How can you tell when House Madame Nancy Pelosi is lying? She showed us in a fitful performance in front of the national media yesterday as she tried to weasel her way out of a trail of whoppers that made Bill “I didn’t have sexual relations with that woman” Clinton look like a piker.

Pelosi tried answering questions about what she knew and when she knew it about waterboarding of terrorist suspects. She has been the leading partisan hack on the Democrat side of the aisle accusing our CIA and the Bush administration of torturing terrorists, including the mastermind of 9/11.

Everybody who cares knows that San Fran Nan has been lying about what she knew. The CIA and Bush administration briefed her and other high-ranking Democrats about the enhanced interrogation techniques. During her Thursday appearance, she might as well have had “liar” written on her forehead.

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She stumbled, backtracked and gave no plausible explanation about how the most powerful woman in the world (in her mind) could not have known the basics. When pressed by the media – a shocking development in itself – she shook like a Chihuahua trapped in a kennel with a pack of Rottweilers.

It was much more entertaining than watching Bill Clinton try to get an inquisitor to define the meaning of “is.”

Even the liberals’ personal propaganda machine, the New York Times, was forced to question the veracity of Pelosi’s explanations. The Times reported on an exhaustive list of briefings about interrogation techniques to Pelosi and her buddies on the left.

“The new chart of briefings, prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, was the first full listing of briefings to members of Congress and their aides. It appears to call into question the longstanding assertion of Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she was never told that waterboarding and other methods were actually used, only that the Central Intelligence Agency believed they were legal and could be used,” the Times reported.

In other words, “liar, liar, pants on fire.”

The Times continued, “On Sept. 4, 2002, Ms. Pelosi, then the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, and Representative Porter J. Goss, the committee’s Republican chairman, were given a ‘description’ of the interrogation methods that ‘had been employed’ against a prisoner, Abu Zubaydah.”

So they told Nancy that they had already used the interrogation methods. That directly conflicts with Pelosi’s fibs that she didn’t know they had waterboarded. The Obama administration’s CIA director, Leon Panetta, disputes Pelosi’s account.

Pelosi yesterday had the gall to accuse the CIA of lying, or “misleading,” as she called it. This was not smart. The CIA knows things and they don’t mind leaking them, as the Bush administration found out.

So why should we believe Pelosi? Could it be because she had a prepared statement, then had to rustle around to check back on what she had already said just to keep her stories straight? That doesn’t give me much confidence in her words. Words come easy when you’re telling the truth. She couldn’t even remember what she said a couple minutes earlier without her cheat sheet of talking points. She was so shaken, it looked as if she had been waterboarded by Jack Bauer, then turned over to the Vietcong for some real torture.

The more she talks, the better the GOP looks for 2010. She wants a truth commission? I guess that depends on what the definition of truth is. The House madame doth protest too much, methinks. If she doesn’t get her Manolos out of her mouth soon, that gavel may be pried from her shaking hands and Pelosi may be demoted from head of the House to chair of a subcommittee on Midwest manure beetles.

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