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6 Nw. J. L. & Soc. Pol'y 1 (2011)

handle is hein.journals/nwjlsopo6 and id is 1 raw text is: Copyright 2011 by Northwestern University School of Law                Volume 6 (Winter 2011)
Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy
We Don't Want Dollars, Just Change:1
Narrative Counter-Terrorism Strategy, an
Inclusive Model for Social Healing, and the Truth
About Torture Commission
Kim D. Chanbonpin*
In 2007, Professor Eric K Yamamoto acknowledged that reparations theory and
practice had reached a crossroads and called for a new strategic framework that
reparations advocates could utilize in working to achieve redress for social and
historical wrongs. This Article attempts to answer Yamamoto's call. In it, I situate my
proposal for a truth commission to redress the post-9/11 torture program in a new
Inclusive Model for Social Healing. In the past, reparations advocates have relied on
litigation-a strategic model that excludes participants other than the named parties-to
obtain redress. By increasing the number of stakeholders in a reparations scheme, the
Inclusive Model for Social Healing has the potential to attract more widespread support
from the public and is more resilient to criticism than exclusive litigation models.
A truth commission that would provide some measure of redress for those who have
suffered from the post-9/11 torture program is a critical testing ground for this new
model, especially as judicial avenues for relief appear to have been blocked. The federal
courts have consistently dismissed civil actions alleging torture and other brutal
treatment brought by former detainees against government officials. Attorney General
Eric Holder does not seem keen on pursuing charges against CIA agents operating under
the Torture Memos, so recourse in criminal court appears to be likewise unavailable.
Finally, despite concluding that the authors of the infamous Torture Memos had relied on
flawed legal reasoning, the Office of Professional Responsibility's February 2010 report
forecloses the possibility that John Yoo, Jay Bybee, and other Justice Department
lawyers will be subject to disciplinary action for creating the torture program. The time
to press for alternative forms of redress is now.
I This slogan appears on fundraising t-shirts printed by the Los Angeles, California chapter of AnakBayan,
an international youth-based political activism  organization.  See ANAKBAYAN Los ANGELES,
http://anakbayanla.org/ (last visited Jan. 31, 2010).
Assistant Professor of Law, The John Marshall Law School (JMLS), Chicago, Illinois. This Article is a
product of JMLS's generous summer research stipend. I am grateful for the comments I received from my
faculty colleagues when I presented an early version of this Article during the JMLS Faculty Works-in-
Progress series. Professor Eric K. Yamamoto, a valued mentor, and Professors Christina M. Sautter and
Sharon G. Finegan provided thoughtful critique on early drafts, all of which ultimately improved the
quality of this Article. Additional thanks go to my research assistants, Katie C. Galanes and Kristina
McClure, the JMLS Library Research Fellows, and the student editors of the Northwestern Journal of Law
and Social Policy. All errors are my own.

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