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Friday, August 03, 2007

Winograd Commission report could be delayed for a year

Haaretz is reporting that if the Supreme Court grants the petition filed by the Chief Military Defense Council of the IDF, it could delay release of the Winograd Commission's final report for as long as a year. For reasons I have explained before, delays in the release of the Winograd Commission report are likely to result in Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert remaining in power for longer, since the final report is the most likely way for him to be ousted. Of course, all of this was likely foreseeable last fall, when Olmert blocked the appointment of a commission of inquiry (which has standard procedures that are ensconced in the law) and instead appointed the Winograd Commission to try to cover his own rear end. Obviously, that's why we have the Winograd Commission and not a state commission of inquiry:
The delay in the report's release would be inevitable, legal sources said, because the Israel Defense Forces are asking the courts to allow officers to review the evidence concerning their performance, cross-examine witnesses and submit their own concluding statements. The sources described these procedures as time-consuming.

Channel 10 reported Wednesday night that two of the committee's members are considering quitting the panel should the court decide to allow hearings for officers. The members were quoted as saying that they could not spend another year on the report.

To bypass the need for granting hearings, the committee could opt to omit all references to individual officers. Officials whose performances might be criticized by the committee would likely favor the move. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, for example, is believed to welcome a toned-down version of the report, as well as the possibility of a postponement.

Those who oppose pushing back the publication of the report warn that a belated release would serve to dampen the report's conclusions against the relevant parties and procedures responsible for omissions and failures that surfaced during the war with Hezbollah last summer.
And we Israelis sit on our hands doing nothing.


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