In an interview with last week, Congressman Dennis Kucinich–in line to be Chair of the Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations–used an unusual phrase to describe the importance of holding hearings into how and why America invaded Iraq.

“America needs a new approach of truth and reconciliation,” Kucinich told interviewer Joshua Scheer, He added, “we’ll never be able to bring closure to this Iraq matter unless we tell the truth about what happened.” Truth and reconciliation isn’t a phrase–or process–usually applied to American political life. But I think Kucinich is right. There is a need for truth and reconciliation–US-style. Some may prefer to call it an accountability moment–one that has eluded this country, with damaging consequences, for several years.

“This is a matter that relates to the conscience of this country,” Kucinich explains. “This is a matter of the heart–the heart of democracy itself. This is a matter of whether we’re going to have a sober reflection about the events that have transpired since 9/11, with respect to Iraq. And until we do this, we will be trapped not only physically in Iraq, we’ll be trapped emotionally and spiritually in Iraq. We may never get out of Iraq if we don’t tell the truth.”