Truth and Reconciliation

Nicholas Kristof is asking each of the presidential candidates to commit to a Truth Commission (modelled after South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee) early in the next administration. This commission would be to investigate claims like

“There is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes,” Antonio Taguba, the retired major general who investigated abuses in Iraq, declares in a powerful new report on American torture from Physicians for Human Rights. “The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.”

The first step of accountability isn’t prosecutions. Rather, we need a national Truth Commission to lead a process of soul searching and national cleansing.

We all know that the people responsible will never be held accountable but perhaps, by making public what they did, we can prevent them from happening again.

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Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

5 thoughts on “Truth and Reconciliation”

  1. If I had to pick one single difference between liberals and conservatives, this right here would be an illustration for it. Liberals keep thinking that there is a reconciliation possible, that the other side clearly will see the evil this administration was and give the libs a chance. Throughout the bush administration this was a common theme “clearly, they’re invading iraq on good faith. clearly this, clearly that.”. meanwhile they keep screwing the other side in the bottom, and the libs keep saying “yeah, but this is probably going to be the last time, no one is that evil”.

    if I had to guess, I would say that your conservative friends, people who aren’t evil, still think this administration was not that bad. in fact they will probably order another round of more or the same.

    I wish you were right but it’s unlikely. torture is not so bad, as long as taxes aren’t raised. when libs will offer the olive branch, they need need to prepared for being sodomized once again.

  2. Which of the following are true?

    1. Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld committed war crimes
    2. We went to war for oil
    3. In 2000, Bush stole the election
    4. McCain wants war in Iraq for 100 years
    5. Clinton was impeached for having an affair
    6. Al Gore invented the Internet

    It’s a credibility thing. If there’s one truth in there, it’s too hard to pick out of the rant stream. I’m torn between 1 and 6.

  3. That’s too easy. 1 and 2 are true. The rest are just silly.

    #2 is an awkward one. It would be easy to misrepresent my position so I’ll spell it out. We went to war for a whole bunch of reasons (plus 3 phony reasons – one of which did double duty as a bureaucratic reason).

    One of those reasons was to have a strategic foothold in the region that supplies the majority of the world’s oil.

  4. To Julio’s point above, the important distinction is not between liberals and conservatives. It’s between moderates and extremists.

    My hope is that by shining a light on some of the things that have been done and said by Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Delay, Fox News, Coultier, Hannity, Robertson, Falwell et al that the moderate conservatives will recognize that their honourable (but misguided, IMO) ideology has been stolen by a bunch of charlatans and that they either need to reclaim their brand by evicting the miscreants or rebrand themselves.

    The point of the TRC in South America was precisely NOT to seek revenge, it was to allow reconciliation between the more reasonable people on either side by exposing the extremists on either side.

    By demonizing the whole republican party, you make it easier for the extremists to keep doing what they are doing as the party circles the wagons around them. It’s time for something different.

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