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Don’t Criminalize the Investigations. Immunize the Witnesses!

May 22nd, 2013 - 9:11 pm

We want the truth, the whole truth.  The best way to get it is to immunize congressional witnesses who tell the story.  That way, they will be part of a common effort to understand what went wrong, rather than targets of a criminal investigation.  It may surprise you to learn that there are many civil servants who have quietly asked to be subpoenaed so their superiors will not accuse them of ratting out their bureaucratic cohorts.  Fair enough.  Subpoena them, and give them the protection of immunity, provided they tell the truth.

The cudgel of criminal action should be reserved for those who insist on clamming up, for they are obstructing investigations desperately needed to protect and advance our freedoms.  But, as Andy McCarthy argues with his usual brilliance, for heaven’s sake let’s not have special prosecutors, who will throw a mantle of secrecy (“can’t talk about it, there’s a criminal investigation here”) over the whole thing.  We want transparency, not secrecy.  Secrecy is part of the problem and no part of the solution.

This requires Congress to carry the burden, and ferret out the truth.  It’s hard to imagine our elected representatives will do themselves proud.  So be it.  It’ll be messy.  But then, democracy is messy.  Chaos can be creative.  The pols will need an attentive and responsible press to call attention to their errors and their omissions. Hard to imagine that, too.  So be it.  There’s a lot of journalists, editors, talk show hosts, bloggers and even entertainers out there.  I think we can sort it out.  Bring it on.  Give us a chance.

I sure hope we can get this right, even approximately right.  When we elected Obama I said that we were in for a hell of a fight.  We’ve got it.  Let’s make the best of it.  It’s political, stupid, in a very fundamental way:  it’s about freedom and tyranny, the essence of American politics.  Don’t turn it over to the lawyers.  Get the story.  Tell it all.  Then we’ll figure out how best to deal with the mess we’re in.

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Top Rated Comments   
The House Repubs are doing as much as they can do, it seems to me. They passed another a bill to overturn the Un-affordable Healthcare law and just yesterday passed a bill to bypass Obama on the Keystone pipeline. I think it is unhelpful to berate them when they are doing their best.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (82)
All Comments   (82)
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CAN they be immunized? Doesn't it take the DOJ, which will refuse?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Were the US not to learn from this mess accurately described by ML, others can.

Otherwise, we are in more trouble than what some perceive to be the case.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"it's about freedom and tyranny" - no, it's about good vs. evil.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
FORGET IMMUNIZATION. PEOPLE WHO TALK NEED WITNESS PROTECTION.

We're dealing with a Chicago thugocracy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
EVEN IF WE IMMUNIZE DUBBYA, I DON'T THINK HE'LL TALK.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
when we don't know the story, all theories are possible...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
ii'm sure you know a lot. and i'm grateful for your help.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Some of the witnesses are among the guilty. They should fear going to jail. There are too many crooks in government as of now. How many Congress people aqrrived at their current jobs with average income and the prospect of earning whatever the average attorney or whatever makes....now that same person may be rich. Hastert, a former speaker certainly gave the impression of being an honest ex-coach. He retired a rich man.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
i can't begin to tell you how often i heard and read those words "...among the guilty...should fear going to jail..." about myself during iran-contra. at the end of the day, there was nothing...so don't be so sure. remember that the best is often the enemy of the good. we're facing a national crisis, we have to get the full picture, we want people to talk...lots of them will be more willing to talk if they can just tell their story...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Shall not be infringed" means what it says and says what it means.

While "Shall not be compelled" is subject to interpretation.

Yeah...

That doesn't make any sense. "Shall not" means one thing over here, but means something else entirely over there.

Unless, of course, we're all choosing who gets to play Piggy in the next production of "Lord of the Flies." Then, it makes sense...kinda. If you're nuts.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Exactly correct. immunize all witnesses from prosecution 'if the tell the truth'. But if they are caught in a lie then full prosecution is the order of the day.
This is the only way to get to the bottom of a cabal of liars and thieves, those who tell the truth walk, those who do not get a stripped suit and a private place to live....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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