More In Favor Of Truth Commision

Like me, Sully sees Cheney's request for more disclosure on torture as an opportunity for a Truth Commission:

[T]his seems to me to be a real opportunity to set up the Truth Commission many of us have been asking for. Release all the data on the torture - all of it - alongside the intelligence we got from it. . . . This will take time - and should be done carefully and exhaustively. But it is vital if the US is to remain within the legal and moral bounds of Western civilization.

I agree. See also Jason Zengerle, Spencer Ackerman, Jules Crittenden, and others. Speaking for me only

< Does President Obama Have The Right To Stop Torture Prosecutions? | NYTimes: "Pressure Grows To Investigate" Torture >
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    Tell me (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:21:30 AM EST
    Why is it relevant to establish exactly what intelligence was gained through torture?

    Sure, I'd like to knock down the right-wing talking point that we obtained valuable information as much as the next guy, but at the end of the day isn't it a moot point?  It's not like the law against torture provides for an exception if you wind up getting useful information.

    And anyway, when we say torture doesn't work, I'm pretty sure we're saying that it's not a reliable source of truthful information, not that torture never, ever results in anything useful.

    It is only relevant (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:25:42 AM EST
    to building the political will to having a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

    Otherwise, it is irrelevant.

    That would be a point I would hope such a commission would make.


    Diane Feinstein (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by MKS on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 11:23:34 AM EST
    wants Obama to suspend his no-prosecution stance while she and the Senate Intelligence Committee that she chairs investigate the evidence on torture.  She believes it will take 8 months....

    In today's LA Times:

    But the White House came under new pressure Monday to leave open the possibility of prosecutions.

    Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, asked Obama in a letter that pledges of immunity "be held in reserve" until her committee had completed an investigation.

    The panel is expected to review thousands of classified CIA cables and other materials describing the interrogations of self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and others. Feinstein said the review would take eight months.

    Do we want to trust Difi on this matter? (none / 0) (#19)
    by AX10 on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 12:30:44 PM EST
    She has a record of being highly unreliable.

    excellent question (none / 0) (#20)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 01:12:27 PM EST
    She isn't frivolous (none / 0) (#21)
    by MKS on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 01:21:28 PM EST
    She wouldn't waste her time if she didn't think there was something there.

    We'll see.

    Where she has backed the conservative side of things, she has said so openly.

    She did say in June 2001 that she was very, very concerned about a terrorist attack in the U.S. because of some very troubling intelligence chatter....

    Dodd said on MTP (or similary show) in Janaury 2001 that he was concerned about a terrorist attack in "Manhattan."


    Well (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 08:59:33 AM EST
    someone is going to have to convince Obama that he doesn't have to have Republicans sign on.

    Well (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:03:44 AM EST
    Dick Cheney just signed on it seems to me.

    Dick (none / 0) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:05:05 AM EST
    and every talking head at FOX news.  lets give them what they want.

    Cheney signed on to nothing (none / 0) (#12)
    by Catch 22 on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 10:53:23 AM EST
    Like I posted yesterday there is no way that Obama will release "the intelligence we got from it". No way. And if anyone believes he will then they believe in magic ponies too.

    Cheney got a free swing at the ball. And he will get as many free swings as he wants because he knows what he asked for will never be released. Anyone who does not know that does not know how the DC game is played.

    I ask Sullivan where your intelligence in thinking Obama will ever release "the intelligence we got from it [the torture]? Who in their right mind would ever entertain the thought of such a thing?

    Let's face it - Obama totally screwed up. Even Panetta wanted him to redact much of what was released but the Junior Senator from Illinois knew better than Panetta. Ha! Lesson learned Junior Senator.

    Obama will take the heat on this without flinching. As we have come to know he is willing to do that. He will not move forward. And with good reason. The more he gives the more the 'thinking' people like Sullivan will want. They have to write about something after all.

    As we speak Obama is meeting with staff on how they are going to change the subject. This will go about as far as the investigation of Roland Burris - nowhere. Everyone was screaming about Burris. To what avail? DC knows how to quiet people. It's called turn a deaf ear.

    And then we have Feinstein who is grandstanding through a letter. Wow! Hawk Feinstein who would never let State Secrets of the intelligence we got through torture come to light, just as any other rational person would not.

