Leahy Promises Torture Investigation


Sen. Patrick Leahy pledged today that if he cannot get the votes to create a bipartisan commission to investigate U.S. torture policy under former President George W. Bush -- and regardless of calls by President Obama that any inquiry be bipartisan -- he'll conduct his own partisan inquiry in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Good on Leahy.

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    Moreover, he's calling for Bybee to resign (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by andgarden on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 11:13:04 AM EST

    Could it be Cheney told the wrong guy (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:48:27 PM EST
    to go f- himself? Leahy has a good memory.

    I thought about that too! (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by NJDem on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:55:40 PM EST
    Talk about the last laugh...

    I doubt that will have much effect (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:52:20 PM EST
    but I am glad someone is at least calling for it.

    That is great news! (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by NJDem on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 11:18:42 AM EST
    He could have just played the typical political game and had said he'd 'wait and see' if a bipartisan commission could/would yada yada....

    Good on him.  He must actually care whether or not we are a country of laws or of men...  

    I think he does (none / 0) (#18)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 02:20:14 PM EST
    He has the luxury, since he represents a very small state with very loyal voters who like him a lot.  Reelection doesn't cost him more than pennies, either, so has no crushing fund-raising burden.  He is sometimes restricted by the policy and strategy of the Dem. leadership, unlike his colleague Bernie Sanders, who couldn't care less and isn't a party member anyway.

    He sometimes, though, talks tougher than he acts.  Don't know whether that's becuse he's personally a bit timid or because Harry Reid yanks on his chain and pulls him back.


    Promise promises (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by phat on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 11:27:52 AM EST
    I don't expect much out of Leahy anymore.

    Call me when (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by joanneleon on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:05:59 PM EST
    you've set things up officially, Sen. Leahy.  

    Sorry, but his credibility is a bit low at the moment.  He appears to be in a very low risk situation too, as he has had a long career in the Senate and he has little to fear in elections.  What has been holding him back?  Just do it, Senator Leahy.

    Sometimes, (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by KeysDan on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:53:37 PM EST
    I think Senator Leahy has been hanging around Arlen Specter too long---more bark than bite.

    Dem. leadership (none / 0) (#19)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 02:21:42 PM EST
    I suspect, reels him back in.  He is a loyal party guy.

    I think for any Democrat (and I often wish (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by NJDem on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:11:40 PM EST
    more of them) to openly defy the president right now is fairly bold.  But yes, I'll reserve my happy dance until I see some action.  

    Honestly, Leahy seems to be (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:45:21 PM EST
    the guy who plays the part of the dissenter in order to make the masses feel better when they get hot and bothered and then not much happens.

    I'll be glad if I'm proven wrong (I think).  I'm not sold on going with Congressional investigations.  I'd much rather see evidence fairly and impartially gathered and presented through the court system.


    Could it be? (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 12:45:22 PM EST
    Could it be that this isn't "openly defying the president"? Obama's already backtracked on this topic, and maybe this is a coordinated effort between Leahy and the WH, ala good cop/bad cop.  

    Sorry - my cynicism thing again....


    Sure, I guess it could be any of these (none / 0) (#13)
    by NJDem on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:49:23 PM EST
    things (boy, deciphering 11-dimensional chess is hard!).  Right now I feel like things are better than they were a couple of days ago when it seemed the DC-CW was that this was water under the bridge.  

    So perhaps that explains my reserved optimism...    


    I bet (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:55:39 PM EST
    we might be able to find a decoder for 11-dimension chess by using the Google!

    Glad he's willing to (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 01:47:16 PM EST
    look partisan if necessary. PPUS has no place in this issue.

    Special procesecutor is the ideal solution IMO (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by ruffian on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 02:27:39 PM EST
    So ideal I don't even bother hoping for it. Not in this country anyway. I still have hopes for a foreign war crimes tribunal of some sort.

    A special prosecutor is the only solution, (5.00 / 0) (#23)
    by KeysDan on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 03:24:40 PM EST
    in my view. A "bi-partisan" commission!  Oh, my goodness. Based on what we have heard, just so far from Republicans, the commission makeup would include those that believe the worst that happened to Khalid Sheik Mohammed after all those waterboards was that we shrunk the neckline of his T-shirt. And, as for going it alone with just Democrats, it may not be a lot better in substance, and would surely draw intense fire while providing fodder for the fair and balanced panels telling us what to think.

    Cool (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Steve M on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 02:38:57 PM EST
    Leahy is gonna blister those guys with one of his trademark sternly-worded letters!  I hope he tears them a new paper cut.

