January 12th, 2009
03:02 PM ET

What Should Obama Do About Investigating Bush Administration Policies?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President-elect Barack Obama was asked if he plans to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate certain Bush administration policies, most notably, wiretapping and torture.

In an interview on ABC, Obama seemed to waiver on an answer. You may remember that as a candidate he condemned these practices and called them unjustified. Now he said he hasn't decided what he'll do.

What should he do?

The President-elect said he's not likely to launch a broad investigation into treatment of terrorism suspects and eavesdropping under the Bush administration. But He did say that prosecutions will proceed if the Justice Department finds that laws were broken.

President-elect Obama said it's more important to look forward than back. Is it?

Mr. Obama is walking a fine line. He's trying to establish trust and make friends at the CIA and with conservatives in Congress. Both groups oppose an investigation into the Bush practices. But there is also pressure for the Bush administration to be held accountable, and there's already a measure in the house to create a commission to investigate detention and interrogation techniques under the outgoing administration.

Here’s my question to you: What should President-elect Barack Obama do when it comes to a broad investigation of Bush administration policies such as eavesdropping and torture?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Paul frpm Brooklyn, New York writes:
If Obama believes that the Constitution is worth more than the paper it's written on then all who knowingly and willingly violated it must be dealt with. If our constitution can be savaged as it has been for the last 8 years with no consequences what does that say about us as a society? I contributed to, campaigned for and voted for Barack Obama. If he wants to prove me wrong, all he has to do is look the other way and ignore all the "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" of the Bush Cheney administration.

I.J. writes:
I admire the vigilance and perseverance of the Bush administration in preventing another attack. People who object to the wire tapping "might" have something to hide, and objecting to aggressive interrogation in time of war is self-destructive. Which is the lesser of two evils: infringing on the constitution or the loss of life of 9/11?

Jeremy writes:
I 100 percent agree with Obama that we should, as a country, look forward and not back. However, this country and its citizenry were wronged by several policies and practices of the current administration. If we will not hold our own government accountable to the ideals of individual liberties that we encourage other countries to practice, then how can we move forward?

Eric writes:
President Ford had it right you have to get rid of the past before you can move on. He pardoned Nixon and the country moved on. President Obama has to stop any investigation before it begins. He can not waste his administration's time and effort on some sort of revenge on the Republicans or President Bush. To really go forward he might consider a pardon.

S writes:
It took 8 years for this country to get this far off course, the hijackers are still on board and Obama doesn't even have the helm yet. The American people have basically demanded accountability. I think they'll get it in due time. There's no telling what we'll find once the curtains are pulled back and daylight filters back into all the "undisclosed" locations.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Bush Administration
soundoff (538 Responses)
  1. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    I would say let sleeping dogs lye. It would cost and waste to much money. We all know the rats that they are.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  2. Conor in Chicago

    Nothing. In order to bring charges against Bush the President-Elect will not have to do anything. Prosecutors across the country have the power to bring Bush to trial so it would be best to have Obama stay out of it so as to not make a volite political situation in America even worse.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  3. Tom, Darien, CT

    Obama should indict everyone not pardoned by Bush on January 19th.

    But in reality Obama won't actually have anyone to bring charges against
    since Bush is going to be pardoning everyone from Cheney on down in the next week.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  4. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    for the sake of the Country investigations should take place. If laws were broken then we should follow the law and prosecute. We also need to put into place new laws insuring that this does not happen again. While we need to be safe as a Nation. If we have to shred the Constitution of the United States to be safe. The Terrorists have already won.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  5. JR in Norfolk VA

    Jack – I find it interesting that today you are asking two questions on your show that presuppose that we, the audience, have complete knowledge of all that has transpired. Do not substitute media reporting for fact. If there is sufficient evidence warranting investigation of the Bush administration, then the law dictates that the Obama administration should do so. But if this is to be a political witch hunt for which the outcome has already been predetermined, it will be the "investigators" and their masters who should be put on trial.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  6. Rod from Allentown PA

    If he is smart nothing. We have enough problems to worry about without throwing more shoes at the outgoing administration.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  7. Jim


    Obama should do nothing. He has far more pressing matters to deal with than pursuing Bush. If the Department of Justice believes it has credible evidence that laws were broken, it should pursue an investigation just as it would in any other case. Obama should stay out of any such investigation

    Reno, Nevada

    January 12, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  8. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA

    I think Obama should investigate the policies of democrats in congress. He should look at the relationship between campaign contributions and the votes cast by democrat congressmen.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  9. Dave in Saint Louis,MO

    Nothing! In fact he should implement whatever the Bush Administration did in keeping us safe since 9/11.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  10. Anj in CA

    Great idea in terms of doing justice, but impractical for now at least, given all the other things that need immediate and total focus. Surely Obama should discontinue the obvioiusly illegal and unconstitutional policies immediately, but I think punishing those responsible for them in the first place is going to have to wait.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  11. joseph

    Nothing. The President is the Commander in Chief of our military and sets the agenda for the law enforcement and intelligence communities. They were following orders so there is nothing to be gained by investigating and prosecuting them. We are about to change Commander and Chiefs as well as leaders in the law enforcment and intelligence communities. The prosecutions for crimes at Abu Gharig should serve as a warning to the new leaders. Lets put this ugly chapter behind us and spend time and money fixing the economy and destroying Al Qaeda.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  12. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Don't think he will be able to do anything as believe Bush will give hisself and his fellow manipulators a blanket pardon.
    There are many more problems at this time that will take priority
    over prosecution, even if it was possible.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  13. Jenna Wade

    What should President-elect Barack Obama do when it comes to a broad investigation of Bush administration policies such as eavesdropping and torture?

