the specific use of waterboarding was detailed, Planet Pelosi claims that a top aide attended in her stead.

Let's consider that rather specious contention.

It is simply implausible that -- in the dark days and weeks and months following 9/11, and the anthrax attacks which actually shut down the Capitol building in which she works -- Pelosi remained unaware of the intelligence community's efforts to prevent further attacks.

We are supposed to believe that Pelosi, as ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, showed such disinterest as to fail to ask whether EIT's were actually being used and that, as the leader of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives, she couldn't find fulfill her responsibilities to discuss such a vital matter with her own top aide.

If true, then the woman who is now Speaker of the House, two heartbeats away from the presidency, showed a disregard for her constitutional responsibilities--a dereliction of duty bordering on criminal.

No, it actually crosses that border. For Pelosi, as do all members of Congress, has taken the Oath of Office:

"I, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic ... and that I will well faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter."

Pelosi's contrived excuse for her attack on the intelligence community, a careless disregard of her duties, amounts to misconduct in office and thus an impeachable offense.

However, if Pelosi lied about the briefings, attacking the intelligence community in the process and forcing it to reveal sources and methods, she has not only done irreparable harm, she has aided the enemies of the United States and the Constitution -- also a misconduct in office, if not outright treason.

Remember the quandary posed by that old saw, Have you stopped beating your wife?

Well, Nancy, were you lying when you said you didn't know about CIA interrogation techniques, or were you simply negligent in your duties?

William Tate is an award-winning journalist and author