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Obama would ask his AG to "immediately review" potential of crimes in Bush White House
Philly.com ^ | April 14, 2008 | Will Bunch

Posted on 10/13/2008 5:39:24 PM PDT by Red Steel

Tonight I had an opportunity to ask Barack Obama a question that is on the minds of many Americans, yet rarely rises to the surface in the great ruckus of the 2008 presidential race -- and that is whether an Obama administration would seek to prosecute officials of a former Bush administration on the revelations that they greenlighted torture, or for other potential crimes that took place in the White House.

Obama said that as president he would indeed ask his new Attorney General and his deputies to "immediately review the information that's already there" and determine if an inquiry is warranted -- but he also tread carefully on the issue, in line with his reputation for seeking to bridge the partisan divide. He worried that such a probe could be spun as "a partisan witch hunt." However, he said that equation changes if there was willful criminality, because "nobody is above the law."

The question was inspired by a recent report by ABC News, confirmed by the Associated Press, that high-level officials including Vice President Dick Cheney and former Cabinet secretaries Colin Powell, John Ashcroft and Donald Rumsfeld, among others, met in the White House and discussed the use of waterboarding and other torture techniques on terrorism suspects.

I mentioned the report in my question, and said "I know you've talked about reconciliation and moving on, but there's also the issue of justice, and a lot of people -- certainly around the world and certainly within this country -- feel that crimes were possibly committed" regarding torture, rendition, and illegal wiretapping. I wanted to know how whether his Justice Department "would aggressively go after and investigate whether crimes have been committed."

Here's his answer, in its entirety:

"What I would want to do is to have my Justice Department and my Attorney General immediately review the information that's already there and to find out are there inquiries that need to be pursued. I can't prejudge that because we don't have access to all the material right now. I think that you are right, if crimes have been committed, they should be investigated. You're also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt because I think we've got too many problems we've got to solve.

So this is an area where I would want to exercise judgment -- I would want to find out directly from my Attorney General -- having pursued, having looked at what's out there right now -- are there possibilities of genuine crimes as opposed to really bad policies. And I think it's important-- one of the things we've got to figure out in our political culture generally is distinguishing betyween really dumb policies and policies that rise to the level of criminal activity. You know, I often get questions about impeachment at town hall meetings and I've said that is not something I think would be fruitful to pursue because I think that impeachment is something that should be reserved for exceptional circumstances. Now, if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in coverups of those crimes with knowledge forefront, then I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law -- and I think that's roughly how I would look at it."

The bottom line is that: Obama sent a clear signal that -- unlike impeachment, which he's ruled out and which now seems a practical impossibility -- he is at the least open to the possibility of investigating potential high crimes in the Bush White House. To many, the information that waterboarding -- which the United States has considered torture and a violation of law in the past -- was openly planned out in the seat of American government is evidence enough to at least start asking some tough questions in January 2009.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008; doj; issues; obama; probe
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I didn't see this posted . A reminder to about one more thing for us to look forward to if Obama is elected.
1 posted on 10/13/2008 5:39:25 PM PDT by Red Steel
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To: Red Steel
How about starting with VOTER FRAUD and STOLEN ELECTIONS, Messiah???
2 posted on 10/13/2008 5:41:34 PM PDT by April Lexington (I'm voting for McCain in 2008 and Jefferson Davis in 2012)
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To: Red Steel

I want to see Obama do a FROG March....sooner than later!


3 posted on 10/13/2008 5:41:52 PM PDT by goodnesswins (Socialism is great until you run out of someone else's money (M. Thatcher))
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To: Red Steel
He'd only be doing his Loony Left wing Base's bidding.

That's why all that crap about 0bama being a uniter is, well...just CRAP.

4 posted on 10/13/2008 5:42:17 PM PDT by T Lady (The Mainstream Media: Public Enemy #1)
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To: Red Steel

Sounds like Dubya can expect a visit from the boys down at the Nation Of Islam on 01-21-09. He might want to be out of town.


