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Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner is the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero.

The Unbottled Genie

President Obama's initial impulse -- not to perseverate on the past, to let history make a final judgment, and to move forward -- was a reasonable one. He has a huge and urgent agenda and does not want to get mired in settling old scores. That said, once the genie is out of the bottle, there is no way to reinsert it.

If, as it now appears likely, there were illegalities or gross improprieties carried out by the CIA, with explicit White House approval, the current administration has no choice but to allow an investigation to go forward. Otherwise, the current administration becomes party to a cover-up.

My advice to Obama is to stick to his position that he does not want to paw over the past unnecessarily, but at the same time, allow the Justice Department to do its work independently. In that way, the president will not be personally derailed from his priorities, but will not be seen as part of covering up, or, to switch metaphors, as sweeping more dirt under the rug.

By Howard Gardner

 |  July 13, 2009; 1:20 PM ET
Category:  Ethics Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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This is a very difficult and complicated issue and is not to discuss it democratically. The State security strategy is supported by intelligence and counterintelligence. These are not constitutional issues and are not contained in any constitution. The intelligence and counterintelligence are needs and no one can survive without the other. It is quite possible that counterintelligence activities, become in violating acts of normal constitucional rules, but is a real danger to the survival of a democratic state, try to discuss them democratically and convert the security state strategy in something of public domain.

Posted by: lgjaramillo | July 14, 2009 3:30 PM
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Yes, an investigation of possible abuse by the bush/cheney administration is imperative.
The apparent abuse by the former vp must be investigated.torture,cronyism and contracts,secret energy meeting abuse,refusal to abide by checks and balances.
bush/cheney greatest power-least accountable.

Posted by: jama452 | July 14, 2009 11:24 AM
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