    Ensure that those who have violated our US Constitution are brought to trial no matter what office they may have held in the past.

    Obama needs to prove to Americans that our laws DO Matter.

    Roseville CA

    January 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  14. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    The wire taps violate our constitutional protections, and the torture violates international law. Both activities should be investigated and anyone connected to them should be charged with a crime and prosecuted......up to and including those at the highest levels of our government.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  15. Jenny Rome Ga

    Let sleeping dogs lie. Obama is gonna have his hands full enough with the ecomony and the war(s) going on. He can open this can of worms in a few months if necessary.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  16. Tom in Dubuque

    Jack, Mr. Obama should concentrate on what he is going to do, and let Congress investigate the crimes of Bush and Cheney.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  17. Terrell Walker Escondido Ca.

    Jack....George Bush deserves our pity...He simply does not have a clue. He was used and duped and made to feel as though he were some kind of hero by all of the neocoms. In other words,just dumb as a sack of bricks. There are those however that should be jailed without the benifit of an investigation or a trial. They should all be sent to Gitmo and waterboarded. Especially our less than illustrious Vice President who is the true embodiment of evil. Then start with the Wall street leeches and haliburton......and Oh Man! The list goes on and on.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  18. Michael B Saskatoon Canada

    Everything possible. He claims he wants to improve America's image in the world, but by letting these savage criminals walk away unscathed from their crimes against humanity will only re-enforce the stereotype of America's above the law", and also that will force the international community to do something about it, tarnishing and weakening America's standing even further. And the world WILL do something, because these thugs must be brought to justice, to show that even the most powerful must abide by the laws.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  19. Patrick in Hampstead, Maryland

    Jack – Obama should set up a bi-partisan commission to investigate the Bush Administration on not just these policies but also to the learn the truth behind going to War with IRAQ. Everyone now knows that this was a complete sham. If Obama is to regain friendships with old and new allies then he needs to demonstrate, even if just symbolically, that no one in this country is above the law. What Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld did with this War was inexcusable. They must be called on it.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  20. James Lenon - Chuckey TN

    Rather than waste taxpayers' money and Congress's time and already short attention, Obama should concentrate on restoring the damage to our Constitution and laws that is the ugliest part of the Bush legacy. Investigative journalists may find actionable material to bring before federal prosecutors. But Congress won't find any indictable offenses and Obama needs to deal with preventing national collapse.

    At this point, W becomes small potatoes and history will reveal the depth of his inadequacy and criminality.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  21. Joan

    It is the responsibilit of every government to examine all policies for whose administration it is responsible. This should be part of hte new administration's job.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  22. Richard Rohde

    I believe Obama is now getting an education in his real responsibilites and a clearer view of the threats that are omnipresent. If indeed there was abuse there are internal, secure means to deal with it. Campaign rhetoric on this is one thing, finding out the real situation is quite another. He should follow the advice of the professional (non-political) personnel he has advising him.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  23. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    Obama was in more of a position to do something about it as a Senator than he will be as President. As a member of Congress, Obama had the power to stop President Bush as the crimes were being committed, but he didn't. Where was the leadership? And it's not just Obama, every single candidate failed that test.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  24. steve


    The messiah won't investigate, change, or cancel either the eavesdropping or torture policies, but CONTINUE them. Sad.

    He's a turtle sitting on a fence post – think about it.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  25. Terry, Chandler AZ

    I'd like to see many of the Bushies locked up. But Jack, we gotta move forward to solve the important issues. President Obama should leave the Bushies alone and solve these problems and making changes where he can. He will be successful. This will be the punishment for the Bushies.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  26. tom tyskiewicz

    how about the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the entire eight-year-term of bush-cheney administration. it would certainly have a stimulative effect for the legal profession.

    tom, forest hills, pa

    January 12, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  27. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack there is part of me that wants to say President Bush should be held accountable for breaking the law. I have very strong feelings when it comes to my phone conversations being listen to and torturing prisoners. But having an investigation at this time would only create bad blood in Congress and take the focus off of saving our economy which we cannot afford to do. President Obama needs everyone on board and working together. Investigating the outgoing president from another party would only prevent that from happening

    January 12, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  28. Independent for Obama

    If the only goal is to learn what has or has not truely helped our intelligence agancies then fine, investigate away....But don't waste time ( and our precious money) criticizing an already disliked and outgoing administration.
    Janie, Holyoke MA

    January 12, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  29. JD in NH

    He should appoint a special prosecutor immediately. Given the crimes that appear to have been committed, we need to see through the fog of this kumbayah moment and identify and punish the individuals who, on what appears to be some ideological jihad, got us into a war of choice, tortured people, violated the Geneva Conventions and shredded our Constitution. Of course, there's always the chance they'll all be pardoned on January 19.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  30. Ken in Seattle

    Nothing, even though some of Bush's policies certainly warrant investigation and probable prosecution. The vast number of problems Bush is leaving this country will require 100% of Obama's and congress's time and energy. In addition, the solutions will require bipartisan support, which would be greatly diminished if either Obama or congress embarks on a witch hunt. The country simply cannot afford the distraction. As gratifying as it would be to see some members of the Bush Administration frog marched into a federal prison for the rest of their natural days I think we need to move on.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  31. Gerard Canta N. Arlington NJ

    Truly innocent people who were hurt by a government should be paid for the mistakes made by that government, even if it's not theirs.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  32. Doug - Dallas, TX

    At this point, those investigations should be low on the priority list. If we don't fix the problems staring us in the face, Bush's policies won't matter much.

