Saturday, March 14, 2009

we can handle the truth

Interesting debate in today's Los Angeles Times Opinion section on the idea of an independent commission to investigate the Bush years, counterterrorism, human rights, etc.
Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that you don't want to piss off the Republicans.

100,000 people have signed Senator Patrick Leahy's petition in support of a Truth Commission for the Bush years. But naysayers continue to express concern that, in the words of conservative Law Professor Jeremy A. Rabkin at George Mason University, such a commission would merely degenerate into a hatefest against Bush.

Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr, of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School, disagrees. He says there will be plenty of blame to go around if the commission is done correctly. He writes that such a commission
should examine the systemic problems and root causes that allowed unlawful conduct to become policy. Some of these underlying problems -- such as excessive government secrecy and lax congressional oversight -- clearly existed well before President Bush took office. (The need to examine Congress' role in allowing these policies to go forward is yet another reason to pursue an independent commission rather than a congressional inquiry).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Despite the popularity of a Bush inquest, it'll never happen. The reluctance at the root of it recalls the age-old conventions of war relating to the treatment of officers (who were often nobles). After all, an officer had more in common with an enemy officer than with his own men.