Truth Commission
By: Mark W Adams

Would you like Freedom Fries with that pound of flesh?

Now that it's official, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence finally releasing the last two reports of "Phase II" of its inquiry about the Administration lying about the pre-war threat from Iraq and the Fixing of Intelligence by Doug Feith's office at the Pentagon (PDF's here and here), and in light of the confessions of Scott McClellen confirming everything and more said by Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke, Thomas E. Ricks, and so many other men and women of conscious who raised the alarm that the Bush administration was committing grave crimes against the world and shredding the Constitution, what do we do about it.

From the moment Nancy Pelosi stated that impeachment was "off the table," we knew that the Democrats, even if they gain all the levers of power, are not interested in getting even, in justice, so much as they are interested in getting power for themselves, wresting it from the criminals now in charge (a good thing in and of itself) and fixing what is broken -- but have no stomach for making anyone pay for what they did.

Except for Dennis Kucinich and hints from John Edwards, I don't recall much along the lines of a desire to prosecute anyone from the presidential candidates either. And no doubt George W. Bush will issue blanket pardons for anyone remotely involved in his breathtaking racket before he leaves office, leaving only him as a possible defendant in American Courts. I seriously doubt President Obama will consider initiating such a politically charged prosecution in keeping with his mission to heal the nation and move forward, undoing the madness of the last eight years. It probably wouldn't seem something that would help his reelection prospects or help maintain and expand the Democratic majorities in Congress either.

I disagree, but then again they don't pay me millions of dollars as a political consultant giving bad advice to candidates. But that's another story.

Rachel Maddow speaks for many, myself included, insisting that there is a difference between relying on flawed intelligence and "deliberately telling the American People something you know is not accurate" (ie. lying us into war) is "worthy of a prosecution or two." However her boss at Air America, Mark Green has another idea. Four actually:

  1. "Vote Big" giving the Democrats a large mandate and sending the GOP a clear message. Of course herding cats is an easier task, and probably more fun.

  2. "Shame 'em" challenging the the media to do it's job. Good luck with that.

  3. "Sue" "Hit them in the pocketbook." You can kinda tell Mr. Green isn't a lawyer. While going after Halliburton may be worthwhile, government officials have qualified immunity from prosecution when excercizing and acting within their legally defined areas of discresion. The Iraq war, for all the fraud involved in gaining permission to use force from Congress, that permission was granted by folks like John Kerry, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton voting with the GOP majority for the AUMF back in 2002.

  4. "Create a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)" In essence, this would be a national confessional, a catharsis for those of us who at least desire truth above consequences. Not quite the Nuremberg trials, but public acknowledgment that atrocities were committed even if no one is punished.
Richard Clarke expressed similar desires to see a Truth Commission modeled on post-Aparteid South Africa on Countdown last night. And some true optimists out there in blogtopia (y!sctp) believe that much like the example of post WWII Germany, the people of the United States would not be completely consumed by such a circus as parading all the perpetrators that have been involved in the litany of high crimes before cameras to confess their sins.

Somehow I doubt it. Our uniquly tabloid culture , where a minor celebrity's double-murder trial can take over the national consciousness and expose the tenuous seams that divide us more than unite us, would gorge itself on the spectacle. I know I wouldn't miss a minute of this show.

However, it would be cathartic. The alternative is to wait for history's verdict, which might then not even be the resolution we need. My Armenia friend Ara could enlighten you much further on why sometimes just waiting on history to decide who was wrong and who was right can fester instead of heal.

The government of Turkey continues to call for Truth and Reconciliation of the horrific events they still refuse to officially call the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23, yet critics argue that an Historian's Commission telling "both sides" (no better that the first drafters of history we have today on every talking head program) would amount to a whitewash, or worse -- elevating the lies and coverups to be valid viewpoints.

I don't think we can await history's verdict. I know I don't want to. But what I want is to see every son of a neocon creep locked up while they wait upon history.