In view of a growing chorus of powerful law makers calling for an official investigation of the Bush administration, you have to wonder how many members of the prior administration have made sure their blackberry’s were updated to include voice dial for criminal defense attorneys.
While some civil libertarians expressed disappointment over the administration’s reluctance to encourage civil lawsuits against private companies contracted by the Bush administration. President Obama has maintained a consistent and pragmatic position on the issue throughout the campaign. As the Senator from Illinois, he voted in favor of a bill that granted the telecom industry immunity from civil liability for violating the privacy rights of Americans. But he did make reference, perhaps lost on most lacking law degrees, that seemed to clarify between providing protection from civil liability to corporations and individuals who acted in good faith at the request of the President, and excusing those who engaged in criminal behavior.

The language of the bill signed into law by George Bush actually reaffirmed the consequences of the latter, a subtle and perhaps vague distinction to be sure, but if you were a senior member of the Bush administration who may have felt the need to reach out and firm up person to person familiarity with folks in the beltway criminal defense industry in the last few news cycles, I speculate your just beginning to appreciate the sheer depth and scope of the creek your old boss steered the wagon into. The chairs of judiciary in both the house and senate as well as the speaker and majority leader, have joined other influential members of the congress in calling for investigation of criminality by the Bush administration and while it’s still too early to know what venue Bush and Company will be required to answer before. The question is no longer one of if or will the past administration be held accountable, but what becomes the most expedient and prudent course to pursue.

I support the proposal of Senate Judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont who wants to establish a truth and justice commission similar to the Church committee that exposed state and federal law enforcement abuses that occurred during the Vietnam era. By all means offer immunity from criminal prosecution to participants, provided they understand the dire consequences of attempting to avoid direct disclosure. While the parents of some fallen soldiers and innocent bystanders who suffered as a result of the lies and beguilement may wish to see the former President and his senior advisers face prison or war crimes tribunals. The primary focus should be on finding out in precise historical detail, how it became possible for a handful of men and women to so wantonly subvert constitutional principles and rule of law, in so short a period and what if anything can prevent it from happening again.

I speculate when all is said and done, history books will observe it was a sad matter of everyone who was anyone in the Bush administration is to blame. Providence provided a disreputable and dishonorable man, served by those who shared his ignoble character at a critical time in the nation’s history.

That’s my view, yours may be different

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