Thursday, March 05, 2009

Senator Leahy On Investigating The Bush Administration.

I don't quite understand where the Republicans are coming from on this one.

Here Senator Specter, arguing against the need for a Truth Commission, says that, "if we have evidence of torture, torture is a violation of our law, go after them. If there is reason to believe that these justice department officials have knowingly given the president cover for things they know not to be right, go after them."

I note that Specter is appearing to be in favour of prosecuting "these justice department officials" rather than the people above them who actually gave the orders, which might explain why he is willing to shove them in front of the bus in order to prevent an investigation into who ordered what. The Republicans do seem to fear an investigation even more than they fear the likes of Yoo being prosecuted. Indeed, I get the feeling that they would rather offer Yoo and others up as sacrificial lambs rather than take the risk of allowing Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld's actions to be properly looked into.

I am also taking some comfort from the fact that, although Obama is maintaining an absolute silence on the subject of prosecution, his Justice Department are releasing memos which can only bolster the case for such a prosecution.

Senator Leahy makes the very valid point that the reason for a Truth Commission is so that the US does not repeat the mistakes made after Abu Ghraib, where those prosecuted are the people at the lower end of the food chain, rather than those who actually gave the order for torture to be committed.

And Leahy's reaction to the Republicans calling for prosecutions is, "Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it." And I am in utter agreement with him when he states, "Some say 'turn the page', I say well let's read the page first before you turn it."

And, opponents of his Truth Commission on the left have lambasted his proposal for including possible immunity. However, as Leahy points out here, the 9-11 Commission also had the right to grant immunity, but they never had to use it. It's a valid point.

No comments: