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More Thoughts on a Jan 6th Commission

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March 6, 2021 8:44 a.m.

Having considered the issue I’m inclined to back TPM Reader JG’s argument that we should drop the 9/11 Commission model for investigating the January 6th insurrection and opt instead for congressional subpoenas, investigations and prosecutions. TPM Reader JB comes at a complementary point from another angle …

Your correspondent JG makes some worthy points arguing against establishing a January 6 Commission, along the lines of the 9/11 Commission. It’s worth thinking about the latter for a moment.

The 9/11 Commission is highly thought of by some commentators for its bipartisanship and commitment to consensus. It did its work without getting sucked into bitter partisan contention over the Iraq war or other Bush administration initiatives, and addressed some real issues in securing the nation against Islamist terrorism.

All this came at a price, it seems to me. We need to ask ourselves if accepting that price in our current situation is worth it. The 9/11 Commission condemned no one in the Bush administration for having been asleep at the switch with respect to al Qaeda; it stayed miles away from any conclusion that could have been politically damaging to the incumbent Republican President.

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