Truth commission to proceed despite Obama’s wishes By John Byrne Raw Story April 28, 2009

Truth commission to proceed despite Obama’s wishes

By John Byrne

Published: April 28, 2009
Updated 9 hours ago

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) plans to proceed with a special commission to investigate alleged Bush administration abuses of power, despite lacking President Barack Obama’s support, according to a report Tuesday.

Sen. Leahy called for a “Truth Commission” in February to probe Bush administration policies on torture, interrogation and surveillance and to — as he puts it — “get to the bottom of what went wrong.” Such an idea would be modeled around truth commissions established in South Africa and Chile, which offered immunity to officials who committed abuses in exchange for the truth.

“Many Americans feel we need to get to the bottom of what went wrong,” Leahy said when announcing his idea in February. “I agree. We need to be able to read the page before we turn the page.”

President Obama, meanwhile, has expressed disinterest in investigating the activities of his predecessor, saying it’s time for the country to move on. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), says he doesn’t want the commission to begin until an inquiry headed by Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) examines the Bush administration’s legal defenses of torture techniques.

But Leahy plans to proceed despite lacking the approval of party leaders, sources familiar with the proposal told Politico’s John Bresnahan Tuesday.

“Leahy plans to move ahead with his proposal anyway,” Bresnahan writes. “While he has not found a GOP co-sponsor for legislation creating a truth commission, Leahy is expected to begin circulating a draft soon.”

In a statement, Leahy said his commission will ultimately jibe with the President’s wishes.

“When I first proposed establishing a nonpartisan commission of inquiry in February, I thought then, as I do now, that it was the best approach to conducting a thorough review of national security policies on detention, interrogation and rendition since Sept. 11,” Leahy said in a statement to Bresnahan. “Whether such a comprehensive review happens immediately or in the weeks and months ahead, the evidence that our country committed torture demands a review of the process by which these flawed policies were developed and implemented. President Obama was correct when he said that any review should be done outside of politics. A nonpartisan commission will accomplish just that.”

Speaking in February, Leahy applauded Obama Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision not to rule out prosecutions during his confirmation hearing.

“There are some who resist any effort to investigate the misdeeds of the recent past,” he said. “Indeed, during the nomination hearing of Eric Holder, some of my fellow Senators on the other side of the aisle tried to extract a devil’s bargain from him in exchange for the votes — a commitment that he would not make… That is a pledge no prosecutor should give and Eric Holder did not give it. But because he did not it accounts for some of the votes against him.”

Some liberals have critiqued the proposal, asserting that Bush officials shouldn’t be granted immunity from prosecution even if they’re forthcoming in a congressional investigation. Conservatives have attacked the proposed commission as a political witchhunt.

Half Truth

I'm one of the minority who thinks a Truth Commission is a possible route for 9/11 crimes -- but I smell a rat with Leahy's proposal. Something like this could end up sweeping too much under the carpet. And if we have one "Truth Commission" that doesn't include 9/11, there will NEVER be another, and that might be exactly what "they" want. If Leahy won't include crimes of 9/11 in his proposed "commission," we should work to stop it. I think the conservatives opposing this are right, it would be a political witch hunt, though I doubt they would agree it should be expanded to include the Dems, too.

Whether it's Leahy's "commission" or something similar, the entire Congress (with a few exceptions) is petrified of any real truth since they are ALL culpable for something.

This is a wolf in sheep's clothing if you ask me.

Little Red Riding Hood

"Grandma" is not always Grandma.

We have Foxes guarding the Hen House indeed.

The CONSTITUTION is NOT going to "collapse" into pulverized dust no matter how much thermate/explosives or planes they throw at it

Our best last hope?

The 9-11 community is rife with unrealistic expectations, just as were those skeptics at the time of the Warren Commission. We need to come to terms with some harsh realities. Foremost, all evidence suggests that it wasn't simply a right-wing, neo-con cabal in the Executive Branch that pulled off the attacks of 9-11. It was at the very least sanctioned by the most powerful forces in the country, whatever those forces are. And those forces would not have allowed it if there was a chance of the truth being uncovered, and they will not permit an inquiry to now go forward that would expose the 9-11 truth. Think about it; the truth of 9-11 would reveal a vast, sinister cabal of the most powerful forces on the planet. There is no way those with such power would permit all their decades of devious planning to come unraveled. No doubt they have contingencies to prevent such disclosure.

