The first step of accountability isn’t prosecutions. Rather, we need a national Truth Commission to lead a process of soul searching and national cleansing.Perhaps Mr. Kristof would like to start by having his independent body investigate his breakfast meeting with the Wilsons. But seriously,
..today, we need a similar Truth Commission, with subpoena power, to investigate the abuses in the aftermath of 9/11.
There's no doubt that some in America wanted to "open a can" after 9/11. It's human nature to want to strike back in-kind. But it's not right, and most of us ARE collectively ashamed of things like Abu Ghraib. Evidently we waterboarded the top echelon of AQ detainees back when the system was blinking red about a possible WMD follow-on attack. It's likely most Americans don't have a warm fuzzy about that but just as many probably understand the conundrum. Others see it in black and white--waterboarding = war criminal, no excuses.
Actually, this sounds somewhat like the "I'm Sorry" websites that popped up a few years ago, all in the name of repairing some amorphous reputation presumably ruined by roughing up a few hardened terrorists after 9/11. Sorry indeed--if our world rep wasn't sullied by a president adulterizing a 21 year old office intern, lying to a Grand Jury, or blowing smoke while bin Laden issued fatwas declaring a war that led to 9/11, then it's not possible.
Krisfof gives some examples of his GWoT heroes that might testify in such a proceeding:
..the Immigration and Naturalization Service commissioner, James Ziglar, pushed back against plans for door-to-door sweeps of Arab-American neighborhoods. The book recounts that in one meeting, Mr. Ziglar bluntly declared, “We do have this thing called the Constitution,” adding that such sweeps would be illegal and “I’m not going to be part of it.”Amazingly, nothing like that actually occurred in America, which seems to dispel the notion that Bush never takes advice. Here's a few more heroes:
But OK, some of these people men were heroes, including civil liberties groups and lawyers for detainees.His hero lawyers would have demanded top secret intelligence information in the discovery process, which if denied would have freed their terrorist clients, and if allowed would have made networks and sources vulnerable. Ask Andy McCarthy about what happened in 1993 with the Blind Sheikh. Or better yet, ask John Yoo.
But OK, granted it takes some nads to speak out and they're heroes, just like the ones who shot Abu Zubaydah trying to escape justice or those who splattered Mohammed Atef all over the desert (without trial). So far Kristof's industry has done very little to identify heroes in this war--now he's finally found some, not surprisingly ones fighting against the administration. All part of the narrative, which if expanded through a formal commission could perhaps ensure Democrat rule for decades, especially with help from Mr. Kristof's guilt-ridden compatriots.
Far-fetched? Liberal fantasy? Maybe. Republicans are certainly not guiltless saints and post-mortems can be useful. If anyone actually committed a war crime--intentionally--then they should face charges. It's just hard to believe such a commission would ever find anyone it subpoenaed as "not guilty". They would be considered guilty by just showing up.
And, while Obama might not relish the idea of rehashing the past through some kangaroo court, his government will be run entirely by the likes of Henry Waxman and Harry Reid--with a cheering section of Kristofs in the media--so literally anything is possible.
But shouldn't we really be trying to bring the world together to respond to these threats? Imagine if one were identified tomorrow, just how things might change overnight. The ultimate WMD, so to speak. Of course, everyone would expect America to do something about it, unilaterally if necessary.