Thursday, March 5, 2009

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Commission of Inquiry

The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday held its hearing on "Getting to the Truth Through a Nonpartisan Commission of Inquiry."  Witness testimony and a webcast link are here.

Here's from Chairman Leahy's opening statement:

There are some who resist any effort to look back [on Bush administration practices in the war on terror] at all, while others are fixated on prosecution, even if it takes all of the next eight years, or more, and further divides this country.

Over the last month, I have suggested a middle ground to get to the truth of what went on during the last several years, in a way that invites cooperation.  I believe that that might best be accomplished through a nonpartisan commission of inquiry.  I would like to see this done in a manner removed from partisan politics.  Such a commission of inquiry would shed light on what mistakes were made so that we can learn from these errors and not repeat them.

Today's hearing is to explore that possibility.  I am encouraged that many have already embraced this idea, including several of the distinguished witnesses I welcome today.

With all the focus on the Bush administration and its officials, I hope any commission will also examine Congress's role.


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