Biden evades question on possible prosecution of Bush admin
Andrew McLemore
Published: Sunday December 21, 2008

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Joe Biden would not directly answer a question about whether or not top-ranking members of the Bush administration should be prosecuted for abuse at prisons around the world.

Interviewed by ABC News' George Stephanopolous, Biden said he was "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. "President-elect Obama and I are not sitting thinking about the past. We're focusing on the future."

Stephanopolous cited a report from the Senate Armed Services Committee that unanimously held former "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other high officials" directly responsible for torture at U.S. prison.

Biden said the ultimate decision on whether the cases should be reviewed would be up to the Justice Department.

Newsweek reported that top Bush administration officials could soon face legal jeopardy for prisoner abuse committed under their watch in the war on terror.

The future vice president had no qualms, however, about criticizing Vice President Dick Cheney for his approach to the executive office.

"His notion of a unitary executive, meaning that, in time of war, essentially all power, you know, goes to the executive, I think is dead wrong," Biden said. "I think it was mistaken. He also stands by the fact that we still should keep Guantanamo Bay open and so on."