Torture Commission?

From Michael Isikoff, writing in Newsweek: Obama to take on torture?

Despite the hopes of many human-rights advocates, the new Obama Justice Department is not likely to launch major new criminal probes of harsh interrogations and other alleged abuses by the Bush administration. But one idea that has currency among some top Obama advisers is setting up a 9/11-style commission that would investigate counterterrorism policies and make public as many details as possible. “At a minimum, the American people have to be able to see and judge what happened,” said one senior adviser, who asked not to be identified talking about policy matters. The commission would be empowered to order the U.S. intelligence agencies to open their files for review and question senior officials who approved “waterboarding” and other controversial practices.

I don’t have any illusions that a commission is a guarantee that the truth will come out. But depending on who is on it, it might achieve something in that area. And in terms of issues that transcend the current “can’t we all just get along?” spirit, this one pretty much tops my list.

So yeah, bring on the torture commission.

2 Responses to “Torture Commission?”

  1. shcb Says:

    I was glad to see at least one of Obama’s advisors has some good sense

    The idea of such panels is not universally favored among Obama advisers. Some with ties to the intelligence community fear the demoralizing impact on intelligence officers, said one source who had discussions with Obama aides about the idea.

    While the demoralizing impact of intelligence officers is important, more importantly is the intelligence simply not being collected, we can’t afford another Jamie Gorelick and the carnage she has left in her wake.

    From what I was reading today the Obama administration is not considering much change in our intelligence gathering, of course that is conjecture at best at this point and congress certainly has control over things like FISA. If these reports are correct though it would be hard to prosecute the past administration while still adhering to its policies. This is all pretty academic if you have read the laws, but what the heck, there isn’t much else to do until January.

  2. Steve Says:

    The real question is whether or not we’re a nation of laws. I know that most of the bipartisan Washington Establishment and parts of the Republican base believe that we are not.

    If Obama doesn’t change our intelligence gathering, then hopefully the Republicans in Congress will nail him for it. Then the Democrats might be inspired to finally nail Bush as well.

    We’ll have to see.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.