BEHIND THE CURTAIN

Pelosi Pushes Back

Nancy Pelosi has caught heat from critics on both the left and the right after news emerged that she was briefed on the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” techniques in 2002. In a new profile, Tina Brown examines the complicated web the Speaker finds herself in now—and how she’s fighting her way out of it. While critics like Porter Goss (who was briefed with Pelosi in 2002) and John McCain are sure Pelosi is lying, Pelosi, tough as nails, is angry she’s catching the heat for torture practices that came out of the Bush administration, and she's open to prosecutions for those who authorized the practices, something President Obama has said he wants to avoid. Explaining her position on the issue of torture, Pelosi said, "You can't take prosecution off the table. The president has been very clear. He wants to move forward. Me and the Congress want to be told the truth. The more things get released, the more we want a full commission. He wants to give immunity. I want to be more selective." Reflecting on his controversial colleague, Democratic House leader Richard Gephardt said admiringly, "If you look at the lion family, it's the female of the species that's the killer."