Leahy Calls For 'Truth Commission' on Bush Abuses

Republicans say it's a waste of time
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2009 4:25 PM CST
In this 2008 file photo, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)
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(Newser) – Sen. Patrick Leahy called today for a "truth commission" to investigate alleged abuses by the Bush administration in the name of the war on terror, CNN reports. Detention and interrogation practices at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib “have seriously eroded fundamental American principles of the rule of law," said the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He did not rule out the possibility of prosecutions.

Republicans want no part of it. Arlen Specter, the committee's ranking GOP member, directed Leahy to “the relevant filing cabinet” of the Justice Department, suggesting that a congressional inquiry would be irrelevant. John Cornyn agreed: "The idea that this so-called truth commission would somehow resolve the good-faith disagreements…is just asking us to believe in the tooth fairy," he said.