Biden Not Ruling Out Prosecuting Bush Officials For Prisoner Abuse

By Jennifer Parker

Dec 21, 2008 9:19am

The Senate Armed Services Committee last week released a unanimous report that said that the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, at Guantanamo, at prisons around the world, is a direct and indirect result of decisions made by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other high-level Bush administration officials.

So I asked the future vice president: Should they be prosecuted for that?

"That’s a judgment, remember, four years ago on your program I made, so I haven’t changed my mind. And this confirms," Biden told me.

"But the questions of whether or not a criminal act has been committed or a very, very, very bad judgment has been engaged in is — is something the Justice Department decides.Barack Obama and I are — President-elect Obama and I are not sitting thinking about the past. We’re focusing on the future," he said.

Biden argued it’s up to the Justice Department, under Attorney General-designate Eric Holder, to determine whether the case should be reviewed.

"I’m not ruling it in and not ruling it out. I just think we should look forward. I think we should be looking forward, not backwards," Biden said.

–George Stephanopoulos

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