What is a truth commission? The United States Institute of Peace defines truth commissions thus:
Generally, truth commissions are bodies established to research and report on human rights abuses over a certain period of time in a particular country or in relation to a particular conflict. Truth commissions allow victims, their relatives and perpetrators to give evidence of human rights abuses, providing an official forum for their accounts. In most instances, truth commissions are also required by their mandate to provide recommendations on steps to prevent a recurrence of such abuses. They are created, vested with authority, sponsored, and/or funded by governments, international organizations, or both.
An article on the site Beyond Intractability catalogs all of the truth commissions that have existed around the world, listing 25 different commissions as of the article’s publication. Some countries, like Uruguay and Uganda, have needed truth commissions on different occassions (I guess they forgot the past and needed more truth exposed). WikiPedia also gives a list of truth commissions along with their corresponding Web sites.
The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission is an on-going truth commission in this country, needed because of conflicting interpretations of a horrible event (read the site).
I think after the Bush2 (Bush squared) Administration is either impeached or finishes its term, this country is going to need a truth commission. The catalog of lies, corruption and general mendacity has far exheeded the norm; on the Bell Curve of mendacity, Bush2 is off the bell and on the bell handle. A fucking abomination. Truly.
It might be that we need to create a new word to describe the crawling mendacity of Bush2. The Germans did it; they created the word VergangenheitsbewÃ¤ltigung to describe the atrocities of the Third Reich and their trying to cope with them. In english the word means “struggle to come to terms with the past.” That’s what we are going to have to do–struggle.