Help Sen. Leahy Make Bush Truth Commission a Reality

When last we left Senator Patrick Leahy (D – VT) he was still fighting the good fight: persuading the US Senate to create a “truth commission” tasked with uncovering the questionable behavior of the Bush administration. Leahy’s efforts have been squeezed out of the spotlight as of late, occupied presently by the populist outrage ignited by the AIG bonus scandal. It’s time to bring the Leahy’s commission back into focus, and he’s asking for your help to do so.

The last time I addressed this topic I posited that the Bush truth commission might be in doubt.  Leahy chaired a poorly attended preliminary hearing on the matter before the Senate Judiciary Committee, during which Senators heard from six witnesses, four in favor and two against. Those arguing against a bipartisan truth commission asserted that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would be better suited to investigate the crimes of Bush and his underlings. At that time I was inclined to agree, but here’s why I was wrong.

A Justice Department investigation of Bush’s policies on the treatment of “enemy combatants,” and the former president’s extra constitutional domestic wiretapping program, simply put, will take too long. I have no doubt that the DOJ could eventually get to the truth, but there has been an extraordinary public effort to re-write the history of Bush’s “War on Terror.” Top Bush officials — Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Dana Perino, & others — have been making the rounds, offering up assertions that fly in the face of the public record.

A compelling example of this deceit was featured on last night’s Rachel Maddow Show. Maddow’s opening segment was dedicated to the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Tragically, in my opinion, her’s was one of the very few media outlets to pay any attention to the occasion. However, while recognizing the anniversary of the invasion, Maddow illustrated the underhanded spinning alluded to above:

They’re banking on the short attention span of the American public, and it can’t be allowed to stand. I am now convinced that Patrick Leahy’s proposal is necessary in order to counteract the attempts at revisionism, as illustrated by the above clip.

A reader e-mailed me with his concerns regarding the possible stalling of the Senator’s committee following my last post on this subject. In it, he expressed his dismay that Leahy’s truth commission could be in doubt, and he asked me if there was anything he could do to prevent its failure. I’m excited to report that there is indeed something that he, and anyone reading this post, can do.

Patrick Leahy has put forth a petition, seeking public support for his truth seeking commission. Here’s the text of the petition:

I hereby join Senator Patrick Leahy’s call for the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission, to investigate the Bush-Cheney Administration’s constitutional abuses so we make sure they never happen again. These abuses may include the use of torture, warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition, and executive override of laws.

A truth and reconciliation commission should be tasked with seeking answers so that we can develop a shared understanding of the failures of the recent past. Rather than vengeance, we need a fair-minded pursuit of what actually happened. The best way to move forward is getting to the truth and finding out what happened — so we can make sure it does not happen again.

Leahy’s petition may be found at I highly recommend that anyone in favor of a truth commission to investigate Bush should click it, sign it, and pass it on. When I signed his petition last week, Leahy was about 15,000 signatures shy of the 100,000 he was after. I fear that if he fails, we may never see the perpetrators of this sad chapter of American history revealed for criminals that they are.

Image:  Flickr User:  Jarnocan - by way of


Franklin Hildebrand
Frank Hildebrand10 years ago

There are many types of terrorism and I believe Bush promoted fear and terrorism among the American public. To whom does the president legally owe fiduciary responsibility?

Lisa Bee
Lisa Bee10 years ago

I and many other's have pushed for this sine 9/11. Nothing is done because many in congress are equally as guilty and they know it will come out. What they don't know is, it is already out and we want them to pay for being criminals and wrecking this country!!!

Sarah W.
Sarah W10 years ago

My goodness Chaya, you have issues. He has done more since he has been in office than Bush did his whole 8 years. Bush is a criminal of the worst kind and should be locked up and stripped of all his illegally gotten wealth. Sick, sick, sick. Obama has a heart and cares about humanity - HUGE DIFFERENCE!

Chaya Goldberger

You are all nuts. There is nothing that Bush did that 'MR' Obama is not doing or going to do. If he really wanted to change things he would surround himself with new faces and not the corrupt and hate mongering old ones. He should have stayed where he was. All American's wanted to do is to prove that they are with it, and elected a BLACK PRESIDENT to prove it. He has no track record, only the idiots he is surrounded with have, and they are nothing new they are old, stale and full of hate.

William H.
James and Patri H10 years ago

We don't really need a truth commission or anything else. There is ample evidence on tape of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld iniquity on ALL these transgressions. We NEED A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR to bring these and all transgressors to trial!

John A.
John A10 years ago

Only if there is NO amnesty.
The criminals need to be put in jail for their treason!!!
Amnesty lets them walk away free and degrades our democracy & Constitution

Christopher Li
Chris Li10 years ago

It has always amazed me why so many people in the US fail to recognize what a complete disaster the Bush presidency has been. Granted, media manipulation played a key role in shaping public perception, but was it really that hard to realize what was going on? I mean really, re-electing Bush? WTF was everyone thinking? I understand that Carl Rove believed that with just the Evangelical vote, Bush could win and keep the White House, but even a hard core atheist could see that Bush was nothing close to being a Christian. I mean sure, he went to Church, but so did Hitler. Now they are trying to paint this rosy picture for his legacy? Don't let this happen! History is written by the victors and the battle is just starting.

Janice Giampaoli
Janice Giampaoli10 years ago

We must absolutely go after the Bush administration for war crimes against this country. He instilled fear into so many cullable American people about terrorism. Little did they know, the Bush administration were the terrorists themselves against their own country. Try them for Treason!

Robert Jones
Robert Jones10 years ago

Agreed, the 9-11 Commission Report is trash. WTC7, Larry Silverstein, Marvin Bush, William Rodriguez, thermite, squibs, British video about WTC7, satellite thermal images, $1B terrorism insurance policy paid twice, etc, certainly look suspicious to those of us who have taken the time to seek more information rather than being fed the typical mass-media mind-numbing candy dope. Time may tell the truth, since it would be foolish for Democrats to open another political war front right now since they don't have enough collateral. Politicians, including Leahy, will tease you with a bone all day long if you appease them and act like a pet dog. In other words, it will be difficult to get the whole truth, and likely imposible if some idiot politician plays games with the issue.

Benedict Aloysius
Benedict Aloysius10 years ago

Totally agree with Robert Jones when he says ''Hoover was a true monster''.