24 April 2009

Obama Now Comes Out Against Truth Commission

What the hell is wrong with everyone in Washington?
Meeting with the Democratic leadership on Wednesday night, Mr. Obama said a special inquiry would steal time and energy from his policy agenda, and could mushroom into a wider distraction looking back at the Bush years, people briefed on the discussion said. Mr. Obama, they said, repeated much the same message on Thursday at a bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders.

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, and other top Senate Democrats endorsed Mr. Obama’s view on Thursday, telling reporters at a news conference at the Capitol that they preferred to wait for the results of an investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee expected late this year.
It should be noted that senior Senators on the Intel Committee have already been described as having signed off on torture, and as such Rockefeller, Feinstein*, Roberts, etc. have a vested interest in burying this.

The fact is that the American public wants this, the Republicans are going to fight you every step of the way on your agenda anyway, but still, you are determined to kick the can down the road long enough that people will forget.

This is not partisan politics, it is, as Krugman says, a battle for America's soul, and it appears that the folks inside the Beltway just don't give a damn
And the only way we can regain our moral compass, not just for the sake of our position in the world, but for the sake of our own national conscience, is to investigate how that happened, and, if necessary, to prosecute those responsible.

What about the argument that investigating the Bush administration’s abuses will impede efforts to deal with the crises of today? Even if that were true — even if truth and justice came at a high price — that would arguably be a price we must pay: laws aren’t supposed to be enforced only when convenient. But is there any real reason to believe that the nation would pay a high price for accountability?

Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, wouldn’t be called away from his efforts to rescue the economy. Peter Orszag, the budget director, wouldn’t be called away from his efforts to reform health care. Steven Chu, the energy secretary, wouldn’t be called away from his efforts to limit climate change. Even the president needn’t, and indeed shouldn’t, be involved. All he would have to do is let the Justice Department do its job — which he’s supposed to do in any case — and not get in the way of any Congressional investigations.
Why this scramble not to investigate. It makes no sense.

*Full disclosure, my great grandfather, Harry Goldman, and her grandfather, Sam Goldman were brothers, though we have never met, either in person or electronically.


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