    So Dick Cheney take as many free swings at the ball as you want. You know they is no striking out. You know you can put any meme out there you want to. You know if Obama was foolish enough to put more intelligence out there that the GOP would eat him for lunch as a irrational inexperienced person who has right to be in the WH if he is willing to give away intelligence to score political points. And the nation would agree. Hello 2012.

    And Truth and Reconcilliation? = Magic Ponies.


    Then he gets nothing (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 10:59:26 AM EST
    I disagree with you though.

    Cheney got what he wanted (none / 0) (#15)
    by Catch 22 on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 11:20:41 AM EST
    At first he go a 95 mph fastball thrown at his head. Then as Cheney does he turned it into a hanging curve ball. And every pitch hereafter will be a hanging curve ball for Cheney. And who knows maybe Bush will grab a bat too.

    Does Obama want that? Nope.

    And what is it you disagree with? Sullivan actually thinking Obama will release classified intelligence on what was learned from torture interrogations?

    Or do you disagree that Obama is going to turn a deaf ear when he has done so on may other occasions? Or maybe you disagree that he is meeting with staff on how they are going to change the subject? Or do you think that Feinstein really will let the intelligence we got through torture come to light? I wouldn't bet on that.

    I know the blogs will be all over this for the rest of the week. Maybe into next week. And like the Burris thing they will end up with nothing except their pants down around their ankles.

    The public at large already knows we tortured. They knew that before Obama mistakingly released what he did. But do they want any intelligence that was  got from those interrogations to be released? A huge majority would say no to that.


    Pretty silly (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 11:33:27 AM EST
    I suggest you read Zelikow's piece on the subject.

    Zelikow's (none / 0) (#18)
    by Catch 22 on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 11:50:04 AM EST
    article today doesn't say anything that has not been said before. While it talks about the legalities and lack of effectiveness of the matter it does not address the politics of the matter that I posted about. Nor does it talk about releasing the classified intelligence gathered and what a bad idea that would be as I did.

    Zelikow doesn't negate a thing I posted.

    My post is silly. What is silly is saying Cheney has signed on to a Truth and Reconciliation hearing! Nothing could be further from the Truth.


    sadly (none / 0) (#13)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 10:58:38 AM EST
    I agree with most of this.  I would still like to see a TARC.  but I am not holding my breath.

    So in your (none / 0) (#22)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 01:31:51 PM EST
    Torture loving world it would have been better to pretend nothing happened all along?

    Get real (none / 0) (#23)
    by Catch 22 on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 01:53:36 PM EST
    I never suggested that and the world never pretended that. We all know what happened. quit being a smarta**.

    My post was about political reality. That must of went over your head.


    Release the documentation (none / 0) (#4)
    by lilburro on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:07:55 AM EST
    but I'm just not sure that we're ever going to get the truth.  The CIA lied to Congress (Harman says she was misled about the number of interrogation tapes the CIA possessed).  And then there is Mary McCarthy.

    Plus if you put Kappes and Brennan on the stand, what are they going to say?  Are they actually going to tell the truth?  We know what Brennan believes about rendition already.

    Do we really have to go through a whole process of renewing our committment to the rule of law by rediscovering that torture doesn't work, and that it breaks common, founding values shared by nations?  Why can't we just use the law we have?

    I just kind of feel a Truth commission will all be done on the terms of liars in the know, and we will be dragged down to their level.

    Lying under oath (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:26:43 AM EST
    Well, that is a serious thing to do, especially when documentation can refute your lies.

    I suspect folks will be unlikely to do it.


    But if a CIA agent (none / 0) (#8)
    by lilburro on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:30:50 AM EST
    from that time comes to the stand and says, "we did not treat them in cruel and inhumane ways," what are we going to do?  Is it not a concern that they will still be speaking Bush-ese?  

    And heck, they destroyed all the evidence.  I would like heads to roll for that before this starts...and if none do, I think it takes away from the seriousness of the Truth Commission right off the bat.


    Ask him (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:33:50 AM EST
    if he believed waterboarding was not inhumane?

    Frankly, that would be the easiest cross in history.


    Hmm (none / 0) (#10)
    by lilburro on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:41:39 AM EST
    would you have to provide immunity for those people then?  I mean...if you said you DID believe it was inhumane, doesn't that hurt your possible defense of following the legal memos in "good faith?"

    Well (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 09:48:35 AM EST
    if they testify as you say, then no.

    If they tell the truth, then yes, you would.