Time for a Truth Commission

London’s The Times reports on evidence suggesting “George W. Bush ‘knew Guantánamo prisoners were innocent.’” (HT: Radley Balko) Supposedly, Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld were all in on it. “The accusations were made by Lawrence Wilkerson, a top aide to Colin Powell, the former Republican Secretary of State, in a signed declaration to support a lawsuit filed by a Guantánamo detainee.”

According to The Times, “He [Wilkerson] said that many [persons] were turned over by Afghans and Pakistanis for up to $5,000.” The problem with these payments is clear. Paying persons serious money to turn in supposed terrorists creates a powerful incentive to invent false charges so that you can get the money. In that part of the world, $5,000 is very serious money indeed. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that many persons swept up in that operation were innocent persons who were sold out to fatten a wallet.

Karl Rove has said that waterboarding is not torture. (Go to about 3:07.) He has also said that “harsh interrogation” produced lots of good actionable intelligence (2:25). That’s not a credible remark in my book.

In the US, our government has rendered, sequestered, and tortured. Our government has flouted the rule of law and suspended habeas corpus. It has made war on a nation that was not a threat to us in any way. It has spied on us without the legal nicety of a specific warrant. It has, in other words, grown tyrannical. Isn’t it time for a truth commission? It is too much to hope for a real criminal trial of our highest officials, but is it really too much to ask for the truth? Patrick Leahy called for a truth commission in February 2009. It’s time.

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About Roger Koppl 11 Articles

Affiliation: Fairleigh Dickinson University

Roger Koppl is a Professor of Economics and Finance in the Silberman College of Business and Director of the Institute for Forensic Science Administration (IFSA).

Professor Koppl earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from Auburn and New York Universities, and B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from Cleveland State University.

Visit: FDU

2 Comments on Time for a Truth Commission

  1. Mr. Koppl had better pull his tin foil hat down over his eyes so that the men in black helicopters don’t blind him with their gamma ray guns.

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