Friday, February 27, 2009

Legal accountability: Nancy Pelosi supports it


Glenn Greenwald has been a hardliner on legal accountability for Dick Cheney, George Bush and other officials of their administration over the torture program and other serious crimes of which their administration was guilty.

In Pelosi criticizes Truth Commission as inadequate, advocates criminal prosecutions Salon 02/26/09, Glenn approves the statement that the House Speaker gave in an interview with Rachel Maddow to be broadcast Thursday evening, in which she not only endorses the idea of criminal prosecutions. She also expresses serious concern about a Truth Commission such as that proposed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy.

Glenn has been friendly to the Truth Commission idea, which is prominently advocated by human rights attorney Scott Horton, as a useful preliminary investigative phase leading to prosecutions. He even has a post of the same date explaining that: Why a war crimes fact-finding commission could uniquely enable prosecutions.

Pelosi is also talking a little more about the Congressional briefings she and other received on at least aspects of programs like torture and mass surveillance that involved US officials committing crimes. We mostly heard the Republican side of this story, which suggested that knowing about it meant that those Democrats were complicit in the programs.

Which does remind me: I'm glad the Dems are gathering up the gumption to at least talk seriously about proceeding against Cheney-Bush administration criminals. But we urgently needed them to be doing this eight years ago and every years since then. The Scalia Five installing Bush as President in 2000 should have been a signal that the Republicans really, really didn't care about playing by the rules. And it should have set the Democrats to fighting them all the way. But better late than never.

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