Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Obama would ask AG to "immediately review" potential crimes of Bush WH

Posted by Teresa at 11:43 AM
Talk about pandering to the Daily Kos crowd:
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 between 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.
Yes, because I'm really worried about the Bush administration and the actions they
took to keep us safe. Are you serious?

Looks like Obama changed his tune on this issue from just last October:
Barack Obama responded by declaring that we cannot "have the
president of the United States state as a matter of policy that there
is a loophole or an exception where we would sanction torture." He
then shifted, in the very same breath, to state that "there are going
to be all sorts of hypotheticals, an emergency situation, and
I will
make that judgment at that time." In other words, he wants
to preserve the very same loophole for which he lambastes President Bush!
Update: Allahpundit puts his answer in perspective:
He can’t say that he won’t look into it or else he’s committing to ignoring
possible criminality (not to mention denying his base their erotic fantasy
of Bush being frogmarched away) but he can’t promise to launch a major
investigation or else he’s bound to it and sidetracked in a war with the
Republicans from day one. So he gives the only response he can give
realistically, one which Maverick himself would likely be forced to
approximate if asked.
It's the answer that all the candidates will likely give but they'll probably leave out
the "immediately" part.

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