Wednesday, March 04, 2009

US Truth Commission? Debate at NYT Room for Debate Blog

The NYT Room for Debate blog is kind enough occasionally to invite me to contribute on law topics. We recently had a mini-debate on the question of whether Congress should empanel some kind of “truth commission” to deal with issues of torture and other things from the Bush administration. I was the voice in opposition. Other contributors were David Cole, Michael Ratner, Margaret Satterthwaite, and Jenny Martinez. A good time had by all, etc. - it’s a good short summary of the arguments.

It generated a lot of comments - several thousand rather than the usual several hundred - from Times readers around the country. If there was anything that surprised me in the comments, it was the number that simply said, the economy is too urgent, it’s time to move on and deal with what’s in front of us. I was also struck by how relatively few people commenting seemed to understand that any discussion of the Bush administration’s policies would inevitably require discussion of senior congressional Democrats who were all briefed on detention, interrogation, and rendition policies. Commentators seemed largely unaware of the Congressional oversight role.

The Room for Debate blog is a good forum for discussion, by the way - thoughtful, very well-edited, many fun topics across a wide range of issues.

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