Let's recap where Democrats were in 2002, shall we? Operationally, it was essentially an extension of where they were in 2000 -- they fielded a dreadful, awkward candidate who got rope-a-doped by a complete dipshit, they failed to fight sufficiently for what was theirs, preferring to occasionally emit some puling noises from the peanut gallery as Cheney and Bush literally rewrote the country's energy and financial securitization policies.
Then 9/11 occurred, and the Democrats immediately reverted to their natural stance -- a defensive crouch, terrified that any reluctance to go along with the Cheney administration's plans would be perceived as treasonous. The CIA could have told Pelosi straight up that at that moment they had Abu Zubaydah's balls wired to a car battery and half his fingernails removed with pliers, and she would have been both okely and dokely with all that. Anyone really doubting that needs to immediately dismount the unicorn they're riding around Rainbowland, and get in touch with the real world.
Well, if you can't trust the two men who had breakfast, as the towers were coming down, with one of the motherless fucks who took down the World Trade Center, who can you trust? It is pointless to get into a he said/she said pissing contest between Pelosi and Goss and Panetta or whoever. The fact of the matter is that while we have typically relied on our authoritarian proxies to carry out the real wet work, America's (and Americans', for that matter) discomfort with torture has always been more a matter of circumspection than morality. Obama tacitly admitted as much last week, understanding intuitively that beyond the high-minded rhetoric, the average 'murkin is more worried about photographs than actionable offenses.
You would think that in a country that never misses an opportunity to tout its exalted status with Jebus, the Golden Rule might have a higher priority, that the most pragmatic and patriotic argument against (and barometer for detecting) torture is that we would not tolerate these actions being committed upon an American (though of course, in Pinochet's Chile for example, we did), that we actually executed enemy soldiers in World War 2 for using waterboarding as an interrogation tactic. But the fact of the matter is that we could be using pears on people, and not only would there be animals like Cheney announcing that it was absolutely necessary to do so, but craven opportunists like Pelosi would sit there and parse their own words and actions, when they know full well that they knew what they were doing, and chose to remain politically viable.
This would be one thing if it were in the service of an actual formative change, or even the mildest of retributive action against the actual perpetrators, but neither of those are any more forthcoming than Pelosi suddenly forgetting to look out for number one, even as she steps into number two.