WASHINGTON (AP) – The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is proposing a “truth commission” to investigate abuses of detainees, politically inspired moves at the Justice Department, and whole range of decisions made during the Bush administration. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said the primary goal of the commission would be to learn the truth rather than prosecute former officials, but said the inquiry should reach far beyond misdeeds at the Justice Department under Bush to include matters of Iraq prewar intelligence and the Defense Department. Leahy outlined his suggestion for a “truth and reconciliation” commission during a speech at Georgetown University Monday.
“I’m doing this not to humiliate people or punish people but to get the truth out,” he said.
The panel he envisions would be modeled after one that investigated the apartheid regime in South Africa. It would have subpoena power but would not bring criminal charges, he said. Among the matters Leahy wants investigated by such a commission are: the firings of U.S. attorneys, treatment and torture of terror suspect detainees, and the authorization of warrantless wiretapping.
“Rather than vengeance, we need a fair-minded pursuit of what actually happened” during the Bush administration, Leahy said.
Some Democrats have called for criminal investigations of those who authorized certain controversial tactics in the war on terror. Republicans have countered that such decisions made in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks should not be second-guessed.
“We need to be able to read the page before we turn the page,” Leahy said. “We need to come to a shared understanding of the failures of the recent past.”
No, seriously….c’mon, stop laughing. This could be really good. I mean, Battlestar Galactica finishes up this season, after that…there’s a vacancy in the schedule. I’m free. I’ll take em all on by myself and do so for free. PLEASE, just call me Sen. Leahy, I’ll be happy to clear anything up for you regarding allegations of abuse in the Bush Admin, AND-if you act now-I’ll even toss in precedents of identical, equal, or greater “abuse” done by the Clinton Admin (not sure our Sec of State will appreciate it, but I make the offer for free). I’ll also toss in examples from THIS administration just to make your faux hearings more pertinent.
PLEASE, CALL ME!
Cronyism? You say Brown and FEMA, I say Les Aspin from Clinton/DoD and Panetta/CIA for Obama
Political appointees? You say 8 Attorney General firings by Gonzolez, I say over 100 in the same dept by Clinton and point to the DoD where most of the Undersecs are to be replaced by Obama
You say Bush Lied re Iraq Intel, and I point to Clinton’s UBL indictment from 1998, sec 4 that stated Saddam had a working relationship w AQ, AND I point to Clinton’s 1998 Desert Strike claims. (just for fun, I’d toss in some of Leahy’s own comments and discussion w Dr David Kay where it’s made perfectly clear to Leahy that the WMD intel was too little and too vague pre-war. As to Obama…I’ll point to last night’s press conference where he claimed Iran had pursuits of a nuclear bomb-not peaceful nuclear power, and his campaign rhetoric where he claimed Iran was supplying arms to kill American forces, AND Obama’s claim last night that Iran has ties to terrorist groups.
How ’bout…911? You say Bush knew, and I’ll say Clinton knew MORE on 12/4/98 (oooo, and Able Danger too!), and he didn’t tell Bush during uber-short transition. Then re Obama, I’ll point out that he specifically said Bush didn’t know (he made that statement in response to a claim Howard Dean made on NPR).
You say Haliburton, I say SES International and Clinton ties to Oil For Food recipient list. Then I’ll talk about the head of the IRS failing to pay his taxes under Obama.
C’mon Leahy, I’m available. You wanna waste some time instead of working on the budget, helping protect from AQ, and overseeing two wars…yeah, that’s fine. I’ve got time. I’m not employed, and there’s nothing on TV on Fridays after Galactica ends. You’re the one w the job.