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Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

This Magazine Staff

At Obama’s inaugural news conference last night, the President answered questions including a direct question by Helen Thomas, the most senior member of the White House press corps about nuclear arms in the Middle East (The woman was no doubt a thorn in Dubya’s side, calling Bush the “worst president in American history.” She has brought questions to 10 presidents in her time at White House press conferences).
Obama also tackled Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy’s proposal to address crimes under the Bush Administration through a truth and reconciliation commission.


It was the first time a President has recognized a question from a blogger at a presidential press conference — in this case, the Huffington Post’s blogger, Sam Stein, who drew attention to the Senator’s proposal. (go bloggers, go!)
Retired Santa Cruz Politics prof. Bruce Larkin asks on his blog Political Design, “Would truth and reconciliation, rather than absolution or prosecution, best serve the people of the United States?”
Says Obama,
“My view is also that nobody is above the law, and if there are clear instances of wrongdoing, that people should be prosecuted just like any ordinary citizen. But that generally speaking, I am more interested in looking forward that in looking backwards.”
Although the President’s statement offers an all-are-equal kind of tone, it makes you wonder whether Bush and his administration can be considered “ordinary citizens” in the first place. I admire his visionary stance as much as the next gal, but let’s hope Obama knows it’s important to right past wrongs as well as pursue visions for the future.

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