Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dear Mr. President

So, our Hero has feet of clay. When pressed by civil-rights groups as to whether you will allow a central 9/11-style commission under the Attorney General to investigate the torture issue, you repeatedly and curtly dismissed the idea. The reason you gave was that it would require too much time.

If my parents were murdered, and the police department stated that they didn't want to redirect any forensics or investigative personnel to investigate the crime because it would take too much time away from their current investigations, would you find that acceptable?

I believe you need to rethink your decisions regarding investigating the previous administration. If a sense of betrayal has reached all the way down through the grassroots to me and motivated me to write to the President, there must be a powerful, pervasive sense of betrayal among the people you represent.

When questioned about continuing the tribunals at Guantanamo rather than providing the detainees with legitimate trials, you said that it didn't help to compare you to the previous administration. This doesn't sound like the man who calmly and methodically countered the verbal attacks aimed at him by Clinton and McCain during the campaign. This is a swing from "conciliatory" all the way to "unreasonable."

I hope the shift is for good reasons. You are a deep thinker and seem to be able to outthink just about everyone in D.C. From my perspective deep in the grassroots, I would be relieved if a thorough investigation into the activities of the previous administration proved that no crimes were committed. And I would like to think that your reasons for obstructing that investigation and stonewalling on the matter are good, solid, honorable reasons. "It would divide the nation" is an honorable reason, but it's not solid. The nation is already critically divided. "We can't divert resources from rebuilding the economy" is also not solid. The personnel needed for the investigation would not make much of a dent in what is needed to rebuild the economy. I'd like to think that your reasons are sounder than these.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow said that it is absurd to think that the U.S. is incapable of incarcerating dangerous criminals. Close Guantanamo, by executive order if necessary. Allow the detainees the benefit of habeas corpus. And allow an investigation of the previous administration and, if possible, clear their good names.

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