President Obama rebuffed calls for a commission to investigate alleged abuses under the Bush administration in fighting terrorism, telling congressional leaders at a White House meeting yesterday that he wants to look forward instead of litigating the past.Interestingly, Rainbow Brite seems to be implicitly assuming that an investigation would lead to litigation -- which, I guess, is what you'd call the process of serving justice when you want to disparage that process.
In a lengthy exchange with House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), Obama appeared to back away from a statement earlier this week that suggested he could support an independent commission to examine possible abuses, according to several attendees who spoke on the condition of anonymity so they could discuss the private meeting freely. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, also seeking to clarify the president's position, told reporters that "the president determined the concept didn't seem altogether workable in this case" because of the intense partisan atmosphere built around the issue.Ah, but that was Tuesday, and this is Friday, and somebody "has his mind right."
"The last few days might be evidence of why something like this might just become a political back and forth," Gibbs said.
The push for a "truth commission," which grew from the efforts of a few human rights groups, gained fresh momentum with last week's release of the memos from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel that provided the basis for the enhanced interrogation techniques, including the practice of simulated drowning known as waterboarding. Obama has said he is opposed to holding CIA interrogators legally accountable, but in a statement last week, he left open the possibility of legal jeopardy for those who formulated the policy.
On Tuesday, Obama explicitly raised the prospect of legal consequences for Bush administration officials who authorized the techniques applied to "high value" terrorism suspects, and said if Congress is intent on investigating the tactics, an independent commission might provide a less partisan forum than a congressional panel.
Earlier yesterday, Boehner criticized Pelosi and leading congressional Democrats who are pushing for the panel by noting that they had been briefed on interrogation tactics as far back as September 2002.So, Speaker Pelosi's telling us that she and her fellow gangsters were told that the Bushies had the ability to torture ... but never, never would she suspect -- oh, my, no! -- that they were actually doing any torturing. Sure, I'm buying that. I'm a credulous fellow, I am.
"All of this information was downloaded to congressional leaders of both parties with no objections being raised," Boehner told reporters. "Not a word was raised at the time, not one word."
But Pelosi said leaders were never briefed about the actual use of waterboarding, saying top lawmakers were told only about the existence of legal opinions supporting its rationale.
"We were not -- I repeat -- were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used. What they did tell us is that they had . . . the Office of Legal Counsel opinions [and] that they could be used, but not that they would," she said.
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"They don't come in to consult," Pelosi said of administration officials. "They come in to notify. They come in to notify. And you can't -- you can't change what they're doing unless you can act as a committee or as a class. You can't change what they're doing."
And then: "You can't change what they're doing." No, there wasn't a thing you could do. You couldn't vote to defund the war. You couldn't refuse retroactive immunity to the gummint and corporate criminals who illegally trashed our telecommunications privacy. You couldn't even make a pass at impeaching George the Slow ... or even Darth Cheney.
C'mon. Of course you could've. You just didn't want to. You're not stupid; you know that what goes around, comes around. Truly, the GOP is the dumber of the two War Party caucuses. It may be that the Democrats are the more evil of the two, by some near-infinitesimal margin; but the GOP is truly, truly the Stupid Party.