The rule of law demands it

Published 9:14 pm Tuesday, April 28, 2009

President Reagan once called America a “shining city on the hill” to describe our democracy and the beacon of hope it provides to the world.

But under President Bush, that view of a nation whose moral authority rests on the rule of law was cast into a deep pit of darkness with the White House-approved use of torture on terrorism suspects.

Late last week, the Justice Department provided the fullest accounting to date of that when it released memos detailing brutal interrogation techniques that were based on the perverted legal opinions of Bush administration attorneys. …

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Within days of taking office, President Obama renounced torture and said the interrogation methods would never be used again. It was an important move to restore America’s moral standing around the globe.

He advanced further up the high ground in releasing the memos and condemning what he called “a dark and painful chapter in our history.” …

The memos show the need for a complete investigation into the circumstances that gave rise to torture and the people in the most senior reaches of the Bush administration who approved the criminal practices.

The best way to accomplish that is creation of an independent, bipartisan panel modeled on the 9/11 Commission that would release its findings for Americans, and the world, to see.

The whole truth, and nothing but the truth, must be known to ensure this never happens again.

The rule of law demands it.

— Florida Today