Sen. Patrick Leahy was on MSNBC’s The Ed Show tonight, where he extended an invitation to former vice president Dick Cheney to testify before his Senate Judicial Committee. Leahy said that if Cheney is so concerned about torture, then he should come before Congress and answer a few questions.
Here is the video. Leahy begins around the 5:50 mark:
The only thing that Cheney hates more than being outed as a torturer is the Congress, so the odds of him giving any testimony to a body that he views as inferior are zero. Leahy did say that since Obama would not rule out punishing those responsible for torture, it opens the door to Leahy continuing his investigation into the decision making process and those who drafted the order to torture.
Leahy also stressed that he wasn’t looking into the lower level players who were told to carry out the torture policy because it was legal. He is after the big fish. Leahy said, “I agree with the president that the lower level players who were told this is ok, this is the law, follow the law. I am not as considered about going after them, as I am the people who knew they were misstating the law, who knew they were giving the wrong directions, who were will to set the White House and those around the White House as above the law.”
Leahy also said that he didn’t want to hear any lectures from Dick Cheney because this was the administration that went from wanting to cut counterterrorism funding by half on September 10, 2001, to wanting to double funding on September 12.
Leahy said that he is willing to carry out his investigation without GOP support. The political climate has changed on this issue. Initially, Obama did not give much to Leahy’s truth commission idea, but I think that Leahy will get that. I do still have serious doubts that anyone will face criminal prosecution. Leahy would love nothing more than to get Cheney in a hearing room. The senator was try to call Cheney bluff, and lure him into testifying.