Senate Democratic leaders oppose the immediate establishment of a “Truth Commission” to probe harsh interrogation tactics as they face pressure to reveal what they knew of practices the Obama administration has since labeled “torture.”
While nearly all Democrats this week backed the creation of a special commission to probe the causes of the financial crisis, and while the party previously supported the independent 9/11 Commission, its leaders on Thursday balked at the idea of taking a similar approach to unearthing answers about the controversial interrogation methods approved by the Bush administration.
There’s actually a fairly significant difference between investigating ‘the causes of the financial crisis’ and investigating ‘controversial interrogation methods': no, not the fact that Democrats were only up to their eyeballs in one or the other. They were, of course, heavily involved in both. No, the difference is that in the case of the financial crisis there is actually a national consensus that the end result was bad. The same consensus does not agree on the interrogation methods*.
This makes life difficult for the Democrats, who may now be regretting staking out so publicly such a campaign contribution-friendly position on the issue. They were more or less counting on their Republican counterparts to keep their own mouths shut on the subject; after all, said counterparts let them get away with it for almost a decade. But what the Democrats didn’t consider – or at least point out to the President – was that the GOP was keeping quiet on this issue for the sake of the war in Iraq – which has now been won. With that win comes the removal of the most potent check against the GOP coming out swinging, which is why you’re seeing things like Rep. Peter Hoekstra’s surprisingly blunt language:
Considering that he’s talking about the Speaker of the House there, yes, that’s ‘blunt.’ And that’s why he’s calling for full disclosure, along with pretty much everybody else. The Right doesn’t need to pull its punches any more, and if the Left really wants to have this discussion… well, it’s not like records weren’t kept and papers weren’t signed.
Awkward records and papers.
PS: If you’re looking for someone to blame for the Democrats’ collective headache, really: look no further than the guy in the Oval Office. Muddled this up nicely, he did.
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