Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bush Crime Watch for Tax Day 2008: "Obama would ask his AG to 'immediately review' potential of crimes in Bush White House"

During the primary season, before there were only two Democratic candidates left, I wondered if Barack Obama would take on the issue of the crimes ("war" and any others) of the Bush administration. I was afraid his desire for unity and healing would trump his longstanding devotion to our constitution and the rule of law. While his statement (below) doesn't commit him to the act of prosecution, it has opened the door and will now lead others to keep this topic in the public eye, should he succeed in November. Obama was interviewed yesterday by Will Bunch for his blog in The Philadelphia Daily News:
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.
I know the progressive blogosphere and others interested in the legal fabric of our country will be interested in how this plays out. On Tax Day 2008, I would be a lot happier if I knew my dollars were not funding cruel and criminal activities.


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