GOP/Democrats Split Over “Truth Commission”
Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, chairmen of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, are the biggest proponents of establishing a “truth commission”to investigate BushCo.
Investigations are not a matter of payback or political revenge,” said Conyers. “It is our responsibility to examine what has occurred and to set an appropriate baseline of conduct for future administrations.”
There’s “an oversight responsibility that has to be carried out,” Leahy said, adding that he wants to discuss the idea further with Obama.
Obama, who says he’s “more interested in looking forward than looking back,” says he’ll look at Leahy’s proposal. There is already a bill, introduced by Conyers, to create a blue ribbon panel, says an investigative body outside of Congess would de-politicize it. Republicans, predictably, don’t see it that way.
Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked why Democrats need a commission to get information from a Justice Department now run by their own party.
“You just have to walk in and ask where the file cabinets are,” Specter said in an interview.
House and Senate judiciary committees have already spent years looking into the firing of US attorneys, warrantless surveillance, and harsh interrogation techniques. Yet, this is still a political hot potato, and these “investigations” haven’t produced much public information. Now that Democrats are firmly in control, why don’t these committees tell us what they’ve learned so far?Click here for reuse options!
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