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Investigate Bush but Take Prison Off the Table?

President Obama's reluctance to investigate President Bush stems from his desire to focus on the future, but Senator Patrick Leahy says the country cannot move forward without a comprehensive investigation into the Bush administration.

Yesterday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Leahy outlined his vision for the investigation, which he sees as a compromise for those who oppose any investigation and those who are itching for one. He explained:

Rather than vengeance, we need a fair-minded pursuit of what actually happened. [It's] not to humiliate people or punish people, but to get the truth out, so we don't make the same mistakes again. We fought Revolution in this country so we could protest the actions of government. We should protect that.

The commission could be endowed with the subpoena power, but perhaps not the power to put people in prison. Leahy suggests filling the commission, which would look into civil liberties and human rights abuses, with universally respected individuals who don't have political vendettas.

Could you get behind this sort of accountability?


Join The Conversation
Pegona Pegona 8 years
Sounds like a good compromise.
stephley stephley 8 years
You might want to triple check CG, your "facts" are problematic.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
hypno - It's not Bush's and Cheney's responsibility to show that they are innocent. It's the prosecuter's job to show that they are guilty. The fact that he hasn't brought any charges against the two is very telling.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
yes waterboarding is the us military. Now its prohibited as of jan 22nd by the CIA. double check your facts. i did.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
It's a little late now isn't it?
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
No, ECU. Stephley is above college learnins. However, I wonder how extensive your background in International political science is if that's your opinion.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
“we’ve been screaming this for 2-4 years now," That is precisely my point (officials) just need to shut up and do it if they're going to do it. What better way to shut them up and show innocence or wrong doing once and for all. Believe it or not when officials scream about something for four years that's quite costly too, so I would say to them shut the hell up and do it or not.
Myst Myst 8 years
CG, waterboarding was always considered to be crime that's deemed as torture and is and has has always been illegal.
stephley stephley 8 years
CG, you might want to double check your facts. Thanks and I wish ECU, but I'm just a curious amateur.
ECULeah ECULeah 8 years
Very well said stephley. Do I sense a background in political science or law like myself? If we don't investigate our own wrongdoings, we will lose all credibility on the international stage.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
But that wasnt admitting to a war crime, in accordance to what a war crime is defined to be at that time. on january 22nd of this year he made it illegal for the CIA to waterboard, it wasnt before according to interogation rules by the military handbook.
Myst Myst 8 years
I think they should be investigated but as CG said, it shouldn't become the witch hunt. No one is above the law. I didn't like the warrant-less taping and the American people have the right to know what went on, and Cheney and his croonies needs to own up to his crimes, however IMO there are a lot more important things for us as a country to be worrying about right now and this shouldn't be our primary focus.
stephley stephley 8 years
Both Bush and Cheney say they were told about and approved waterboarding of at least one detainee. That's admitting to a war crime. Both discussed it in taped interviews.
Carrie-Sue Carrie-Sue 8 years
Far less than what, Stephley? What exactly is it that you think he's done?
stephley stephley 8 years
That's pretty much the same in any criminal trial and in the history of war crimes, people have been convicted on far less.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
What you heard, and what they said can be very different and distinct things.
stephley stephley 8 years
No Dave it actually doesn't - both made very clear statements that they authorized certain actions. The only thing that could be partisan about it now is whether the U.S. wants to allow war crimes in order for some of its citizens to feel safe.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
"This went from claims to admissions some time ago - so the information already is at hand." That depends on what side of the aisle you are sitting.
stephley stephley 8 years
This went from claims to admissions some time ago - so the information already is at hand. And in the last few weeks of their administration, both George Bush and Dick Cheney acknowledged authorizing torture techniques for which the United States has prosecuted and punished people. We didn't HAVE to prosecute Bush while he was still in office - the statute of limitations for war crimes doesn't run out. Torture is a far more serious crime than sexual harassment.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
You do collect all the information to get an indictment first, then have a trial.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
"What happens when someone "claims" that another broke the law? We have a trial to collect the "facts," so that we don't let criminals off the hook." Actually, we investigate first. If there is enough facts to warrant a trial, then, and only then do we go to a trial.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Clinton and Nixon were investigated while in office, If you wanted to burn Bush at the stake, you should have done it while he was in office. And sexual harassment is a very,very serious crime. It affects people all across the US. And having the highest office in the US get away with it would have sent a bad message.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Why investigate it if they don't plan on punishing him? All that money spent for what? Your peace of mind!!! Waste of money, waste of time. Just like the Clinton impeachment trials, for what? Just so you can feel warm and fuzzy inside? Lame
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Did we go after clinton and nixon for claims or facts?
MSucre MSucre 8 years
" Since these are claims, and not facts, we aren't letting him "off the hook"." What happens when someone "claims" that another broke the law? We have a trial to collect the "facts," so that we don't let criminals off the hook. And so as to protect and give meaning to our laws! We need some accountability. Would we tell someone whose car was stolen to just "look forward" and forget about who or what stole it?
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