As the row over the extent of the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s knowledge of the use of waterboarding by the Bush administration continues unabated, congressional Democrats and President Obama have stepped in to say they "stand behind her."
Some have called the ongoing controversy a distraction from the work of pushing through healthcare and energy reforms, and stressed the issue has not registered as important with constituents across the country.
Others have tried to redirect the issue back to the question of who authorized the use of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.
"I think a lot of people have lost focus on [those] who put those torture policies in place in the first place," said Representative Baron Hill, an Indiana Democrat, quoted by CNN.com.
"Nancy didn’t do anything wrong, in terms of the legalities, that I’m aware of. I don’t know what she was told. I’m not here to cast judgment on her at all," he added.
Last week Pelosi suggested the CIA misled her during a 2002 briefing by allegedly saying waterboarding had been deemed legal but it was not being used.
The agency’s bosses vigorously denied any attempts to mislead lawmakers, and Republicans have called for Pelosi to come forward with evidence that she was misled by the intelligence community, according to Bloomberg.