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A Kangaroo Commission for Bush War "Crimes"?

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Posted on April 27 2009 2:56 am

Now that President Obama has shown a willingness to pursue vindictive probes of Bush administration officials for the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, the preminent funder of America’s left, George Soros, is calling for the establishment of a kind of star chamber to help the left pay back the previous administration for launching the War on Terror.

According to a report from Byron York of the Washington Examiner, Soros has joined with MoveOn, which he funds generously, to urge the creation of “a commission of inquiry to examine and report publicly on America’s use of torture in the period since September 11, 2001.”

Soros’s proposal was included in an email sent out by his Open Society Institute. The email refers the reader to the “Commission on Accountability,” whose website makes the incredible claim that “[t]he report issued by the commission will strengthen U.S. national security and help to re-establish America’s standing in the world.”

No, it won’t. It will poison America’s politics for decades to come. It is the kind of thing a Third World banana republic does. It might even bear a resemblance to Revolutionary Communist Party member C. Clark Kissinger’s official-sounding piece of political theater known as the “International Commission of Inquiry of Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration.”

Moreover, it almost certainly would come back to bite lawmakers from both parties.

As former Solicitor General Ted Olson told York,

[I]f they do that, many people are going to say you can’t stop with John Yoo or Alberto Gonzales. You’re going to have to investigate every member of Congress who was briefed on this, what their notes were, what records they kept, who they talked to. You’re going to have to investigate leaks that implicate the press, who told what to whom. There’s no foreseeable limit to how far they’re going to have to go.

In America, we resolve policy differences through elections. We don’t use the legal system after officials have left office to turn their lives upside down in pursuit of a nakedly partisan political agenda.

Launching an American Inquisition is pure madness. It’s a slow kind of national suicide by investigation and litigation.

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