The Senate Judiciary Committee is conducting a hearing today titled "Getting to the Truth Through a Nonpartisan Commission of Inquiry." Dan McLaughlin has an excellent post on Red State and I am seeking to build on the argument that the purpose of this commission is not to set up a so called "Truth Commission" to learn from mistakes made after 9-11, but to set up a partisan witch hunt. It is clear that the left is furthering the legal trend of criminalizing politics.
I would think that most conservatives agree that the idea of a commission to study and learn lessons from the Global War on Terror is a good idea, but a partisan commission to keep President Bush's name in the news by selectively assassinating the character of former Bush Administration officials and potentially prosecuting them is not a good idea.
According to the Legal Times, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has been discussing the idea of a Commission for a few weeks and stated in a speech to Georgetown University that he would like to see a commission investigate the Bush Administration detainee and interrogation policies to the war in Iraq and even the firing of U.S. Attorneys. The panel would be bipartisan, yet who would appoint the Republicans to the panel? Also, the Commission would have subpoena power and the power to grant immunity from prosecution. This would allow for Bush Administration officials to testify, under oath, to discuss other Bush Administration officials for the purposes of prosecuting them. Does this sound like a Witch Hunt to you -- It does to me.
The left is loving it. Mark Benjamin of Salon has a column titled "How to build a Torture Commission," where he argues that
Spearheading Senate efforts to establish a torture commission is Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse. As a member of both the Judiciary Committee and the Intelligence Committee, Whitehouse is privy to information about interrogations he can't yet share. Still, regarding a potential torture commission, he told Salon, "I am convinced it is going to happen." In fact, his fervor on the issue was palpable. When asked if there is a lot the public still does not know about these issues during the Bush administration, his eyes grew large and he nodded slowly. "Stay on this," he said. "This is going to be big."
The bottom line is that the so called "Truth Commission" would keep former President George W. Bush's name in the news for months or years to come and should be renamed the "Bush Bashing Commission." It serves an important purpose for the left to use the power of government to prosecute Bush Administration officials and keep people minds off of President Obama's vast expansion of the size and scope of the federal government.