Harry Reid's Incoherent Opposition to a Truth Commission

Meanwhile, what about deterrence?

This is Harry Reid on proposals to establish a "truth commission" to investigate torture and other abuses in the "War on Terror" (as quoted by The Hill):

“It would be very unwise, from my perspective, to start having commissions, boards, tribunals until we find out what the facts are, and I don’t know of a better way of getting the facts than through the Intelligence Committee,” said Reid.

I'm hard pressed to recall a more ludicrous statement. He's saying: 'We can't establish an investigation into the facts until we get all the facts.'

And he doesn't know a better way of getting facts than through the Intelligence Committee. That'd be the same committee which promised  in 2004 to investigate the pre-war "intelligence" used to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and issued a report four years laterthat ignored all the available evidence that White House officials had pressured analysts to tell them what they wanted to hear. White-wash? You betcha.

Anyway, there's a lot of debate about whether to hold people accountable for torture, and, if so, whom. And a lot of folks are arguing that lower-level CIA operatives who conducted those "coercive interrogations" shouldn't be prosecuted. They were, after all, just following orders. And, unlike others who offered the same defense in the past, they had those slick legal memos to cover their asses.

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet.
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