As Nancy Pelosi refused to answer questions today about her allegations that the CIA lied to her in 2002, she sought to offer the same rebuff that CIA Director Leon Panetta gave in his message to CIA employees last week--that the controversy is an outside distraction that's taking away from important day-to-day business:

"What we are doing is staying on our course and not be distracted from it in this distractive--we're going forward in a bipartisan way for jobs, health care, energy for our country, and on the subject that you asked I've made the statement I'm going to make," Pelosi said.

Pelosi is under fire from both Republicans and the press, and her press conferences have taken on a frenetic air as a result. That pressure is less of a problem for Panetta, who has been pitted against her in this dispute as the new head of the agency she's accusing. His memo stands as a calmer, more measured thesis of the CIA position than the public appearances in which Pelosi defends her accusation on the fly; the CIA has benefited, and Pelosi probably has suffered, from that. See a video of today's press conference here.


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