    The key is to make sure they are not repeated.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  33. Richard - Knoxville TN

    With as much as there is on Obama's plate as there is right now - I'd say he shouldn't be distracted by, or cave in to a bunch of vindictive Ultra-Left wing-nuts who would only be satisfied if Bush & Chaney were hung, drawn & quartered publically on the DC Mall -

    Maybe he should even give Bush a full and unconditional pardon to eliminate the media hewe & cry for his head while letting everyone in the world know he (Bush) is guilty as hell - Then assign a special investiagator to look at Dirt Bag Chaney & his scummy pal's -

    Knoxville TN

    January 12, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  34. Meg Ulmes

    If there ever was an administration that needed to be investigated it's George Bush's. The US is facing so many problems that need Obama's attention that we may be tempted to just let it go. However, I don't think that we can move forward as a country without uncovering and prosecuting any and all criminal activity that Bush and Cheney allowed to happen in the last eight years. I personally felt they had broken enough laws and they should have been impeached several years ago. I think that they have gotten off easy, and at the very least their wrongdoing needs to be exposed.

    Troy, Ohio

    January 12, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  35. Ron K

    Hi Jack:

    Throw the book at him along with his contingent.

    Ron San Diego

    January 12, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  36. Brian from Irvine, California

    I think the answer is obvious:

    Should president-elect Obama investigate and prosecute illegal activities of the Bush Administration? Yes. Who can argue against investigating and prosecuting illegal acts?

    Will he do it? No. Is there ever a documented case of a new president doing anything constructive when it comes to illegal activities of past administrations? Even Nixon was pardoned by Ford, and it doesn't get much worse than Nixon.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  37. Ron from Snowy Minnesota

    G.W. Bush should go on trial for sending troops to a war zone that was not necessary. He needs to tell the parents and kids of the soldiers why they were sent to Iraq.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  38. LaTreetha E. Sharpley

    Reading and listen to the news I realized that if President Obama does not decide to investigate the Bush administration, perhaps some foreign government will bring them up for war crimes. I think that they should look at all opnions. As a nation the rest of the world is looking to see what we do with these people. I can not believe that as a nation we have come so low.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  39. Vern Bowen

    He should turn it over to the Justice dept.like he said.I do not think he will call for a special inquiry,although the Bush Cheney actions certainly qualify for an all out inquiry.

    Vern Calgary alberta

    January 12, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  40. Marva (Oklahoma)

    An investigation of Bush policies is warranted to the extent that said policies are contrary to the sovereignty of the United States (the elimination of the borders separating Mexico, the United States and Canada), to the protection and preservation of its natural resources and wildlife (the opening of hundreds of thousands of acres of "public land" for oil and natural gas exploration), and to the protection of American workers (the so-called "free trade" deals). An investigation should not be all-consuming, but, NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW and it appears as though Bush and Cheney have overstepped the authority "granted" them by the U.S. Constitution and, in the process, have placed this great nation in peril!

    January 12, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  41. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Then President Obama should create a commission to investigate if there are any charges and identify what they are and then instruct his Attorney General to appoint a Special Prosecutor to go after the culprits.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  42. AllenH in Raleigh, NC

    As important as it is to undo many things done by the Bush regime his priorities have to be focused on the future. Obama has to work to begin to stabilize the economy, to help resolve international issues and to keep these from becoming more of a national security problem than they already are.

    He has staff who will examine and make recommendations on the problems left over from the Bush regime.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  43. dennis north carolina

    If crimes have been committed then they should be brought to justice.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  44. Greg in Cabot Arkansas

    FIX THE ECONOMY FIRST, we can't afford a broad investigation of anything at this point!!!!
    The only result of an investigation would be blood-sucking lawyers improving their lifestyle at the expense of the working stiffs still paying taxes. Remember Ken Starr, that guy that got millions so we could find out about Bill Clinton's extra curricular activities

    January 12, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  45. Gigi in Alabama

    He definitely should have an investigation into the Bush administration, but it's doubtful that he will. He will have his hands full just trying to get this country turned back in the right direction after eight years of Bush's mishandling everything from the economy to an unwanted and unwarranted war.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  46. Jackie in Dallas

    Hmmm. This is a hard question, Jack. There hasn't been a President in our history that hasn't made some bad decisions that his successor could have investigated him for. However, some of President Bush's decisions violate international law that we are a signator on, including torture. On that alone, our Congress should have indicted him at least 2 years ago. They didn't. Whether President Elect Obama should investigate him or not, that's the question. However, there are so many major issues facing him that will factor in whether the country continues to exist that I'm not sure he should dilute his efforts. The International Court in The Haag, however, may have other ideas, and if they do, I'd say turn him over and let them try him.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  47. carson

    obama should investigate bush's administration as many as he can ..and then everything can be figure out itself on.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  48. Allan G. Hanson Placerville, Ca.

