Garry Kasparov at CNN:
History teaches us the cost of well-meaning but shortsighted attempts to sacrifice justice for unity. Russians learned this in the hardest possible way after the fall of the Soviet Union. As I discussed at length in my book, Winter Is Coming, they declined to root out the KGB security state in the interest of national harmony. It would be too traumatic, our leaders said, to expose the countless atrocities the Soviet security forces committed and to punish their authors.
A feeble truth commission was quickly abandoned by President Boris Yeltsin, and soon even the Soviet archives were closed, although not before researchers like Vladimir Bukovsky revealed some of the KGB’s atrocities. The KGB’s name was changed to the FSB and its members quietly stayed in touch and intact. The result? A mere nine years after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Russia elected a former KGB lieutenant colonel, Vladimir Putin, to the presidency. It was the last meaningful election we ever had. We chose unity and we got dictatorship.
America should not make a similar mistake.