Simulposted at Daily Kos
First of all, thanks to the 53163 people who signed The Petition for a Special Prosecutor for Bush War Crimes. Thanks to the crew at Docudharma and to Bob Fertik and his crew at Democrats.com who all worked hard to create it and promote it. And thanks to all those who worked hard on the other petitions that eventually delivered around 250,000 signatures in support of appointing a Special Prosecutor to investigate the highly organized and Presidentially approved Policy of Torture.
Thanks to Eric Holder for doing the right thing, against great pressure and long odds. Bucking his own President to pursue justice….in a political environment where political expediency is FAR more valued than The Rule Of Law and justice.
(Shhhh! And special thanks to Holder for appointing an SP that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says WILL follow the evidence wherever it leads, even though we are pretending he is only out to produce the next batch of Lynndie Englands and let off the people who came up with The Bush Policy of Torture.)
And thanks to President Obama for appointing an Attorney General with the guts to defy his ‘policy’ (stated intention?) of ‘pragmatically’….allowing War Criminals to skate free.
Now that we have a Special Prosecutor to address the specific crimes committed, (and believe you me, we are going to have to apply some pressure/cover for the investigations to work up the food chain) it is now time to work on uncovering the Big Picture.
The way only a broad, ranging, and public Truth Commission can.
The heads of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, Patrick Leahy and John Conyers both issued statements yesterday…
“The conduct that is documented in this report illustrates the perils of the dark road of excusing torture down which the Bush administration took this nation,” he wrote in a statement. “I also believe it underscores why we need to move forward with a Commission of Inquiry, a nonpartisan review of exactly what happened in these areas, so that we can find out what happened and why. Who justified these policies? What was the role of the Bush White House? How can we make sure it never happens again? Information coming out in dribs and drabs will never paint the full picture.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.): “[M]uch more remains to be done. The gruesome acts described in today’s report did not happen in a vacuum. It would not be fair or just for frontline personnel to be held accountable while the policymakers and lawyers escape scrutiny after creating and approving conditions where such abuses were all but inevitable to occur.
“I have long believed that Department rules require a special counsel to review the entire interrogation program to determine if any crimes were committed. An independent and bipartisan commission should also be convened to evaluate the broader issues raised by the Bush Administration’s brutal torture program,” he added.
Though the DOJ, and rightly so, will have first crack at all witnesses and evidence, those proceedings will not be public until the release of the SP’s report. Aside from the usual leaks each side engages in to spin the proceedings, that is.
NOW we need a public inquiry. The key word being public.