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Accountability For Bush Violations Of Rule Of Law? Maybe, Maybe Not…

Have to admit, when the initial reports about the Biden statements on potential accountability for the Bush Administration on Gitmo abuses, violations of the rule of law and contempt for habeas and other human rights came out, I was skeptical. Because these days, it pays to be skeptical of pretty much any public statement from any official.

Here’s how it usually works: public official says X, the media plays it up as bigger than it was meant factually. Public official then has to rollback the media spin, the other side gets their hands on it and blows it out of proportion entirely. More walk back ensues and then every side of the issue gets peeved. It’s no wonder most pols don’t open their mouths about anything of import these days if they can help it.

Which made the Biden statement kind of intriguing.

Howie wrote it up, pointing to some reporting on ABC. I had previously seen it in the TelegraphUK as well. Then, this appeared, sort of walking it back — but not in the usual way:

Asked about the comment this morning on Fox News, Biden said it is Congress — not a potential Obama administration — that is investigating the White House.

And he denied today that an Obama administration would launch criminal investigations against the 43rd president of the United States.

"The Obama-Biden administration is not going to start off saying, "God, let’s go take a lot at what [happened]." The American people want to know what we’re going to do, not what happened."

I’d like to think that Biden means it when he says Congress is looking into this thoroughly. And that he trusts them to get to the bottom of criminal activity, and that a new administration’s DOJ would prosecute wrongdoing whose statute of limitations hasn’t yet expired.

When we were at the DNC in Denver, I had a chance to speak with Sen. Leahy about the SJC’s efforts, and he was clearly beyond angry at what has happened with the DOJ’s reputation and the Bush Administration’s devastating impact on the rule of law. But he is one Senator, albeit a fairly powerful one, out of 100 — and, sad to say, too many of the others aren’t willing to risk sticking their necks out for justice.

What I do not want? The same zombie criminals like John Poindexter, Richard Perle, Dick Cheney and their ilk rising from the Iran-Contra crypt to once again "serve" in government, recycling their retread cliches to line the pockets of their pals while they fear-monger our way to a worse, conservative tomorrow.

And if there is no accountability? I fear that is exactly the future we can expect. Again. Haven’t we all had enough of this, yet?

(YouTube — The Rainmakers, Let My People Go-Go.)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com