Monday, February 9, 2009

Truth and Reconcilation

Earlier today, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), stated that he would like to form a "Truth and Reconcilation" commission to investigate the abuses of power that occurred in the Justice Department and the White House in the previous administration.  This evening, during his first prime time press conference, President Obama was asked what he thought of the idea.  Though he was careful to state that he wanted to "look[] forward, not backward," he also had this to say:

[M]y administration is going to operate in a way that leaves no doubt that we do not torture, that we abide by the Geneva Conventions, and that we observe our traditions of rule of law and due process as we are vigorously going after terrorists that can do us harm . . .

My view is also that nobody is above the law and if there are clear instances of wrongdoing that people should be prosecuted just like any ordinary citizen . . .

The idea of holding even those at the highest echelons of power accountable is of course, not new.  "The government of the United States has been emphatically termed a government of laws, and not of men.”  Shades of Marbury, no?   This can only become more interesting as it develops.


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But let's be clear about this: a truth and reconciliation commission is not the same thing as "holding even those at the highest echelons of power accountable."

Posted by: Patrick S. O'Donnell | Feb 10, 2009 9:53:09 AM

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