5 posted on 10/13/2008 5:42:22 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (President Barack HUSSEIN Obama. America's way of thanking Al Qaeda for 09-11-01.)
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To: Red Steel

Bush needs to pardon everyone on the way out the door.....

screw you Barry.


6 posted on 10/13/2008 5:42:25 PM PDT by misterrob (Obama-Keep the Change!)
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To: Red Steel
Let's also prosecute Bubba Clinton for letting Obama Osama get away.
7 posted on 10/13/2008 5:43:11 PM PDT by April Lexington (I'm voting for McCain in 2008 and Jefferson Davis in 2012)
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To: Red Steel

Rove better go into exile.


8 posted on 10/13/2008 5:43:20 PM PDT by Red Steel
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To: Red Steel

BTTT


9 posted on 10/13/2008 5:43:29 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Who would the terrorists vote for?)
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To: Red Steel

Friends & Associates of Barack Hussein Obama


10 posted on 10/13/2008 5:43:46 PM PDT by Brown Deer
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To: Red Steel

I have a distinct feeling under an obama administration we’re going to see events that will make Ruby Ridge and Waco look like a day in the park.


11 posted on 10/13/2008 5:43:54 PM PDT by randomhero97 ("First you want to kill me, now you want to kiss me. Blow!" - Ash)
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To: Red Steel

This is among many things that has bothered me about this election.

The Republicans and Democrats are so willing to throw Bush under the bus that we now must openly consider that President Bush will be convicted of
war crimes in the next administration. honesly, I would not put McCain past it.

I know McCain really believes that the Bush administration engages in torture.

The anti Bush rage that gets not even a slap from McCain is one of many annoyances from this man who must save us from Obama.


12 posted on 10/13/2008 5:44:53 PM PDT by lonestar67 (Its time to withdraw from the War on Bush-- your side is hopelessly lost in a quagmire.)
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To: April Lexington

And after that let’s really get into the Logan Act!


13 posted on 10/13/2008 5:45:08 PM PDT by truthluva ("Character is doing the right thing even when no one is looking" - JC Watts)
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To: T Lady

Evidence will not matter in these cases, only the seriousness of the charge. The verdict will already be in. Stalin and Beria would be proud.


14 posted on 10/13/2008 5:45:14 PM PDT by Fred Hayek (Leftism is a mental disorder)
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To: misterrob
Bush needs to pardon Obama immediately. It's the only way the Rezco story will get in the news.
15 posted on 10/13/2008 5:45:34 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Who would the terrorists vote for?)
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To: Red Steel

communist regime change.


16 posted on 10/13/2008 5:45:38 PM PDT by ken21 (people die and you never hear from them again.)
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To: Red Steel

Obama talking about the Constitution...that is rich.

I am hoping Mr. Philip Berg is able to prove Obama is an Indonesian citizen born in Kenya who needs to be deported because he is an illegal alien.


17 posted on 10/13/2008 5:46:11 PM PDT by Frantzie
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To: April Lexington
How about starting with VOTER FRAUD and STOLEN ELECTIONS, Messiah???
They intend to. But it will over ohio in 04 and florida in 00. Democrats have long memories to go with long knives if you get my drift. Have you talked to democrats lately? They're out for serious blood. An Obama victory is probably the scariest thing any conservative can imagine.
18 posted on 10/13/2008 5:46:16 PM PDT by ketsu (It’s not a campaign. It’s a taxpayer-funded farewell tour.)
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To: Red Steel
This just makes me more p*ssed at Bush - in the interest of self-preservation why didn't he ACT on obvious indications of fraud after the 2000 election???

As it is it was just a matter of time before a real marxist radical steals an election.

19 posted on 10/13/2008 5:46:52 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: misterrob

Yes, a blanket pardon for anyone in his administration...screw the Obamaniacs...somehow I doubt a pardon would stop their partisan investigations however as the only way they can distract the populace from their governing lunacy is to keep the investigation of those evil republicans in the Bush White House who kept us safe and without terror attacks for the past 7+ years.


20 posted on 10/13/2008 5:47:27 PM PDT by Froggie
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