The WaPo Does Shrill

From Holden:

The Lead Editorial in today’s Washington Post calls out the Republican Party for their lack of support for Sen. Carl M. Levin’s proposal to create an independent commission to investigate the treatment of detainees since 2001.

In the process the editors call Bush a war criminal.

Administration officials frequently assert that prisoner treatment has been investigated by a number of military or Pentagon-appointed panels since the photos of abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison surfaced last year. What they don’t acknowledge is the lack of independence of those probes or the very wide areas they have overlooked. There has been no investigation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, his senior staff, and White House and Justice Department lawyers who drafted or approved policies for detainee interrogations. There has been no investigation of CIA personnel, ranging from former director George J. Tenet to serving personnel in Iraq, who are known to have been involved in the illegal hiding of “ghost detainees” from the International Red Cross and the “rendition” of suspects to countries that practice torture, as well as in cases of torture and homicide. Even a promised investigation by the CIA’s own inspector general has never been delivered to Congress.


We’re willing to make a prediction: Some day there will be an exhaustive investigation of how and why prisoners were abused after 2001, and accountability will be assigned to the senior officers and officials who now hide behind their subordinates and inspector generals. Like the internment of ethnic Japanese during World War II or the CIA’s involvement in Cold War-era coup plots and assassinations, government acts so at odds with fundamental American standards will eventually be exposed and disowned by our democracy. Yet it would be much better for the legacy of President Bush, and this Republican Congress, if that honest accounting were to begin now, rather than after they have left office. The opportunity exists: Mr. Levin and his amendment are waiting.