    He and the Congress should create a special prosecutor much like Ken Starr. He should be as eager as Starr.
    They should be tried for war crimes as they have commited many.
    No one should escape

    January 12, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  49. Eric Godfrey

    We should continue using the Bush administration policies considering we have not been attacked since 2001.The problem that we have is that the ACLU and a small minority of way left leaning people are more concerned about civil liberties of terrorists than protecting the people of our great country. We are safer today than we were 8 years ago despite what the the people with BDS(Bush Derangement Syndrome) will tell you. If we can save an
    American life by torturing these thugs I am all for it. Playing loud music and using sleep deprivation would hardly compare with a person being beheaded and dragged down the street by a bunch of terrorists. Never forget September 11th you people that live with your heads under a rock

    January 12, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  50. Jackie in Dallas

    Oh, and one of President Obama's first actions should be to cancel the illegal wiretapping operations instituted by the Bush administration in the interest of "national security" - it violates our Constitutional rights!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  51. Terry in Hanover County

    That ship has probably sailed. The best result from an investigation now would be a report issued in two years stating the obvious. Obama is not Bush and his Administration won't repeat the Bush mistakes. This country is in one helluva mess and Obama needs to focus on turning things around and let the history books write the truth about the last 8 years. However, if Obama wants to investigate someone I suggest that he investigate Pelosi for being an obstructionist to impeachment who helped Bush and his buddies get away with their crimes and misdemeanors. The Speaker of the House can be impeached, and, quite frankly, the sooner she's out of office, the quicker this country will get back on the correct course.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  52. Dean in Macungie,PA


    I believe an investigation is in order and if any crimes have been commited the wrong doers should be held accountable. NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW, whether it is US or a global war crime, but they deserve their day in court. Let's follow the Constiution and Geneva convention and show future generations crime does not pay at any level.


    January 12, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  53. Barbara - NC

    He should quietly start the investigations - very carefully and behind the scenes. As soon as the media gets wind of it, it will be twisted, spun, gossiped to death.

    He needs to get it done right and THEN release the info to the media.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  54. Phil P. in NJ

    Nothing at this time. The country is on the brink of a deep recession, the global eononmy is slowing down, we're fighting two wars and they're acting stupid again in the middle east. Obama should focus on getting this country up and running again. Intime when things calm down and the economy is under control, then maybe Obama can focus on how we got here in the first place and take the appropriate action. If people continue to lose their homes at this record pace, it won't make much difference any way.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  55. Don (Ottawa)

    When it comes to investigating Bush's policies, Obama should turn it over to a Congressional panel for investigation. Wait a minute, did I say Congressional? That's like letting the foxes decide if there were any abuses by the fox who was put in charge of the chicken coop. On second thought, Obama should turn review of the Bush administration's policies and procedures over to those who were most effected by them. If we are really a government of the People, by the People and for the People, the People should be involved. I can't think of a better case where vigilante justice is justifed.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  56. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: If he agrees with them-let them continue-if he disagrees-change them.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  57. Robert S., New Orleans

    Obama is smart. He knows there's no sense rehashing the past eight years of incompetence and corruption. We've got more important issues to deal with, thanks to eight years of abuse of power.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  58. Karen - AZ

    Give Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush presidential pardons for "torture and war crimes". That way it will go down in the history books and we the American people will not have to pay for an expensive trial that would take away from the problems we have and Obama needs to work for us!!!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  59. Justin, Alexandria VA

    As someone who thinks Bush's presidency has been indescribably awful, and possibly criminal, I think the Obama administration should do exactly what Obama said he'd do on This Week: look at past practices with an eye toward doing things right in the future. If evidence of blatant criminal activity is uncovered, then it should be pursued, but he should not do what some people are suggesting and make his presidency about investigating Bush and his policies – it might be satisfying in the short term, but it would be a distraction from the monumental task of rebuilding this country from the ruin Bush and the Republicans have brought. Look at it this way: if you thought Ken Starr's investigation was a three ring circus, just imagine what a front-and-center investigation into the last eight years would be like.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  60. Tina Texas

    By watching his last speech to the media I say as soon as you get behind in office start immediately with the investigation of both Bush and Cheney. It is time for them to pay the piper. We had to suffer all 8 years they were in office and now is their time to pay for their crimes against the people of the United States.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  61. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Interesting that you accept as a given that the Bush Administration used torture or illegal eavesdropping. Doesn't Obama hgave better things to do than conduct witch hunts?

    January 12, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  62. John

    Jack: When it comes to eavesdropping and torture all executive orders or policies should be changed to stop these practices. Quitmo and any other prisons should be closed an all prisoners should either be charged with crimes or freed back into their own countries. The best intelligences comes from human sources who take nice pictures and report on what they saw. Let's hope our intelligences gathering improves over the next 8 years.


    January 12, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  63. Simpliticus

    Let's have all the details in a no-holds-barred investigation of George W. Bush. Don't do the Ford forgive all stuff. That was dull and not revealing. I would like for Bush to look like sour grapes as he has told of many from his disposition of being! In fact, let's have him in the stocks of social ridicule because that is where he is going after January 20th. The man will be open to all and let the berating begin because I have no mercy for this poor bum of a president!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  64. cy gardner

    There are many aspects of the Bush administration that give the appearance of wrong doing and law breaking. The American people are sick and tired of taking it on the chin from Wall St. from our employers, from cell phone and cable companies, the auto industry, etc etc. and then seeing that rich or well connected people always have a free pass when it comes to obeying the law. If there is a question of lawlessness of any kind, investigate, prosecute, imprison. The last eight years have been bad and the future looks none too rosy. Send some rich people to jail before we break out the guillotine. cy gardner arlington va.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  65. odessa

    i think that he should make the bush administration pay for their mistakes because our country doesn't have any creditiblity anymore...wiretapping and torture policies need to be change a.s.a.p..i hope that when his administration will take over next tuesday, none of them won't have their egos showing in front of the press like the current democrats who are making a fools of themselves..

    January 12, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  66. Marieth, Chicago

    The investigation of the Bush Administration should work parallel to getting the economy on track, housing issues, middle class help and foreign catastrophies. Isn't there more than one person working in Washington, DC? If I am not mistaken, my candidate, Barack Obama, said that the president should be able to handle more than one thing at a time (when McCain was "suspending" is campaign.) If they are unable to find someone to start the proceedings, call me. I will fit it into my schedule.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  67. Allen L. Wenger

    We need to have a full investigation and let everyone know what we have done in the last 8 years. After everything is made public, President elect Obama should pardon President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Then we should pass laws that clearly state what will happen to future presidents who decide to beak international law.

