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December 03, 2008

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A. Daniel Feldman

I agree with your recommendation. If you're going to run such an investigation, and could use some unpaid labor, I volunteer. Dan Feldmman

JohnL

One of the interesting series of arguments in recent times, I think, was available in the hearings, and on the floor of Congress, in the matter of how to preserve the strong instrument which was the Independent Counsel law, although ultimately a decision too difficult to resolve, even in some revised form.

I suppose just such a suggestion as the writer of the above discusses will see implementation, some blue ribbon panel doing the work. Within DoJ Glenn Fine's reports provided some interesting counterpoint to the disclaimers and politicized depictions heard on each of the topics prof Stone mentioned, as Inspector General of that institution, although somewhat blunted by the public policy section accents added in those reports.

The configuration of how the fact finding would take place is important. I believe there is ample integrity on both sides of the aisle for launching processes to propose ways to protect, mitigate, and ameliorate some of the most unseemly developments of the past eight years in this regard. Certainly sooner is better than later. However, there remains an ongoing court standoff in several of these matters, a recent adversariality noticeable in the issue of when and who and what become property of the national archivist upon transition to the next administration.

At the outset, I find the Truth and Reconciliation binary a difficult prescription which almost obliterates sanctions. I keep finding some sense that the international parameters of our own constitutional activities domestically is an interface which is likely to draw upon much of our energies in many arenas. Consider the improbable contrast between which among the following are the more worthwhile priorities: human rights, martial law, and climate change with concurrent climate science suppression. While fact finding is of the essence in retrospect, perhaps congress itself may become the best instrument for investigating what happened, how decisionmaking occurred, and what should be our definition of survivability of our constitutional constructs.

Anonymous

Hmmm... first you write this:

We need to examine these decisions not so much to exact vengeance – or even justice, but to learn from our experience.

Then this:

The most problematic judgments of the Bush administration were instituted in secret in an effort to avoid public accountability and to evade the fundamental checks and balances of the American government.

It would seem, whether you wish to admit it to yourself, if such a panel existed and came to the conclusion that no wrong doing happened, you would simply ignore the report due to your obvious biases.


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