Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has established committees of inquiry devoid of any real basis and lacking in public credibility. The results they produce will be viewed with distrust.
Olmert is well aware of the differences between the various tools of inquiry. He evaded the governmental decision to establish a state committee because it would have been comprised of members nominated by the president of the Supreme Court, and because a former senior Supreme Court justice would have headed it. Olmert knows that the public would attribute great importance to the findings of such a committee.
The prime minister has also circumvented a governmental committee of inquiry headed by a former senior justice – a committee that would have had the investigative authorities of a state committee of inquiry.
Olmert’s laboratory has concocted committees of inquiry that are internal by nature, even if they do include members outside the system.
Even if the committee does have any actual investigate authority, the fact that the government has control over nominating its members and the publication of its report turn the governmental inquiry into a national farce.
Olmert hasn’t gained anything by creating the committees. He hasn’t even bought himself a political grace period. It is likely that that voices calling for a state committee of inquiry and political responsibility won’t be quieted any time soon.
The High Court of Justice is supposed to review a petition calling for the creation of a state committee of inquiry. In the past such petitions have been rejected. However, it has been made clear that judicial intervention is possible in “unusual and irregular” cases. The second Lebanon war is precisely that.
Olmert Announces Formation of Governmental War Inquiry (Jerusalem Post)
PM nixes call to form stronger state commission because it “would paralyze entire system. It “would not prepare for the future, which is to deal with the Iranian threat.” According to Olmert, “A state inquiry commission headed by a judge would paralyze the entire system. Everyone would then get a lawyer and concentrate on how to pin the blame on someone else.”