Shorter Republicans: leave the CIA alooooone!

Congressional Republicans are rushing to defend the CIA after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the spy agency of misleading her and other lawmakers about its use of waterboarding during the Bush administration.

"I think it’s a tragedy that we are seeing this massive attack on our intelligence community," Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri said in an interview on NBC’s "Today" show.

How dare anyone attack our intelligence community! Unless you’re John Boehner.

On December 9, 2007, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Boehner: "Are you suggesting, as I think you are, that you don’t necessarily have confidence in this new NIE [National Intelligence Estimate on Iran]?"

Boehner: "Either I don’t have confidence in what they told me several months ago or I don’t have confidence in what they’re telling me today."

Or Pat Roberts.

Hayden remained similarly unfettered when Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas pointed out the CIA’s "egregious intelligence failure" in asserting that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction — an assertion that President Bush used to justify the invasion of Iraq.

"This committee simply cannot accept intelligence assessments at face value," Roberts said. "Not having your actions second-guessed is something that is earned."

Or Saxby Chambliss.

A Senate report due to be published today will blame the CIA for the Bush administration’s unfounded claims about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and will not address White House responsibility for the debacle. … "There were a number of situations where unreasonable conclusions were reached," Mr Chambliss told the Knight Ridder news agency. His office said yesterday he stood by his remarks, in which he argued the White House could not be blamed for believing intelligence it received from the CIA.

Or Richard Shelby.

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., told FOX News that intelligence officers are trained to be "above political pressure."

"They’re trained as part of their tradition to state the facts, to bring the evidence, to bring the truth to the president who’s the ultimate user of intelligence," Shelby said. "Whatever environment you might be in, if it’s one where there might be hostilities, it’s up to the intelligence community to still stay with the facts and nothing else."

Or Pete Hoekstra.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra on Thursday criticized "rogue" CIA employees involved in a joint CIA-Peruvian anti-narcotics program of withholding information after declassification of a CIA report identifying "routine disregard" of safety procedures that led to the plane being shot down. … "This issue goes to the heart of the American people’s ability to trust the CIA," the Michigan lawmaker said Thursday. "Americans deserve to know that agencies given the power to operate on their behalf aren’t abusing that power or their trust."

Or George W. Bush.

President Bush and his national security adviser today placed full responsibility on the Central Intelligence Agency for the inclusion in this year’s State of the Union address of an erroneous allegation that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was trying to buy nuclear materials in Africa.

Wonder what changed?