Of *course* ‘Leaders balk at setting up truth panel.’

‘Truth’ is precisely what the Democrats don’t want right now.

Senate Democratic leaders oppose the immediate establishment of a “Truth Commission” to probe harsh interrogation tactics as they face pressure to reveal what they knew of practices the Obama administration has since labeled “torture.”

While nearly all Democrats this week backed the creation of a special commission to probe the causes of the financial crisis, and while the party previously supported the independent 9/11 Commission, its leaders on Thursday balked at the idea of taking a similar approach to unearthing answers about the controversial interrogation methods approved by the Bush administration.

There’s actually a fairly significant difference between investigating ‘the causes of the financial crisis’ and investigating ‘controversial interrogation methods’: no, not the fact that Democrats were only up to their eyeballs in one or the other. They were, of course, heavily involved in both. No, the difference is that in the case of the financial crisis there is actually a national consensus that the end result was bad. The same consensus does not agree on the interrogation methods*. Continue reading Of *course* ‘Leaders balk at setting up truth panel.’

Obama caught between rock and a hard place on ‘torture.’

Or, why the Romans did that “Remember, thou art mortal” thing*.

Rep Peter Hoekstra of Michigan would like to remind people in general – and the White House in particular – that the events of the last eight years didn’t actually occur in a vacuum:

Congress Knew About the Interrogations

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair got it right last week when he noted how easy it is to condemn the enhanced interrogation program “on a bright sunny day in April 2009.” Reactions to this former CIA program, which was used against senior al Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003, are demonstrating how little President Barack Obama and some Democratic members of Congress understand the dire threats to our nation.


It was not necessary to release details of the enhanced interrogation techniques, because members of Congress from both parties have been fully aware of them since the program began in 2002. We believed it was something that had to be done in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to keep our nation safe. After many long and contentious debates, Congress repeatedly approved and funded this program on a bipartisan basis in both Republican and Democratic Congresses.

Rep Hoesktra goes on with this shot across the administration’s bow: “I have asked Mr. Blair to provide me with a list of the dates, locations and names of all members of Congress who attended briefings on enhanced interrogation techniques.” That being, of course, the thing that the White House probably doesn’t want publicized.  It also doesn’t want it publicized that it doesn’t want it publicized, but that’s normal for administrations in the middle of an embarrassment.

Continue reading Obama caught between rock and a hard place on ‘torture.’