But a Truth Commission without the full truth would not be meaningless, and would possibly present us with many, many opportunities to exploit. Once there is a Truth Commission, we can legitimately ask why they aren't interested in the truth of Sibel Edmonds, or of Indira Singh, or any of the dozens of 9-11 whistleblowers. By expanding 9-11 truth to encompass other hidden truths, we can assemble a 'big tent' and draw attention to any failings of a so-called Truth Commission, and likely get sympathetic coverage in the alternative press, and maybe even on MSNBC.

It presents an opportunity that provides us with a framework upon which we can strategize and act on as opposed to continuing toward our struggle for an ideal investigation and prosecution. I can easily envision us joining with other types of truthers in holding our own Peoples Truth Commissions that reveal secrets that the Senate's Commission wouldn't want to hear. And I would suggest organizing a "Coming Out for the Truth Day" during which all those holding government secrets step up to public mics in cities across the US to tell what they know. Think of it. Presently, a university professor would have to be just a tad loopy (and ready to retire) to announce support for the 9-11 truth movement. But on a "coming out" day, that professor might easily be joined by three or four other academics and dozens of truther students on campus, making it easier for each to appear sane, and encouraging others in the audience to come forward to profess their secret knowledge or support for the truth.

The Truth Commission might not be all that we want it to be, but it can be as big of an opportunity as we make it. It gives our presently invisible movement something to rally around and to become visible about. Furthermore, it provides the public with a point to our ongoing 9-11 truth actions. Presently, much of the public doesn't see our truth actions as having much relevance to present political realities. Well, a Truth Commission gives us something concrete and tangible to target and address.

A key point to keep in mind is that not everyone keeping the secrets of 9-11 necessarily wants that secret to remain hidden. Let us not forget that in testimony during the Watergate hearings, Haldeman mentioned the Republican fears that "all the Cuban stuff might come out." What he was actually referring to was the Kennedy assassination, but none in the hearings followed up his comment. So, in any Truth Commission, there will be unrehearsed moments where some unexpected truth may just spill out.

Also, we should not waste too much time hoping and waiting for the Obama administration to prosecute any of the higher ups in the Bush White House. It can never happen. Yes, Republicans stole the 2000 election and 2004. And yes, they told Iran to hold the US hostages longer so that Carter would lose the election to Reagan. And yes, candidate Nixon told South Vietnam not to sign a peace treaty with the North because if they held out, he would be elected and get them a better deal (another six years of war). And yes, Prescott Bush was a principal organizer of a coup against FDR. And yes, it seems someone in the Bush administration tried to poison two Democrats with anthrax in order to get quick passage of the Patriot Act. But in none of these instances did the Dems blow the cover on the Repubs. Each administration keeps the secrets of those previous. The Democrats and Republicans do have different agendas, but both their geo-political agendas are directed by the Powers That Be. So, because folks like Cheney and Rove are carrying out PTB agendas while pursuing their own political plots, they have effectively cloaked themselves in PTB protection. They cannot take the fall because they know too much and would talk. Unless they cut out their ability to speak as they did to Bill Casey before he was to testify about Iran-Contra. So let us not waste our hopes on impossible federal prosecutions. Besides, immunity will allow much more truth to spill forth, and I think Leahy (go f----- yourself) knows it.

I think we need to take the lead in this. Now is the time to get moving as the idea already has traction and momentum. If we sit back and allow it to happen without our input it will likely be a much less robust effort. There are more people who want the truths of the Bush admin pursued than those who do not. We have an opportunity to organize and rally these unorganized forces and get them moving in our direction. Or we can simply continue with our forty year plan. Or is it fifty? Hey, can we get the Jersey Girls busy on this?

Not the BEST, nor the LAST hope...


Wonderfully written and quite correct about many things. I would only add that the 9/11Truth Movement should respond to ANYTHING in which ANYONE seeks truth and ask "What about 9/11 Truth?" at ANYTIME that such an opportunity arises. Any door that opens even a crack in truth seeking should be pried open as wide as possible by our tenacity, evidence and questions about 9/11.

