Obama not likely to prosecute torture
David Edwards and Andrew McLemore
Published: Sunday January 11, 2009

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The one-time candidate of "change" and "hope" didn't leave much room for prosecution of the Bush administration in a Sunday interview.

President-elect Barack Obama suggested that prosecuting torture committed by the Bush administration would not be a priority for him once he takes office.

"We have not made final decisions, but my instinct is for us to focus on how to we make sure we're moving forward, we are doing the right thing. That doesn't mean that if somebody has blatantly broken the law that they are above the law, but my orientation is going to be moving forward," Obama said.

Interviewed by ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Obama said that he plans to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay but won't accomplish that goal during the first 100 days of his administration.

"It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize and we are going to get it done," he said.

Human rights and civil liberties groups have called for senior Bush administration officials to be prosecuted for a series of alleged abuses, from mishandling the conflict in Iraq to the illegal detention and torture of terrorist suspects and domestic spying.

Obama criticized Vice President Dick Cheney for his public defense of "extraordinary" interrogation methods used against top terrorism suspects, including waterboarding.

"Vice President Cheney, I think, continues to defend what he calls extraordinary measures or procedures when it comes to interrogations and from my view waterboarding is torture," Obama said.

"I have said that under my administration we will not torture."

Wire services contributed to this report.

This video is from ABC's This Week, broadcast Jan. 11, 2009.

Download video via RawReplay.com