Truth Commission or More Rendition?

If you happened to have missed the Opinionator piece in the NY Times last Friday, I suggest you go back and give it a read.  The article entitled, Truth Commission or More Rendition, provides numerous new clippings about the growing debate around Obama’s handling of Guantanamo, the use of executive privilege and state secrets, and whether or not he has decided that Bush’s tactics on the war on terror might prove to be useful for his administration as well.

In general, I think this piece, which is a lot like my favorite new section of the NYT “Room for Debate,” does a good job of providing the reader with commentary and content, rather than just one or the other.  I certainly hope that several members of the former administration are put on trial for breaking domestic and international laws regarding torture and the treatment of prisoners.  I want Obama to end the program of extraordinary rendition unequivocally, and understand that state secrets are important, but not if they make it looks like they are being used to simply cover up a crime.

Perhaps the best part for me was the debate between Mark Ambinder and Glenn Greewald around the use of ‘state secrets.’  It is undoubtedly a spirited argument about whether Obama’s moves are justifiable for those looking for him to make a clean break with the Bush administration.  To me, I agree far more with Greenwald about this issue.  If Obama and the Democrats decide to place a wall of secrecy around Guantanamo, then they are really undermining the entire argument that they are the party of change after 8 years of Bush and the Republicans.

2 responses to “Truth Commission or More Rendition?

  1. The claim of the Obama Administration that they would like to “move forward” while not actively pursuing investigations into crimes committed, while claiming that “no one is above the law”, is contradictory.

    What will deter future elected officials from committing serious crimes if some of the most serious crimes from the last eight years go unpunished? Greenwald’s analysis of the issue has been on the mark and quite important to this debate on whether to pursue investigations against Bush Administration officials.

    • I agree with Greenwald far more than Ambinder on this one. Considering how much evidence there is that crimes were committed, it should be a no-brainer. I can actually imagine a scenario where Bush is largely left alone, but Cheney, Rummie and a raft of people involved in Gitmo, Iraq and Afghanistan are put on trial for flagrant human rights violations. We shall see. Hopefully, Leahy will push through something, but I have my doubts.

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