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The Case for Establishing a Truth Commission for Bush's Torture and Spying Crew

On Capitol Hill, debate has begun over forming a truth commission to shed light on the Bush administration’s secret and illegal terror polices.

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And it’s interesting. You know, two of the memos, which I didn’t mention, were issued by Steven Bradbury, who was head of the office that John Yoo was formerly in, the Office of Legal Counsel. And those memos are the—they were done within a few weeks of the Bush administration leaving office, in fact, one within a week of him leaving office, essentially, in a relatively mealy-mouthed way, saying he cautions against looking at the Yoo memos, that they shouldn’t—the OLC doesn’t really agree with them anymore. But he has a footnote in there saying—to protect the John Yoos of the world—saying, “I think all of those prior memos,” referring to the John Yoo memos, “were done—did not violate professional responsibility,” because it’s recognized that currently there’s an investigation going on of John Yoo, and I think it’s very—and Bradbury, himself—and I think it’s very likely that that’s going to come out and say certainly disciplinary, if not disbarment, for those guys. So I think Yoo is facing that and, as I said, prosecution.

Now, his geographical travels, of course, have been—as you said, he went to Berkeley, which, as he described a couple of days ago at a speech in Orange County, is made up of a bunch of hippies and radicals. That’s his former law school, or it’s still his law school. And there’s been a push to get rid of him at the law school. I think he finally realizes he can’t stay there, so he’s teaching at some—I guess a very conservative law school in Orange County, which is, of course, the heart of law schools and others that are very conservative. So he’s slowly being cornered, slowly being cornered.

One thing I should say about Yoo and even about the Leahy hearings, the one—you know, while I think they’re a bad idea, I think one thing that could come out of them, which Rivkin, the conservative commentator, made a good point on—he says, “Look at, you’re going to expose the stuff on the record.” And then, while he didn’t use the name of the Center for Constitutional Rights, he said, “Then people are going to be able to prosecute these guys in Europe, because the evidence is all out there.” And that’s correct. As more and more information comes out and these memos come out, we’re going to continue to pursue efforts in Europe and pursue prosecution at home. The Center actually currently has a campaign, if people go to our website, to actually tell Leahy, “This is not enough. We want prosecution.”

Goodman: Where is Donald Rumsfeld?

Ratner: Well, you know, he and Rice, right? They’re—you know, what is California? What is it? Like a magnet for right-wingers? You know, they’re both at the—what is it now?—on the campus of Stanford. What’s it called? The Hoover Institution? Yeah. So they’re there, or they’re going there, Rice and Rumsfeld, and they’re going to be some kind of scholars-in-residence at Stanford at the Hoover Institution. And there’s apparently a protest that was starting either yesterday or today objecting to that. So, you know, maybe we can all get them into a corner of Orange County and actually give them their own country and just put prison walls around it. You know, I’m not sure, Amy.

Goodman: And are there other countries that are pursuing a possible prosecution against any of these Bush administration officials?

Ratner: Well, I think right now what’s happening is they’re going to wait and see what Obama does. If Obama doesn’t do anything in the next few months, I think there’s going to be a huge push in Europe. At the same time, there is stuff going on in Europe, and that’s—when there’s conduct or illegalities on the country itself, they don’t have to wait for the United States. So, you have an investigation, that we’ve talked about here, in Italy of the CIA agents going on who kidnapped an Egyptian cleric of the street. In Spain, you have a—

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