Friday, February 12, 2010

Let the Truth Come Out

Blogger Jonathan Bernstein argues for Obama to issue a full pardon to everyone who engaged in or authorized torture in the US government, and then to follow it up with a commission to investigate what really happened.

Sullivan agrees:

[I]n some ways, given the experience of previous instances in countries where new governments have to confront the war crimes of their predecessors while continuing to govern, this is a very promising idea. It's particularly promising because it prevents the Obama administration from becoming complicit, as we have seen already in the Binyam Mohamed case.

The perverse truth is that, in some ways, the Obama administration is in greater violation of Geneva than even the Bush-Cheney administration.

This is because Geneva requires every government to do a thorough investigation of torture and to bring all parties to justice. Obama simply wants to "move forward." While it's probably very true that investigating torture that no longer occurs is politically very dangerous when the economy is so vulnerable, and prosecutions could derail efforts in a crippled Congress to focus on legislating needed financial and healthcare reforms. To pardon them all feels, to me, like the path of least resistance to get to the truth. The irony of this is that you'll never get Bush or Cheney or anyone in their regime to admit the truth; they're too addicted to their stories to admit that they misled anyone. They'll take their dark secrets to the grave.

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