Discussing Investigating Torture on MSNBC

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... skip lunch tomorrow and maybe start making some phone calls and find somebody who's a real good attorney who can start this investigation? now, this is what we want to ask you tonight -- do you believe that we should have a special investigation? joining mess is majority leader steny horry. great to have you with us, congressman. >> great to always be with you, ed. are we going to get the truth out of this? what do you think? >> i said this on the floor of the house today in response to a question by a rep leader. the ske is not who said what, what is important is what was done, did we break the law? did we have advice to break the law? was torture employed of course that same. vetoed a bill supported by john mccain. unfortunately we didn't override that veto, because the republicans in the house doesn't support us, but the fact of the matter is what we need to do is get to the bottom of, did we break the law? did we in fact torture, notwithstanding the president's assertion that we did not? and if we did, how do we make sure that doesn't happen again? because it undermines, not strengthens our security if the united states of america doesn't live up to international law and to its own values. >> steny, would you be in favor of what the speaker said today? you can get your party on board with this. do you agree with her that the cia briefings, all the notes, should be released? can you go along with that? >> yes, i can, and i've said we ought to have the availability of whatever information is available. but again, ed, that's important, but what is more important in my opinion, to get at the bottom of what exactly was done, why it was done, and whether or not in fact we knowingly broke the law and broke international treaties. >> okay. so the republicans and the conservatives are trying to make the case that the speaker of the house knew everything that was going on, and she didn't do anything to stop it? >> a, i believe the speaker, she did not. in fact, the briefing in which it's alleged that the specifics were set forth, she wasn't in that briefing. but noins that, i believe that the speaker's assertions when she says them. but again, whether i believe them or you believe them or what she asserts so what she knew or when she knew it, that's a distraction. we know things were done. we know that the law -- we believe the law was certainly broken and we ought to find out whether the law was broken. that's the key. the united states of america is a nation of laws, and we ought to follow the law and we ought to find out whether we are doing so. >> what's interesting about this is the gop is asking us to believe that nancy pelosi supports torture, which i think is kind of far-fetched. >> not only that's correct ed, let's assume for the sake of argument -- and i reject the assertions about the speaker, i think she's accurate when she says what she says -- but let's say all 435 of us said that's okay. it would not make it okay. it would not justify the president of the united states or anybody under the commander in chief's control to break the law, either the domestic law or international treaties in which we have entered. that's the issue. >> steny, great to have you with us, house majority leader steny hoyer with us. >>> i want to bring in jonathan alter, ""newsweek"" editor. why do we feel like we're on the tip of the iceberg here? >> because we are. we don't know the truth, ed, and that's what investigations are for. my question for steny hoyer would be, you guys are in charge, let's get on with this truth commission. you started to ask him the question. he was, you know, on the defensive trying to defend the speaker, and that's fine, but they have a lot of power in the house of representatives. they can get a special congressional committee to begin the process of investigating this. they can have a congressionally appointed truth commission. they have a lot of tools at their disposal, but they don't want to make it political. >> it's totally political, the whole thing. >> when you have nancy pelosi saying let's have a declassification of the cia briefings, wouldn't that get to the bottom of it, take the politics out of it? the republicans right now are trying to say she knew everything about what was going on, she says she didn't. >> that's only a small part of the story, the type of the iceberg, as you say. there's a lot for us to learn about here. nobody covered themselves in ...