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Did Arlen Specter Just Call For Prosecution of Bush Officials?

Though Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa,) made it clear he opposed a truth commission along the lines of what Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has proposed, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this morning, Specter — the ranking Republican on the committee — said that if there’s evidence of criminal conduct, the Department of Justice ought to prosecute it.

“You’ve had some rather startling disclosures, with the publicity in recent days about “unusual” — to put it mildly — legal opinions to justify executive action,” including homicide, Specter said. “They’re all being exposed now.”

Specter also said the Office of Professional Responsibility at the Justice Department is also looking into “whether officials knowingly signed off on conduct they knew was illegal,” which in itself is illegal conduct.

What we do in our society is we undertake those investigations where we have what we lawyers call a predicate. We don’t go off helter-skelter … on a fishing expedition as to what we’re going to do … so it seems to me that we ought to follow a regular order here … you have a Department of Justice that is fully capable of conducting an investigation.

Sounds to me like he’s advocating prosecution.

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