In the end it is not that we aprehend or punish those buried deep within the Powers That Be...but its to expose them to the public so that citizens eventually can make demands...and hopefully make changes in our own governances.

Consequently, any action that alleges "truth seeking" can be used to refresh our solid positions regarding the events on 9/11 and who, how and why the event was allowed and assisted in happening. The 9/11 Truth Movement is responsible for reinvigorating "truth seeking" and is on the verge of reestablishing more citizen involvements in executing appropriate behaviors of being a GOOD CITIZEN.

Clearly todays youth are more advanced than their parents and grandparents in this regard as they are "plugged in" in many ways much moreso than their elders. The 9/11 Truth Movement has, in fact, revolutionized revolution and public activism...and we need to expand upon this rather amazing TRUTH.

I call it CI...Civil Informationing...and pretty soon CI will be noted along with CD...Civil Disobedience and CR...Civil Resistance as being an accepted modality for public activism. Civil Informationing will become an alternative method for citizens to become their own educators and to become their own media.

In no other way are the Powers That Be in more control of citizenry than in shunting or shaping "information" that gets presented to the public and in their manipulation of the media.

We have an opportunity to go around these barriers and the 9/11 Truth Movement has set the standards and created the methodolgy to do this...regardless of those elements who are NOW on the "truth seeking bandwagon". Many of these indy media types were, and may still be, nowhere to be found when the 9/11 Truth Movement was standing tall and seeking truth when everyone else was cowering in fear...a fear, in the end, of their own government.

The greatest asset that we have regarding our work at exposing the Powers Tthat Be is that they have created the most memorable phrase and visual imagery in decades..."Remember 9/11". The psy-op that they used against us will be the very long lasting vehicle with which we flip the "memeory" of 9/11 upside down.

Instead of 9/11 being remembered as being 19 Muslim hijackers pulling off the impossible, the events on 9/11 will be used to refresh people's memories about what happens when the Powers That Be go unexposed and amongst other tactics, they create false flag ops to create opportunities for them to expand their political, financial and warring they have done for centuries now.

So, I thank you for your far sighteness in our efforts to seek the truth about the Powers That Be. Because the events surrounding 9/11 are but a symptom of a far more egregious problem in the world...and the problem are the unchecked and unexposed Powers That Be...

Love, Peace and Progress with:


...just for starters as we begin to throw the bums out...

...bums like Arlen Specter who the Powers That Be need to have remain in governement [regardless of party affiliation] so that he can continue to cover up for the Powers That Be. For Specter, it started in Dallas Texas as he covered up the JFK assasination...and he has covered their trail ever since...and the Powers That Be in the Democratic Party are obviously complicit...

Its all about the "ruling class versus the ruled class"...and its a hellova battle...

Robin Hordon

What the 911 Truth Movement and the Peace Movement have in commo

toddly writes:

Also, we should not waste too much time hoping and waiting for the Obama administration to prosecute any of the higher ups in the Bush White House. It can never happen.

To see why I agree, we can ask the question:
"What do the 911 Truth Movement and the Peace Movement have in common?"

The answer: "Very, very poor results." Can you think of 1 war or military invasion that the peace movement has stopped or curtailed, since the Vietnam war? Also, what is the record of any peace movement in the rest of the 20th Century, before the Vietnam War?

So, it's nothing unusual for a movement with a noble purpose to achieve very little, politically. I knew this, of course, when I went to Washington to protest the planned Iraq invasion, and also when I joined an anti-Iraq War protest in Trenton, NJ, when President Bush came to town. (BTW, the Republicans are much better dressers than the Democrats, especially the union guys that wear purple T-shirts. :-) ) Indeed, when I went to Washington, Congress has already rolled over and passed the Iraq War Resolution, which authorized President Bush to use military force "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate". I knew the invasion was going to happen, regardless of what anybody did.

