Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Are Torture Commissions The Way To Go? (UPDATED)

There has been alot of discussion amongst those of us involved in the Guantanamo litigation about what the best policy is for unearthing and making public all that has happened with our secret prisons, torture, and other violations of human rights. Many have suggested something styled after the truth and reconciliation commissions and now the International Center for Transitional Justice has completed its year long inquiry and concluded that is the way to go...And the London times jumps in with this piece by Andrew Sullivan.
I am not convinced but perhaps it is a good starting point.
Hats off to Harpers Scott Horton for bringing these to my attention.
Click on the title to read more.

Several people have emailed me to ask why I am not convinced that truth commissions are the way to go. To put it bluntly: why bother if we are not going to use the truth to prosecute our criminals? When someone murders your neighbor you do not ask for a truth commission to look into the murder, you gather the facts and prosecute the individual. We are talking not just about murder but also human rights violations on a massive scale and the shredding of our constitution. If the truth commissions are proposed as a way to gather all of the facts for a future prosecution then I am all for it.... if however, as I suspect, the commissions are the endgame ...then screw it.