    Mountain Home ID

    January 12, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  68. Annie Kraft Naples FL

    He has way too much on his plate to investigate this low life (thank goodness) past administration. Perhaps just publicizing all their nasty tricks would preclude them from making money after Bush leaves office. There is not much that can be done at this late date, unfortunately, however a higher power may well take care of all of them better than we could.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  69. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    It would be absolutely wonderful if he could go back through all the executive orders and late night, behind the back, down and dirty, constitutionaly illegal and outright disasterous bills that Bush has perpetrated upon our country. I think Bush wanted to create a financial melt-down in order to cover his tracks, and put up a huge distraction to keep anyone from undoing his sacking of the Constitution and plundering of the Treasury by his buddies. Too bad Obama has so many fires to put out that he may never be able to reverse the Bush legacy, and we will be the worse for it.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  70. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    That investigation is the job of Congress, not the administration. Obama can do an investigation, but normally when the executive investigates itself, it won't divulge the outcome.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  71. Gerry In Toronto

    What Obama should do is exactly what Bush/Cheny did to others. Throw them into Quantanamo until the investigation is complete in 8 years. If they're innocent, issue an apology after the investigation is complete.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  72. JOY

    Obama, needs to investigat Bush, how can we justify not holding him accountable, when a person passing a bad check, is held accountable, Bush's crimes are so much worse

    January 12, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  73. Keith - Cleveland

    Jack, I think Obama has enough on his plate without worrying about dubya and his cottage-sized Presidential Library. He has his hands full with all of the corruption in the financial, business, and political arenas in todays world...

    Yesterday is gone... Mission Accomplished.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  74. Chuck, NW Arkansas

    Eavesdropping and torture are just the tip of the iceberg of all the oversight circumventing tactics of the Cheney-Bush Administration. Even Reagan didn’t top this much disregard of the rule of law with his Iran-Contra scandal.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  75. john ... marlton nj

    What is there to investigate, it's all on the table, nothing has ever been denied? ..The question is does Obama have the backbone to prosecute, convict and incarcerate or execute in some cases those that are guilty. Imagine the irony, from a cleansing of America's tarnished image perspective, if Obama could use the same rope used on Saddem Huussen for administration officials convicted of betraying the American people and violating the human rights of others. SAVE the terrorist speech!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  76. Gina in Racine, Wi

    What Obama should do is what he Campaigned on doing....and why we voted for him.

    He should "clean up Washington" and "change" the way things are done.

    Bush and his Administration are guilty of MANY war crimes. American's know it, the whole World knows it. That is why America is now so despised (so much for the good will the rest of the World had for us after 911).

    Obama can only serve 8 years......if he doesn't set the precedence now, that says.....no matter who you are or how high up you are in Governement, if you commit a crime you WILL be prosecuted.....this will happen again.

    I think all American's can agree that the War crimes committed by the Bush Administration is definately NOT the type of History that we would like to see repeated.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  77. Ed Reed

    I urge him to watch the movie "Judgement at Nuremburg." Both the President and the Vice President have publicly admitted to the commission of war crimes. Their defense is that it was necessary to protect the country, but wasn't that why the Japanese tortured Allied soldiers during WWII? Didn't the North Vietnamese torture American pilots to gain knowledge of bombing targets to protect their country?
    Just because America does it, does not make it legal.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    January 12, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  78. Richard Sternagel

    Jack,if there is hard evidence of any eavesdropping and torture, the Obama Administration should prosecute those involved. But broad investigation would be counter productive to the American psyche(too much Bush over load) and serve as a distraction for the Obama Agenda.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  79. Billy G in Las Vegas

    the only way the German people were able to re-enter the world community after WWII was to renounce and punish those "leaders" that lead them into that war.

    the people of the United States need to do the same with Bush, Cheney and their whole criminal gang.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  80. Jerry from Monroe Co., WV

    Put it on the back burner- we got bigger fish to fry and they ain't getting any fresher.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  81. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    He should do exactly what he has said he'll do. When you are President you can't micro-manage the operation. The Justice Department will investigate grounds for indictments. Justice will prosecute, convict, and sentence. The only part that Obama has in the matter is if he decides to pardon some of those convicted.

    If the rest of the world demands speedy prosecutions, it is up to Secretary of State Clinton to assure humanity that we are aware of our duty and are meeting our human rights obligations. Again, it is a delegated responsibility. He'll have plenty to do without doing other people's jobs for them.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  82. Jack in DC

    The Bush administration should be investigated to the fullest extent since it has brought untold horror, misery and nightmare to thousands of Americans and the people of Iraq.

    The Bush administration engaged in a lot of questionable actions both here and abroad in the name of war on terror. It is only reasonable to look into these actions to determine if they were in fact necessary or if it was just pure malice.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  83. floyd

    jail comes to mind

    January 12, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  84. uncle jimbo - Chicago

    They are about to take an oath of office that states to the effect – I swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic.
    So it will soon be time for them to honor their Oath of Office, start the investigations and prosecute those responsible for altering – falsifying intelligence to invade Iraq, for outing a CIA agent during a time of war, specifying the use of torture, illegal wire taps on millions of innocent American citizens, and the list can go on and on.
    Let the trials begin, and put them on prime time TV.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  85. Regina

    Why didn't the Senate investigate him when he was in office. It's not like they didn't know what he was doing. They just sat around allowing him to do whatever he wanted. They acted as if he had them under some spell and they couldn't get from under it. I truly believe with all the mess that Bush has left for Obama to clean up, he will hardly have time to look into Bush's crimes. Maybe other prosecutors outside the Obama admin or the World Tribunal will be willing to investigage Bush and send him to jail.