Unfortunately, I also look in vain for solid results of the 911 Truth movement in the political sphere, but have trouble seeing any, with the notable exception of the 911 Truth Commission, which never would have happened without the Jersey girls, and other 911 widows and survivors, going to Washington, D.C. and shaming the government into doing something. I think there's great potential in the NYC ballot initiative, but realistically speaking, right now there almost no support in Congress for a reinvestigation of 911. Also, if the recent paper on thermitic red/grey chips holds up (something for the relevant scientific community to determine), that might also be a game changer.

I support Leahy, as "politics is the art of the possible", and we've already seen enough out of Obama to know that he's no paragon of civic virtue. I'm very glad that he's there instead of Bush, but it's not far-fetched to think of Obama as just an extension of the Bush Administration, in many areas. I absolutely don't believe that Obama would ever allow the DOJ to prosecute Bush for war crimes, unless he's subjected to extraordinary political pressure. Leahy's Truth Commission might result in enough damning revelations to allow that to happen, politically. But the sorts of Congressional investigations that people who want full accountability are demanding are never going to happen. What they'll get, instead, are limited investigations which "somehow", never go deep enough and probing questions which "somehow" never get asked. We've seen this drill, before, folks. Wake up and smell the coffee.

The Leahy Truth commission isn't, properly speaking, about 911, anyway. It should be primarily evaluated according to it's professed goals, not what 911 truthers think the goals should be. To that end, I suggest keeping in mind the profess-or - Leahy - and then contrasting him with opponents of his plan - the Republicans, Pelosi, Obama. Who do you trust more?

See also

If you're serious about changing the way our government works, you simply have to concern yourself with getting better people into office. If you were the owner of a professional basketball or football team, that was a perpetual loser, your first and last thought would be to get better players. Yes, you'd also be concerned about the coach, maybe better training facilities and fan support, but your success is primarily about your players. I've been thinking about these problems for a few years, and will be starting up a web site,, dedicated to improving democracy in the US (primarily; eventually, I'd like to have projects that improve democracies world wide, and further enhance democracy-to-democracy collaboration.) I should have two blogs up by Friday, and there's an (admittedly not very firm) evangelism-ready target date of July 4, 2009. However, to achieve anything useful, I'll need lots of help, so please check it out after Friday, and consider helping out. Right now, there's mostly just ideas in my head, though I'm pleased to report that Lawrence Lessig (of thought my ostracism idea was "very cool", and a smart, but critical relative (who thinks 911 truth is nutty and disrespectful) that I explained it to recently thought it was "brilliant".

that's my point

"The Leahy Truth commission isn't, properly speaking, about 911, anyway. It should be primarily evaluated according to it's professed goals, not what 911 truthers think the goals should be." --metamars

I HAVE evaluated it according to its professed goals, and I, like many other 911 truthers feel those goals fall far short in addressing the systemic problems with our government and its foreign policy and deep state covert operations. And why shouldn't 911 truthers be critical of anything that misses the mark based on our evaluation and opinion? We have as much right as anyone else in influencing legislation or congressional proposals.

"Toddly" nailed it when s/he said we need to take the lead. I wholeheartedly agree. If we wait until Leahy's proposal materializes to get involved, we will be marginalized, pegged as a fringe element that wants to get on the band wagon. But, if we take the lead coming out of the gate, WE WILL BE THE BAND WAGON.

IMO the Iran-Contra hearings, more that the Warren Commission, is the best example of what could go wrong, especially considering that the mainstream press is far more inept than it was in the 1970s.

If the Leahy proposal keeps moving forward, we need to be relentless in getting 9/11 on the agenda. Just being on the agenda has huge import and potential. With most of the crimes outlined by Leahy, the idea of a "cover up" is secondary. Millions of people already know enough to conclude crimes were committed. This is not the case with 9/11. We haven't arrived at that plateau, yet. And we need to ASAP. Getting on to Leahy's agenda will, for all intents and purposes, remove the stigma and taboo of talking about 9/11, which is really our biggest obstacle.

We can't wait to see what a half-assed commission will look like. If we wait we will lose.

The History of Truth

I vote for pushing for anything and everything we can get out in every possible way. Bits and pieces is usually the way truth spreads, not an atom bomb of truth. Great discussion, keep it up. But lets try to concentrate on the best evidence we have while still keeping an open mind. Although when galaxies collide it must be pretty spectacular.