Reid Resists Torture Commission

Senate leader rejects Pelosi, joins Obama in opposing panel
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2009 2:57 AM CDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has called for the creation of a 9/11-style truth commission to probe the CIA's Bush-era interrogation program.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – Harry Reid will back President Obama in resisting calls to immediately create an independent commission to probe the CIA's harsh interrogation program, the New York Times reports. The majority leader, backed by other top Senate Democrats, said it would be "very unwise" to start establishing commissions or tribunals before the Senate Intelligence Committee completes its own investigation.

Reid—an outspoken critic of the interrogation program during the Bush administration—said forming a special panel now would smack of retribution and distract from the Democratic agenda. Reid's desire for a go-slow approach puts him at odds with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other prominent Democrats who have called for a 9/11-type independent commission to be formed, but he downplayed talk of a rift.