    Atlanta, Ga

    January 12, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  86. Ron

    He probably should have a look at all the things that Bush has done that appears to be illegal,but then do we want to be reminded again just how corrupt the Bush Cheney regime has been,just let it go away as we all will suffer for years over his being incompetent.Ron in AR.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  87. garrick

    hi jack
    he should hire you and wolf to dig deep into Bush but also Cheneys role in torcher and maybe then you will have a long reporting goal in the press core. they should be punished for allowing this to happen

    January 12, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  88. Veronica in Virginia

    Hi Jack, President Obama should bring war crime charges against the Bush Regime, then go back to the Geneva Convention & Our Constiution!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  89. Bob

    If this country doesn't do some other will. That would look a lot worse for the USA than if we stood up against suce actions ourselves.
    If (and I believe there were) war crimes were comitted then those that are guilty should have to pay for those crimes.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  90. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, with the economy and world politics at critical mass, investigating and possibly bringing criminal charges against the Bush administration are unlikely. Obama can't afford to pursue the charges but perhaps someone else outside the government can do so. Even with legitimate grievances, the process of bringing charges against the Bush policies will be long and drawn out and may simply not be worth the effort. This government has always relied on this element of avoiding prosecution.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:31 pm |

    Most of their crimes will be unproveable, such as lying about Iraq intel, delaying the response to Katrina, using Justice dept to influence elections and firing the attorneys who would not play ball, swinging no-bid contracts to their cronies, But if they did things that were overtly illegal and proveable, then by all means, go get 'em.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  92. Philip from Toronto

    Bush and all his cronies should be investigated fully and charged where appropriate. If USA is a Government for the people and by the people then the people have to know that no one is above the law. Charging a few dozen political offenders will also do wonders for the sudden integrity of all the remaining politicians!
    Unfortunately everything Bush has said and done will be archived for 25 years and hidden from scrutiny under Presiential Privlege. The truth is, The Bastard got away with it! No remorse and no punishment.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  93. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    A bi-partisan task force should be established to investigate any constitutional violations. The notion that because the executive branch is the all-powerful entity, it can do whatever it wants without oversight is ludicrous. Although things are quite different now, we have always been able to work out our problems without stomping on our constitutional rights. I suspect there would be some interesting findings.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  94. Terry from North Carolina

    There are many more important issues that need to be addressed before this one. The economy, middle east, and health care, especially now with the unemployment rate reaching historical proportions. Eavesdropping and torture can wait.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  95. John --- Topock, AZ

    Jack, The United States as a nation is not strong enough, and does not have the political and emotional will to investigate the Bush administration's policies such as eavesdropping and torture. Those types of investigations, like the invasion of Iraq under false pretenses, will be left for the historians and constitutional scholars to research and report.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  96. George in NYC

    Since Bush is the Great 'Decider'. How about asking him?

    January 12, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  97. D - Atlanta, GA

    I believe the American public has suffered enough under the current administration. We do not need to lance the already festering wound caused by Bush/Cheney. I think it would be easier on our psyche for the Obama administration to come right out of the gate and issue a pardon for the Bush administration. By doing so, we acknowledge the deeds done were inappropriate; however, the country will no longer need to focus on where we’ve been….but where we’re going.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  98. AndyZag Lynn, MA

    First, do not issue a Presidential Pardon. Second, Assign several Special Prosecutors and third hand both Bush and Cheney over to the World Court for War Crimes Trials.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  99. Dm

    Bush and Cheney,Most certainly ought to be investigated even procecuted.The things that this adminisration has gotten away with are mind boggeling. Lying To invade Iraq,Torture,Wiretaps on American citizens,Creaing the largest deficit in history,No checks and balances on the housing industry,Oughting a CIA agent.What havent they done to Bring this nation down ,I want my country back

    January 12, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  100. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Obama should start an immediate investigation on Jan 21 of all the sneaky and illegal things that Bush did to this country for the last 8 years. Both Bush and Cheney should be investigated for possible war crimes against the citizens of the world, but I don't realistically think that will ever happen. The powers that be will just continue to sweep anything distasteful under the rug and hope that we will forget everything that happened with time. What a shame!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  101. Bill - Satellite Beach, FL

    I don't think Obama should do anything. It should be done, actually should have already been done, by congress.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  102. Mary from Houston, tx

    How can the US be a country of laws and allow Cheney to admit torture?
    Addington and Cheney and anyone else responsible for torture should be subject to investigation, no one is above the law, even if in their delusion they are neither executive or legislative branch.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  103. lynn. vancouver

    As PE Obama stated in his interview yesterday, it is up to his Attorney General.

    Sadly, with the grandstanding of never ending investigations and a media circus like Watergate, PE Obama should not get sucked into this mess as it would define and dominate his first term rather than doing the work he was elected to do.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  104. don in naples, florida

    he should probably leave the policies in place.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  105. Lee in TN

    Why not? Just because a person signs a bill into law does not mean that they can disregard or be above the law.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  106. Dan, Chantilly VA

    I don't think there's anything he can do. Any attempt to investigate the Bush administration will get one of two responses.
    1. We don't want to look partisan
    2. There's more important things to do right now
    Both arguments are absolutely terrible but always seem to win.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  107. MARCUS123 Flanders

    Maybe Obama should ask for an investigation of his home state;my bad;;;

    January 12, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  108. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    He shouldn't do anything and especially since nothing will happen to the people that they would investigate. We'd just spend more money on some type of report for the next three years and come to the a conclusion like the Warren Report. We need to get on with living the right way and stop what has been happening under the evil axis of Bush, Chenney, and Rummie.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  109. Charles-NJ

    NOTHING !!!!!!!!!

