Further roiling the Gitmo-politico-gulagian waters, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, Democratic leader of the House of Representatives, announced legislation that would create an independent commission to investigate detainee abuse modeled after the one created to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
"These questions are important because the safety of our country depends on our reputation and how we are viewed, especially in the Muslim world," she said.
California Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman, the ranking minority member of the House Government Reform Committee, chimed in. "Our national interest demands a thorough independent review of the detention system. We need answers to basic questions. What happened? Who is responsible? And how do we move forward?
"The Pentagon's internal investigations certainly do not meet this standard. The resulting reports have contained conflicting conclusions and some have been little more than whitewashes," Waxman said.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan pooh-poohed the idea, saying, "The Department of Defense has taken these issues head-on and addressed them. They continue to look into allegations of abuse. People are being held to account, and we think that's the way to go about this."
McClellan said the detainees — "dangerous enemy combatants ... who seek to do harm to the American people" — were "treated humanely" at Guantanamo.
House Republican Leader Tom DeLay of Texas called the Democratic commission push "strictly politics."
The crux of the matter is international PR vs. security gained by incarceration of these individuals and/or intelligence yet to be gathered from them.