Let’s play….who said this!!!
Who said this?
“I would not mind looking backward if there’s reason to do so. If we have evidence of torture – go after it. If there’s reason to believe that these Justice Department officials have knowingly given the president cover for practices they know not to be right or sound – go after them. Some of the [OLC] opinions are more than startling, they’re shocking. If [OLC counsel] did that knowingly…it sounds to me that it may fall within criminal conduct.
“the subject matter areas, which such a commission would investigate – among them the interrogation and handling of captured enemy combatants and the gathering of electronic intelligence – are heavily regulated by comprehensive criminal statutes, and ensures that the commission’s activities would inevitably invade areas traditionally the responsibility of the Department of Justice.”
“In those countries they had to have commissions because they couldn’t have prosecutions. Peace was really in doubt in those countries … they had to trade off prosecutions for peace. We’re not in that situation. If people think we need to have prosecutions, we should have prosecutions.”
#1 Arlen “single bullet” Spectre [sic]
All three “hostile witnesses” so to speak, at the exploratory hearing towards Leahy’s Truth Commission.
Or as Daphne Eviatar put it in the Wasington Independent, titled ‘Republicans Make a Case for Prosecuting Bush Officials’…
Proponents of the truth commission idea, meanwhile, while not ruling out the idea of prosecutions, saw a truth commission as serving a different, and broader, purpose. But it was surprising that, at a hearing cautiously called to discuss “a nonpartisan commission of inquiry,” we heard the strongest case yet for the prosecution of former Bush administration officials – being made by Republicans.
Last night in Valtin’s diary over at Dkos (now proudly on our FP, as well) I was reaching for some Grand Unified Theory as to why Leahy would be pushing for a TC instead of a formal Senate Committee or just plain old prosecutions. My thought was that the scope of the Bushco subversion of the Constitution, Rule of Law and every moral code known to mankind was so vast that it needed to be put into some kind of context first, before prosecutions. Before prosecutions that would indeed increase the partisan combat and be grist for the RW inevitable ‘partisan witchhunt’ meme. Prosecutions that but for politics and Jingoism would convict practically the entire top echelon in a criminal conspiracy to torture perhaps hundreds of innocent people to death. As well as some form or other of treason (for what could be more treasonous) in tearing up the United States Constitution.
I think I was wrong. I think now, that Leahy IS just being timid. In the following (excellent) coverage by Rachel, Leahy says to the Republicans above…..”Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” That indicates to me that he was just playing a cautious game given the politics of our time. And since the politics of our time are rapidly changing as the Republican Party completely debases and destroys itself in Limbaugh Worship, maybe Leahy will change his mind as well. After all, yesterdays hearings WERE just exploratory.
I do however think we still need some kind of Uber Commission to truly put what Bushco did in context and in stark relief for Americans, the world, and history. And we are still faced with exactly how to go about getting Obama and Holder to prosecute. But as events and the political zeitgeist move (relatively) rapidly forward, I think we all, Obama, Holder, Leahy and us….are scrambling a bit as to how to tackle the incredibly grave and monumental fact… that the former President of The United States is indeed a War Criminal.
Enough rambling! On to Rachel’s excellent report!