(via ThinkProgress) When the Obama Administration gets down to business later this month, it will have to decide whether or not to investigate numerous potentially illegal activities conducted by Bush Administration officials and if criminal prosecutions are warranted. It would be very interesting to get to the heart of the reason why the Bush Administration awarded no-bid contracts to corporations like Halliburton for Iraqi infrastructure reconstruction. The Bush Administration's policies on pre-emptive war, torture, and wire-tapping certainly danced on the fringes of legality, if not morality.
"We're still evaluating how we're going to approach the whole issue of interrogations, detentions, and so forth," Obama told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "And obviously we're going to look at past practices. And I don't believe that anybody is above the law. On the other hand, I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards." Obama added that he didn't want CIA agents, for example, feeling, "...like they've got to spend all their time looking over their shoulders and lawyering up." Obama also told Stephanopoulos that his Attorney Genreal (Eric Holder, nominee) would be making some of the decision as to who and what to prosecute. Obama said that Attorney General Holder would be the people's lawyer and should act independently from Obama's daily political concerns.
Obama reiterated the idea that his Administration will concentrate on making changes going forward. This is well and good, if there are no investigations or prosecutions if/where appropriate, then the new administration would effectively be passively complicit in the commission of the alleged crimes. Part of me understands that on a certain political level, it would make sense in a unifying, reach-across-the-aisle kind of way to let bygones be bygones. On the other hand, I don't see what Obama would have to lose in investigating the most horrifically incompetent and radically unpopular Administration in modern history.