Mr. Bush : Why we need a Truth Commission!

I reproduce here my comment on the subject of whether a Truth Commission on The Bush Era should be appointed, which I just completed for The New York Times. No doubt some of my points will be familiar, but –I believe– they come together to make a compelling case to appoint a non-partisan commission.

And to be fair to Mr. Bush, let us also determine here and now to appoint a similar Truth Commission to look at The Obama Era (–in 2016, I assume.)

[My Comment]

“We have in our nation –and abroad– a crisis of confidence.

It is a crisis which could, unless we act, destroy vital institutions –financial and governmental top the list.

How did we get here? Ah yes, the usual suspects: greed, irresponsibility, arrogance, selfishness,denial, debt, –all contribute to an abiding sense of near-collapse and near-chaos –still held at bay, but not for too much longer. At least, it would appear so.
So much has gone wrong in our nation and in our world to bring about this crisis in confidence.

But –Guess What?– nobody has admitted to doing anything wrong. The Buck Stops….Where? Nowhere. (Not yet.)

Mr. Bush has never admitted to a single mistake, let alone to deliberately deceiving us. It was a lie that has so far cost 4200 U.S. and countless Iraqi lives and will end up costing us over a trillion dollars. As well as our good name, our moral authority, our true American spirit of what we stand for.

On the financial front, rapacious greed, unconscionable risk, jaw-dropping irresponsibility have all combined to devastate the lives of millions.

But –Guess What?– nobody has admitted to doing anything wrong. The Buck Stops….Where? Nowhere. (Not yet.)

We recognize the faux-apologies: “Enough mistakes to go round”. Mr Bush recently spoke of his “disappointment” about the nonexistent WMD. The man’s immaturity is pathological. He looks to history to prove him right –which is why our history books need to include that Bush List from a Truth Commission.
But –to be fair to Mr. Bush (fairer to him than he has been to the nation) –let us decide right now to also have a post-Obama Truth Commsion (convened in 2016, I imagine) too. A measure of the difference between the two men is that Barack Obama would, we sense, be the first to agree to this.
(Indeed, let us have the verdict of a non-partisan commission of every president to come.)

Since the Garden of Eden, avoidance of responsibility has been the defining human pre-occupation, which is why we will need a non-partisan commission to get at the truth, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. (The Iraq Commission did a pretty good and acceptable job; we could use that model.)

Chaos and ruin abound –with still, no end in sight.
And yet –no one has done anything wrong!

So –will no one be punished? Will nothing get fixed or resolved?
And am I the only one to connect this extraordinary failure to act to our crisis in confidence?

It is a crisis of confidence not just in inept and venal and greedy institutions: it is a crisis of confidence in ourselves.

So –One Truth Commission! Please. (Do it in private –I’ll even give up my right to have all the juicy details.)”


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