Text & Video of Leahy's Georgetown Address Recommending a Truth Commission
Feb-9-09 01:59 pm
As noted in the previous post, in an address at Georgetown University earlier today, Senator Patrick Leahy proposed the idea of creating a truth commission to address the actions of the Bush Administration. The entire text of Senator Leahy's address at the 2009 Marver Bernstein Symposium can be found here. C-SPAN has posted a video of the address-- including questions and answers-- here.
The specific recommendation for a truth commission is reprinted below:
As to the best course of action for bringing a reckoning for the actions of the past eight years, there has been heated disagreement. There are some who resist any effort to investigate the misdeeds of the recent past. Indeed, some Republican Senators tried to extract a devil’s bargain from the Attorney General nominee in exchange for their votes, a commitment that he would not prosecute for anything that happened on President Bush’s watch. That is a pledge no prosecutor should give, and Eric Holder did not, but because he did not, it accounts for many of the partisan votes against him.
One path to that goal would be a reconciliation process and truth commission. We could develop and authorize a person or group of people universally recognized as fair minded, and without axes to grind. Their straightforward mission would be to find the truth. People would be invited to come forward and share their knowledge and experiences, not for purposes of constructing criminal indictments, but to assemble the facts. If needed, such a process could involve subpoena powers, and even the authority to obtain immunity from prosecutions in order to get to the whole truth. Congress has already granted immunity, over my objection, to those who facilitated warrantless wiretaps and those who conducted cruel interrogations. It would be far better to use that authority to learn the truth.
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