We have just emerged from a time when White House officials often acted as if they were above the law. That was wrong and must be fully exposed so it never happens again.
The Huffington Post community and the netroots played a vital role pursuing, demanding, and exposing the Bush-Cheney administration's numerous abuses. But there's still more we don't know, and more we must uncover, about the misdeeds of the past eight years.
That is why I proposed the idea of a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate abuses during the Bush-Cheney administration. These abuses may include the use of torture, warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition, and executive override of laws.
During the past several years, this country has been divided as deeply as it has been at any time in our history since the Civil War. It has made our government less productive and our society less civil. In this week when we begin commemorating the Lincoln bicentennial, there is need, again, "to bind up the nation's wounds." President Lincoln urged that course in his second inaugural address some seven score and four years ago.
Rather than vengeance, we need a fair-minded pursuit of what actually happened. The best way to move forward is getting to the truth, finding out what happened, so we can make sure it does not happen again.
The Obama administration has already made huge strides to restore the Constitution and renew our commitment to international law after eight corrosive years. But we must read the full page on this dark chapter in American history before we can turn it for good, which is why I feel so strongly about investigating what really happened. I hope you agree.
A truth and reconciliation commission would be tasked with seeking answers. It would provide Congress and the American people with a shared understanding of the failures of the recent past, so we do not repeat them in the future.
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