Public Supports Investigations of Bush Misdeeds

By Dan Froomkin
9:34 AM ET, 02/12/2009

Jill Lawrence writes for USA Today: "The Bush administration's anti-terror policies have generated controversies, lawsuits and indelible images such as those of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

"They've also given rise to multiple opinions on whether to investigate, prosecute or just move on."

President Obama showed no appetite on Monday night for Sen. Patrick Leahy's proposed truth and reconciliation commission to investigate Bush administration misdeeds. Obama said he'd rather look forward than backward. But the public appears to believe we can do both at the same time.

In a separate story, Lawrence writes: "Even as Americans struggle with two wars and an economy in tatters, a USA Today/Gallup Poll finds majorities in favor of investigating some of the thorniest unfinished business from the Bush administration: Whether its tactics in the "war on terror" broke the law.

"Close to two-thirds of those surveyed said there should be investigations into allegations that the Bush team used torture to interrogate terrorism suspects and its program of wiretapping U.S. citizens without getting warrants. Almost four in 10 favor criminal investigations and about a quarter want investigations without criminal charges. One-third said they want nothing to be done.

"Even more people want action on alleged attempts by the Bush team to use the Justice Department for political purposes. Four in 10 favored a criminal probe, three in 10 an independent panel, and 25% neither."

© 2009 The Washington Post Company