Biden: Pursue Bush Crimes for Rule of Law, Not Vengeance
Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, has an important reason for Americans to vote Democratic this year: Accountability for war crimes.
Speaking in Florida on Wednesday, as the political world focused on his Republican counterpart, vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin, Biden said a Democratic administration would use a “fine-toothed comb” to investigate — and potentially prosecute — crimes by the Bush administration.
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“If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation,” Biden said, according to ABC News, “they will be pursued, not out of vengeance, not out of retribution — out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no one — no attorney general, no president, no one — is above the law.” Despite widespread public opposition to torture, and intense concern about war crimes among the Democratic base, many Democratic politicians, including Sen. Barack Obama, the party’s presidential nominee, have largely avoided highlighting these issues on the campaign trail.
Biden’s direct remarks are a shift. As a new analysis in The Guardian concluded, they “represent the Democrats’ strongest vow so far this year to investigate alleged misdeeds committed during the Bush years.” Meanwhile, in her biting nomination speech, Palin lit into Democrats for prioritizing the “rights” of terrorists over national security. While she and Biden are currently talking past each other, they’ll have the chance to tackle these questions at the vice presidential debate next month.