In a meeting on Monday with Vermont citizens, Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) admitted that the truth commission he has advocated to examine Bush administration crimes like torture most likely won’t happen. Reporter Charlotte Dennett writes that Leahy said political opposition was too strong to overcome:
Halfway through the allotted 30 minute meeting (with him taking up much of the time explaining why he was not generally opposed to prosecution, since he had been a DA for eight years and had the highest conviction rate in Vermont), he told us that his truth commission had failed to get the broad support it needed in Congress, and since he couldn’t get one Republican to come behind the plan, “it’s not going to happen.”
Emphasizing that Leahy takes seriously his commitment to defend the Constitution, Leahy’s aide Chip Ross told the group, “He’s all you’ve got.” However, Leahy’s office sent an e-mail to reporters today objecting to “reports circulating on the internet” and claiming Leahy is “continuing to explore” the idea of a truth commission:
In contrast to reports circulating on the Internet, Leahy said he is continuing to explore the proposal.
“I am not interested in a panel comprised of partisans intent on advancing partisan conclusions,” Leahy said. “I regret that Senate Republicans have approached this matter to date as partisans. That was not my intent or focus. Indeed, it will take bipartisan support in order to move this forward. I continue to talk about this prospect with others in Congress, and with outside groups and experts. I continue to call on Republicans to recognize that this is not about partisan politics. It is about being honest with ourselves as a country. We need to move forward together.”