    Will he get fifty senators behind him? (1.00 / 0) (#28)
    by diogenes on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 11:30:20 PM EST
    Even with Franken, it is quite possible that nine Democrats from conservative states plus Lieberman will bail out of this months long debacle.  Whatever the Americans think of waterboarding, they will quickly grow weary of months of partisan hearings which only make the US wallow in its faults.  I don't think that the silent majority wants to spend a year with this on the front pages.  There also remains the blowback possibility--as long as Obama doesn't prosecute, he is OK, but if Obama or Congress prosecute and there is another terror attack in the US, public opinion will turn on them.

    I didnt really think (none / 0) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 11:22:19 AM EST
    this was going away

    I'm a cynic (none / 0) (#4)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 11:27:08 AM EST
    Nothing will come of this.  A few low-level folks might get sacrificed, but this is politics. And a bonus for Obama - he still gets to campaign against Bush.

    was secret for such a long time (none / 0) (#22)
    by joze46 on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 03:11:17 PM EST
    Bush and Cheney present the paradox that the so called advanced interrogation techniques are not torture.

    My argument against it is this technique even if this is not considered torture is cruel and unusual violating the Constitution for which Bush took an oath to defend.

    This stands to display a horrible enlistment of repression into American and International cultural leadership defining punishment, a key element that it was secret for such a long time is kept out of the argument for some time, is in it self a crime. This action instills expansions leading to outlaw penal institutions across the world, secret gulags that corrupt prosecution policy, trial procedure, and judicial institutions to out of control morals. All violating the electorate basic inherent constitutional, legal methods are one thing but the huge example of international chaos in a decline of basic human decency is an outrage to leave unaddressed. That is total violations of spreading freedom.    

    There is absolutely the imagination pressured into the population line, and those extremist doing this,are really Bush and Cheney showing a simple total out of harmony human nature creating difficulty in terms of custom, culture, and attaching this torture to needed modern techniques for spreading freedom.

    This characterizes Bush as a Commander and Chief that consciously inflicts suffering as a physical punishment in a structured modeled military action that is pivotal to a way to win a war, for me is a step backwards in any sense of spreading freedom. Letting it go will give Cheney's basic mind set an open moral authority to be able to continue this action in the future. It's wrong it should be judged now and this torture stuff should be stopped.

    Calls for Bipartisanship (none / 0) (#24)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 08:18:00 PM EST
    should really be calls for civility and staying away from ad hominem attacks.  Never was bipartisanship, just politicians who knew how to disagree on important issues but act out of respect for those on other side of the aisle who deserved it.

    I think what someone needs to point (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 08:53:44 PM EST
    out is that the truth doesn't have a party affiliation - or isn't supposed to.  At least not as far as I'm concerned.

    For me, on this issue, it is more important to put together a commission with people who have a commitment to the truth - no matter where it leads - and who understand that what is at stake is so much larger than any one person, or one party, than it is to have equal numbers of the members whose commitment lies with protecting a particular brand of turf and making headlines.

    I think this is a real test of who we are as a people, and it worries me more than I can express that we face the very real possibility of failing that test.  I wish I felt that the person leading the country was a person with the strength of purpose to commit to what will be a long and arduous exercise, but I don't.


    Anne, I couldn' (none / 0) (#27)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 10:51:12 PM EST

    agree more....

    My comment was directed toward the 'post-partisan' theme in general, not as related to the investigation of torture. Sorry I confused the two.


    What Country (none / 0) (#29)
    by CDN Ctzn on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 12:18:37 AM EST
    are we talking about again?
    I agree with you but it won't happen, not here, not ever. Sorry to put a dose of cold water on something I totally agree with, but life in the good old USA has made me this way!

    Rule of law? It's not the 10 Commandments (none / 0) (#26)
    by ericinatl on Wed Apr 22, 2009 at 09:12:39 PM EST
    People like to say "rule of law" like it's the Ten Commandments, etched into stone and infinitely knowable. But the truth is, the rule of law is incredibly malleable and subject to interpretation. A conservative administration is going to interpret the same laws in a very different manner than a progressive administration. And thus, each administration has a lot of latitude in establishing what the "rule of law" is during its tenure.

    You may not like it, but that is what political power is all about it. The Obama administration likes to say that it won the last election and the Republicans need to step off. And that's true. But the Obama administration needs to realize that the Democrats lost the prior 2 elections and move on.