thoughts on a truth commission


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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7 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike Farmer says:

    I agree with you — a real truth commission could define what happened and give us a principled report to go by in determining how to make changes so that we have clearer guidelines in the future.Report

  2. Avatar Bob says:

    E.D. – Clear, concise, correct.

    My quibble with a (explicative deleted) Truth Commission is that the machinery already exists that is needed to discover the truth. Congressional investigation. DOJ investigation, and if necessary, charges.

    But if some sort of third-world-cop-out TC is the only way for cowards in the legislative and executive branches to pass the buck I’m willing to settle.

    (So very dull when we agree, but hey, I agree.)Report

  3. Avatar ChrisWWW says:

    I’m not opposed to a truth commission in the way you outline it, but I am opposed to the type of truth commission we’re likely to see.

    Do you doubt that a Washington truth commission will be anything but a get out of jail free card for anybody and everybody?Report

  4. Avatar Mike Farmer says:

    Oh, I thought we were talking about an ideal, rational world. I lost my mind for a minute.Report

  5. Avatar Caltha palustris says:


    I find it interesting that Senator Leahy has called for Judge Bybee to resign, while at the same time, and within five days, invited Bybee by letter to testify about the memos that Bybee, Yoo and Bradford crafted – with a shot across the bow (at least to me) that the Senate Judiciary wants answers.

    Is this a hint that Bybee either leave or risk impeachment perhaps, in exchange for information? Truth? We shall see.

    I find the following passages from Leahy’s letter, especially juicy:

    According to the press account, you became the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel after coming to interview with White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales because you were interested in being nominated to a judgeship on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Apparently he asked if you would be willing to head OLC first. I am sure you would like an opportunity to come forward and set the record straight with respect to whether and, if so, how your judicial ambitions related to your participation at OLC.

    You were nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as head of OLC on September 4, 2001. You were confirmed on October 23, 2001. While serving as the head of OLC you were then first nominated by President George W. Bush to be a Federal Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on May 22, 2002, and renominated on January 7, 2003. Along with others, I sought to explore your work at OLC but we were told by you that you would not answer those questions. You were confirmed to be a Federal Judge on March 13, 2003.

    If only Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald had been able to make public his findings from Grand Jury testimony about the Bush administration dealings, or that the laws governing appointment of an independent prosecutor had not been allowed to expire.

    My inner cynic thinks Bybee will be hanged, and the rest will just scatter.Report

  6. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Yeah, caltha. Look for scapegoats on crosses. Small fries in big chains.Report

  7. Avatar Caltha palustris says:


    Well, the scapegoats on crosses have this to say. It certainly does seem to be developing into quite the search for the truth…doesn’t it…Report