Conyers introduces bill to probe Bush policies
Andrew McLemore
Published: Saturday January 10, 2009

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House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) unveiled a bill on Tuesday that would create a commission to investigate questionable policies of the Bush administration, including torture and wiretapping programs.

Named the National Commission on Presidential War Powers and Civil Liberties, the panel comprise "experts outside government service" who would review the Bush administration's "claims of unreviewable war powers."

The panel would have subpoena power and a budget of $3 million.

Talking Points Memo said it "sounds like a great idea," but asks why the bill has only 10 co-sponsors, including Conyers, and wonders why it has garnered little support so far from Congressional leadership.

"I'd wager that it has a lot to do with the Democratic majority's desire to turn the page on the Bush years and begin pressing on with an Obama agenda designed to showcase its ability to govern," the article states.

President-elect Barack Obama has also revealed a plan for investigating President Bush's alleged abuses of power that has already gained currency in Washington.

Obama's plan does not rule out prosecution, but delays it until all facts can be ascertained.

Some in the Obama camp feel the commission would amount to "bullshit" and that Bush officials should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

As for Conyers' attempt to hold Bush accountable, there is a constituency for it in the Senate and among Obama's team, but it is unclear if that will result in approval.

"Does anybody think that this sleeper bill will get so much as a hearing in any of the three separate committees it's been referred to?" TPM wrote.