Thursday, February 12, 2009

Americans want inquiry into "war on terror" tactics

Our attention may be focused on the economic meltdown swirling around us, but we aren't suffering from amnesia and we're not ready to let the Bush administration off the hook. A new USA TODAY - Gallup Poll finds most of us favor investigating whether the Bush administration broke the law in its tactics in the "war on terror."
Close to two-thirds of those surveyed said there should be investigations into allegations that the Bush team used torture to interrogate terrorism suspects and its program of wiretapping U.S. citizens without getting warrants. Almost four in 10 favor criminal investigations and about a quarter want investigations without criminal charges. One-third said they want nothing to be done.

Even more people want action on alleged attempts by the Bush team to use the Justice Department for political purposes. Four in 10 favored a criminal probe, three in 10 an independent panel, and 25% neither.
Groups like the ACLU are pressing for inquires into whether the Bush administration violated U.S. and international bans on torture and the constitutional rights to privacy, and House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers has called for a panel to gather facts and make recommendations, which could possibly lead to prosecutions.

Senator Patrick Leahy has also proposed a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate abuses, including the use of torture, warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition, and executive overrides. According to Leahy...
Rather than vengeance, we need a fair-minded pursuit of what actually happened. The best way to move forward is getting to the truth, finding out what happened, so we can make sure it does not happen again.
Thousands of Americans lives were lost in Iraq, along with billions of dollars and our country's moral authority. We can't turn our back on that page in history as though it never happened. We deserve answers.

Click here to sign Leahy's online petition urging Congress to consider establishing a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate the Bush-Cheney Administration's abuses.

Gallup says, "At this point, it is unclear whether investigations into possible Bush-era wrongdoing will in fact take place," but when asked about Leahy's plan, President Obama said he would look at it.

Sign the petition and send the message that letting the Bush administration off the hook is wrong.

(Cross posted at Blogging for MI.)


abi said...

I wish I could say I was hopeful that a real investigation of the people responsible for torture and for Iraq was likely, with real consequences for anyone found guilty, but...

Kathy said...

I have to agree with you, Abi. I'm not too optimistic either, but I still think it's important for the public to keep pressuring lawmakers. If we roll over and accept that they won't do anything, that's probably what will happen.