Cross-posted in the usual places.
According to the Washington Post, President Obama is opposed to a “truth commission.”
In a lengthy exchange with House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), Obama appeared to back away from a statement earlier this week that suggested he could support an independent commission to examine possible abuses, according to several attendees who spoke on the condition of anonymity so they could discuss the private meeting freely. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, also seeking to clarify the president’s position, told reporters that “the president determined the concept didn’t seem altogether workable in this case” because of the intense partisan atmosphere built around the issue.
“The last few days might be evidence of why something like this might just become a political back and forth,” Gibbs said.
But Speaker Pelosi supports such a commission.
At almost the same time at another briefing across the Capitol, Pelosi told reporters that she has “always been for a truth commission,” a position she reiterated at the White House meeting, one participant in the session said.
But a White House official present at the meeting said Obama told lawmakers that a commission would “open the door to a protracted, backward-looking discussion.”
Minority Leader John Boehner just wants to be a pain.
Boehner also urged Obama to release further classified memos detailing the questionable interrogation techniques. Former vice president Richard B. Cheney has argued that the memos will make clear that aggressive tactics yielded valuable intelligence information that prevented further terrorist attacks.
Obama responded that Cheney had done “a good job at telling his side of the story,” according to Democrats and Republicans in the room. “Obama said the memos weren’t as clear-cut,” one attendee said.
Fortunately, we have a mechanism for such disagreements.
Let’s have a full vote of both houses of Congress to see if we should create a truth commission.
I would support it. I take the president’s point, but the president is, well, president and no longer objective on the question of executive power. His reluctance could be as benevolent as protecting CIA morale, but he has a conflict that hinders his objectivity.
Follow your instincts, Madame Speaker. You’re for it, a lot of your members are for it. Bring it to the floor.
– The obvious one: attaining the truth
– Transparency in government, a “cleansing” moment for us and the world
– Removal of the opposition’s ability to call this a dance between Obama and Pelosi, as if they never intended to have one
– Removal of pressure on the attorney general to prosecute or not to prosecute (at minimum, it buys time)
– Removal of similar pressure on the Congress and the Obama administration
Maybe someone can tell me what the disadvantages are. I can’t think of any.