could the choice have been more cynical?

Fortunately we have already seen an enormous number of articulate essays expressing outrage that Henry Kisssinger has been appointed to head the outrageously tardy formation of a commission charged with investigating the terrorist attacks of Sept.11. Here's another.

Unfortunately, nothing will come of this outrage and we will remain saddled with what the world will see as a cover-up constructed by political insiders and presided over by a man who has managed to ensure that most of his own sordid career remains a closed book, a man, incidently, who currently cannot travel outside this country without risking subpoena or arrest in connection with war crimes for which he is alleged to be responsible. Nice start for reassuring the world of our virtue and innocence.

The "war crime" charge against Kissinger became something of a scare in London earlier this year. During Kissinger's visit to Royal Albert Hall, human rights activists staged a protest, some banging drums and chanting "evil war criminal" outside. Peter Tatchell had just lost a court fight to have Kissinger jailed for the "killing, injuring and displacement" of some 3 million Vietnamese and Cambodians during America's military involvement in Indochina. Earlier, the Spanish judge who prosecuted Gen. Augusto Pinochet for crimes against humanity had tried to get permission to question Kissinger in the case. Specifically, the judge was interested in Kissinger's possible knowledge or involvement in a plan Latin America's military regimes had employed to get rid of their opposition. The British Home Office denied the judge permission to question Kissinger during his visit to London.