The rising tide of angry voices calling for an investigation of the Bush Administration have pushed Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to call for a Truth and Reconciliation Panel. In this Rachel Maddow interview, Leahy said it may not be a perfect way, but it may be the only way to get the truth out and to assure that future administrations will behave in a more transparent manner. Leahy, a former prosecutor, suggests that he would offer immunity from prosecution to those willing to testify to all that they knew, inferring that those who do not come forward or who fail to disclose everything are open game.
“If I was a cynic,” Leahy said, “I would say it was hypocritical, but being a kind, benevolent person, I’ll just call it forgetful.”
Leahy said that Republicans with whom he spoke said it would be terrible to investigate a former President’s Administration, that they would never do it. He quickly countered that Republicans had spent six years and tens to hundreds of millions of dollars to investigate the former President Clinton Administration. “If I was a cynic,” Leahy said, “I would say it was hypocritical, but being a kind, benevolent person, I’ll just call it forgetful.”
Democratic leaders, John Conyers and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, said that they are open to the idea and would pursue prosecution if it is apparent that crimes were committed. Maddow suggests that there appears to be an emerging consensus amongst the Democratic leadership; whether it is an attempt to expose crimes or silence the disgrunteld public is yet to be seen.
Here is a petition launched by Leahy to gather signatures asking for the commission.