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Will Leahy Introduce Legislation for a Truth Commission?

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued a strong statement today in response to the release of the CIA inspector general report revealing yet more details of abuses committed by CIA interrogators. Here it is, in part:

The claims of former Vice President Cheney and other Bush administration officials that the authorization of harsh interrogation techniques was legal and effective has been repeatedly disputed and disproven by experts in interrogation, law, the military and diplomacy. Now the CIA’s own Inspector General during the Bush administration has rejected the claim. The CIA Inspector General’s 2004 report released today provides clear evidence that interrogators overstepped the already loose legal boundaries they were given by the Bush administration through flawed Office of Legal Counsel memos that excused the use of coercive interrogation techniques.

This report provides conclusive evidence of the concerns that I have long held about how this program was used, and it is why I fought for access to this and similar documents for years. I support President Obama’s decision to prohibit the use of such tactics. The conduct that is documented in this report illustrates the perils of the dark road of excusing torture down which the Bush administration took this nation. I also believe it underscores why we need to move forward with a Commission of Inquiry, a nonpartisan review of exactly what happened in these areas, so that we can find out what happened and why. Who justified these policies? What was the role of the Bush White House? How can we make sure it never happens again? Information coming out in dribs and drabs will never paint the full picture.

Leahy has been a strong advocate for a “commission of inquiry” to probe the full extent of what happened during the Bush administration and why. Now let’s see if he’ll propose legislation to back that up, and convince his colleagues in Congress to support it.

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