Sen. Patrick Leahy was on MSNBC last night, and he said that if former vice president Dick Cheney really believes that the Bush administration acted constitutionally, then he ought to support the formation of a truth commission to investigate them.
Much of the video is taken up by more AIG talk. The discussion about Cheney starts at about the 5:00 mark:
Leahy wants a truth commission formed like the one that was used to investigate the former South African government and their policy of apartheid fell. The commission would have subpoena power, but would not be able to bring criminal charges. The point of this investigation would be to get to the bottom of such things as the abuse of detainees, warrantless wiretapping, pre-war Iraq intelligence, and the U.S. Attorneys firings. The point of the commission would be to find out what exactly happened during the Bush years, so that we can prevent it from happening in the future.
Democrats are pretty solidly divided on Leahy’s idea. Some favor it as a way to finally gain an understanding about what was going on the White House during the Bush years, while other Democrats would rather move on from the past, and not dredge up the Bush presidency again. As someone who is interested in public policy, I like the idea of finally being able to look behind the curtain to see the rationale that went into the decision making process during the Bush years, but as a citizen, I wish would could put the whole mess behind us and never have to talk about Bush or Cheney again.
Quite frankly, it would be nice if Bush and Cheney would go away for a while. President Bush has kept a very low profile, until he embarked on his library isn’t going to pay for itself speaking tour, but Dick Cheney was never heard from in the press unless it was to tell us all about how the terrorists were coming to kill us, or Saddam was ready to launch a nuke into our back yard. Cheney may think that the GOP needs him, but he could help his party the most by staying off of TV. Although it would be a dream to see Dick Cheney have to sit and testify, I don’t think Sen. Leahy is going to get his truth commission.