    This is so counter productive to even be discussing this. Put all resources into fixing the economy.

    Don't you think that with a Democratic Congress of te last 2 years, that if there was something illegal they would have brought this to a head by now.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  110. HD Taylor - Arizona

    Jack, Obama should investigate every single one of those Neocons who were part of Bush's administration. Especially all the original crooks who were there early on. Each one of these greedy, self serving, GOP cons wanted nothing more then imperialistic expansion and oil when it came to waging their illegal war against Iraq. They lied to the American public, they circumvented their obligations to be faithful to the US Constitution and they are simply rich, wealthy, high society criminals. Bush, Cheney and their entire cabinet of Neocons (and the complicit republicans who blindly supported these idealog clowns) have a great deal of innocent blood on their hands in the US and abroad. As Nancy Grace would say..."He Should Fry!!!"

    Phoenix, AZ

    January 12, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  111. Dan from Alliance, OH


    An investigation should cover only know issues, first of all. But these types of behavior by our intelegence agencies is uncalled for. We are members of the Geneva Treaty and should in all cases follow these rules for treatment of prisoners.


    January 12, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  112. Ray, Florida

    Not a thing Jack.
    He should let the congress and the independent justice department do their thing. There is no need for the President to get involved with any of that, he'll have enough to worry about trying to fix the mess President Bush got us into.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  113. Al, Lawrence KS

    Please let Bush retire in solitude and disgrace to some undisclosed location. Congress needs all of its energy to get us out of the mess that Bush has put us in. There is no time for replaying the failures of the past administration. I, for one, hope that I never have to see or hear from Bush and his cohorts ever again. The sequel is always worse that the original.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  114. Mike

    Eavesdropping and torture are just the beggining, we'll find out lots more goodies to put him and his cronies in a federal penitentiary, is there a law for turning our country into a third world country?

    January 12, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  115. LM from Fayetteville, NC

    Leave it alone. He has more important things to do. Bush and Cheney should be "looked at" but that was the Congress' job way back when things were happening. Hopefully they will have too much to do now.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  116. Diane Glasser

    Start at the top and work down. It will take at least 4 years to go through all the illegal Bush administration policies he has initiated. Just appoint one of the new incoming US DAs to do it.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  117. Mary - California

    Not waste his time. When Bush is gone, he is gone. Obama should move forward with his own procedures.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  118. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    Obama had the opportunity before to vote against wiretapping, and instead opted for a political deal.
    He should at least put an end to wiretapping and torture. But I doubt he will prosecute.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  119. Nancy from Richmond, Indiana

    I don't think Obama will do anything about it! It is not in his personality to really harm another person whether they derserve it or not. I think Presidents all have a respect for one another and watch one another's backs no matter how much they may have said while campaigning. I think this would be something very hard for him to do.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  120. Neatha from Kansas City

    I fully believe that the Bush Administration needs to be investigated. However, it will take all of the Obama's Administration time to fix all the problems Bush has left behind. He should name a special investigative council to do the leg work on the Bushies and allow the rest of his administration to work on getting out country from the cronnies that have stolen it.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  121. Ron Thomsen

    I think it is high time to bring everything out in the open. If you are not guilty you should have nothing to hide, at least that is what Bush & Co. say.
    I want to know who helps set policies, I want to know whose ideas are being used, and if they are making profits off these policies.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  122. jyll from TEXAS

    I think Mr. Obama has enough to deal with other than the transgressions of Mr. Bush......

    January 12, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  123. Joe in DE

    A number of Bush's policies violated the Bill of Rights and established dangerous preceedence. These policies need to be repudiated. One way would be to recind any directives or other implementation. Another would be ti impeach Bush & Chaney – I prefer both but impeachment it would have to go on the back burner until the pressing issues are settled,

    January 12, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  124. Randy from Salt Lake City

    President Obama should instruct the new AG to do his job which would be to arrest Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfawitz, Pearle, Feith, Muckasey, and the rest of this criminal cabel for war crimes and for breaking numerous laws of this country. As he has said, "No one is above the law." If he lets these people escape the crimes they've committed, he has just told lie, which means that he cannot be trusted to run this country. It will mean that nothing will change.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  125. Ken

    Simple Jack
    Prosecute him and them to the furthest extent of the law.
    Nothing less will right OUR COUNTRY.
    His administration has bankrupted us

    January 12, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  126. Mickie

    Personally, I would like to see him tried for war crimes, but realistically, I know that wil l never happen. Obama is going to have so much on his plate with the mess Bush left us, that his energy to do anything other than reverse many of the policies would be futile. Not to mention, most of his own party probably wouldn't support him - too many politiicians in the soup with Bush.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  127. maria

    He should appoint an independent investigator and ensure that the right people are investigated and punished if found guilty and not just low level people like they did with the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal. He needs to send a signal that no one is above the law and everyone is held accountable for their action. This would be a big change from the Bush Administration.
    New York, NY

    January 12, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  128. JW in Atlanta

    Obama shouldn't do anything except stand out of the way and let the army of federal overseers and law officials get to the bottom of all the Bush shenanigans. And investigators have in this one and only situation my permission to use waterboarding to get to the truth. I suggest they start with Rumsfeld.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  129. Charles in Princeton, NJ

