We CAN handle the truth

Kudos to Sam Stein from the Huffington Post yesterday for a) getting to ask a question at a prime-time presidential press conference as a reporter for a Web-only news site and b) asking a darn good question -- whether President Obama supports an idea backed by Senate veteran Patrick Leahy of Vermont for a national Truth Commission that would finally reveal all the facts on torture, rendition, wiretapping, political firings of U.S. Attorneys and other scandals of the Bush era.

Here's Leahy's proposal:

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy insisted on Monday in firm and passionate terms that a comprehensive investigation be launched into the conduct of the Bush administration, saying anything less would prevent the country from moving forward.

Speaking at a forum at Georgetown University, the Vermont Democrat suggested the creation of a truth and reconciliation commission to uncover the "misdeeds" of the past eight years.

"Many Americans feel we need to get to the bottom of what went wrong," said Leahy. "I agree. We need to be able to read the page before we turn the page."

As for Obama and the question, he gave what's become his stock answer since I was the first journalist to ask him about this issue back in April, that nobody's above the law but that he wants his focus to be forward looking. Fair enough, which is why we have a federal government that was designed to multi-task. Leahy's proposal commission would give Americans some of the answers we deserve without dropping the burden on Obama's lap -- I think it's a good idea, although there are major questions about what to do if and when egregious violations of the law are uncovered.

You may have noticed the comments are back, so as Pat Benetar says, "Fire away!"