Friday, February 20, 2009

Just Sayin'

For a few months, probably since Nov. 5th at least, I've been kicking around the idea of a truth and reconciliation commission approach to looking into possible (he says politely) crimes committed by the Bush Administration. My thinking on this has been driven by a small amount of sympathy for those who were in charge being understandably panicked right after 9/11, plus a large feeling that it could bring progress on all of our problems in the here and now to a standstill, plus a feeling of about the same size that you can't just let the last eight years get swept under the rug. The T&RC approach seems like a way to duck the worst of the witch hunt! accusations that, say, a special prosecutor investigation would provoke. And really, at this point, momentary fantasies of W cutting brush, for real, on a chain gang, for a lot longer than it takes to take a picture aside, I'm not out for vengeance so much as I just want to know what happened so we can know what we have to fix.

I'm happy to see the idea actually getting brought up by some Dems with clout, but I'm going to hold off on looking into it seriously until I get the sense there's a little more there there. (I remain occasionally allergic to hope.) But I couldn't help but noticing that as soon as the Dems started making a little noise in this direction, the vast right wing noise machine revved right up.

Case in point: Atrios says:

Every village has an idiot -- but what if the entire village is rife with them?

Apparently, their names go into Fred Hiatt's speed dial directory.

Yeah, that Fred Hiatt. WaPo editor (cf.).

One of the op-eds Atrios linked to was about the possible T&RC idea, one of those Very Serious thumbsuckers Warning Of Consequences, by two guys I never heard of, David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey. Scrolled down to the bottom after I could get my eyes to stop rolling from reading the first few paragraphs …

The writers are Washington lawyers who served in the Justice Department during the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Next question?


ArtSparker said...

I think about that too- whether a hue and cry about Bush would divert our attention, Part of the reason we got into this was evasion of responsibility - to focus on individuals, even individuals who did a lot of harm, may be a distraction both from our own involvement (houses bought with no down payments, most of the electorate being behind the War in Iraq) and ability at present to fix the mess as it stands. But in the most just of all possible worlds, Bush and others would be serving time.

bjkeefe said...

You're right about the evasion of responsibility aspect, Susan. I should have added it to the list of conflicting factors that have left me less than bloodthirsty for investigations. As you say, the Dems in Congress let a lot of this happen, and most of the electorate was giving them the clear signal of approval.

Still, given how much lying it took to get everyone to that state prior to the invasion of Iraq, and toss in all the things that we would not have wanted done in our name (torture, wiretapping, kidnappings, profiteering with cronies like Blackwater and Halliburton/KBR) once the war started, along with all of the other questionable activities less directly related to The War on Turrur, ...

Well, I can work myself back into an angry and punitive mindset without half-trying, that's for sure.

But, deep breath, it's getting it all out in the open that I care most about now.