    The areas of investigation you mention involve national security and will be stonewalled, however, the politicizing of the justice department, outing of Valerie Plame or cutting taxes on the rich while declaring war and leaving the bankers and brokers on the “honor” system are security neutral self-serving crimes like Watergate. Fry somebody so this stuff stops happening.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  130. susan from Idaho

    let sleeping dogs lie. We need every ounce of man and womanpower working for the betterment of the country.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  131. mitchell, arkansas

    he should stand up for justice. if there is no justice from the next administration, then there is also no integrity. this is just another case of elitism. i dont expect President Barack to do anything on this. he would rather 'look ahead'. and that's sad for those who have lost so much, because of lying and torturing politicians. if he does nothing ,then i consider him no better.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  132. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    If and when a broad investigation is done, i`m shure eavesdropping and torture will only be small potatos compared to the rest of his otrossities. The damage he has done to us at home and abroad will haunt us for a long time to come. Obama should investigate bush as though he were a terror suspect.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  133. erico mb33139

    Do the same thing (pardon) that Ford did to Nixon ?

    January 12, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  134. George

    I don't think that an investigation would be useful, and would only stall the return of a normal way of doing things. Bush would never go into a court of law for any wrongdoing, and you, and I both know that. Investigations cost money, and there are a lot more useful things to be doing than wasting our resourses, our time, and our effort investigating Bush. Bush and Cheney both deserve to be in the same boat as Madoff sailing off to Sing Sing...

    January 12, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  135. Vivian Fauntleroy, Largo MD

    Jack, Bush/Cheney and company are quilty of a multitude of wrongdoing, not a small amount of it criminal. But the question before P-E Obama (and us) is as much as we would like to make that crew feel the pain their policies inflicted upon us these past eight years can we, given the current sorry state of our housing, economic and job situation, afford to spend our valuable time, energies and finances needed to regain a toe-hold on the recovery ladder exacting payback and revenge? Had our gutless Congress gotten it straight up front , it wouldn't be so crooked behind.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  136. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    As President, I believe Obama should investigaste these actions by the Bush administration to determine if an official investigation should be made. It is important to have parties work together in these critical times, but it is also of vital importance that any constitutional crimes the Bush administration may have committed be not only addressed but prosecuted to the full extent of the law! Our future could very well depend on it!

    January 12, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  137. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    Obama has bigger fish to fry than worrying about methods and techniques that prevented any attacks since Sept. 11, 2001. This call for 'investigations' is more partisan nonsense to distract us from the monstrous failures of leadership being promoted by the left again. Fix what isn't broken, FIRST.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  138. Richard Green

    What should he do? He should do what his oath of office directs him to do. He needs to firmly stand on the side of our Constitution and our belief [up until 8 years ago] in the Rule of Law. if he wants to start slow, he could direct the reissue of the subpoenas that have been ignored with impunity by Bush's people for years. I can not believe that Obama would do nothing and allow us to suffer the supreme indignity of having other countries investigate the war crimes committed by our leaders while we do zilch ! Haven't we been through enough humiliation at the hands of Bush and Cheney?

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  139. Scott, Wichita

    He's got bigger things to worry about, Jack. If it turns out a law was broken, then the Judicial Branch should look into it. According to the Constitution, deciding whether Bush did something illegal is not his job.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  140. David in Granville, Ohio

    To heal the nation and the economy Obama needs to also heal this divided nation. Hence his reluctance to tackle a highly divisive issue that can only detract from the stimulus package.

    He needs to be very careful. Water boarding was recognized as a war crime at the end of WWII and Japanese were executed because of it. Cheney has admitted authorizing water boarding. Hence Cheney is a self confessed war criminal.

    If the USA does not deal with this it is possible that other countries might, further accelerating our slide into 3rd world status.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  141. Anna, Missouri

    I think he is doing exactly the right thing right now. As much as we all try to forget it, George Bush is still the President and he still has the power to pardon. If PE Obama were to say that he was definitely going to proscute members of the Bush administration, there are two things that would happen-#1- President Bush would pardon everyone in his administration, and #2-the Republicans would revolt and not work on the stimulus package, or any other project that Obama needs to accomplish quickly. I do believe there will be prosecutions, Obama is just being very careful until he gets into office. Just as the left is angry right now because they think he is not acting "progressive" enough, the right will be angry because they will think that saying "we need to look forward" means no prosecutions, forgetting that he is leaving up to the Justice Department.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  142. Diogenes in a greek joint in Reno

    Tap their phones, read their Mail, waterboard their friends if they won't
    answer the questions. Make them stand in a Human pyromid wearing
    their wives underpants otherwise naked, to show them that We really mean buisness,
    If that doesn't loosen any toungues make them go hunting
    with a former Vice president whom shall remain nameless
    utill I learn how to spell His last name.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  143. Al, NC

    A truly independent attorney needs to be appointed and given the power to investigate and bring changes. Be sure that Congress stays out of the investigation. Congress messed up the court action in Irangate – North and his buddies are walking free rather than serving time for their crimes. Do it right this time.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  144. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    Obama should have a team to look into some of the Bush admins possible illegal actions. But, Obama should be careful. What goes around comes around.

    More than Obama investigating Bush, Congress should/must follow up on members of the Bush administration like, Rove; Myers and others who defied their congressional order to appear before them.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  145. Roberta in TX

    I believe the ext administration needs to look in to all of the areas that look like the law may have beem broken.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  146. Willow, Iowa

    He should appoint a special prosecutor, known far and wide for his fairness and honesty, and then Obama should go by that prosecutor's advice. Or Obama should at the very least stand aside when an international investigation begins. Obama has so much going on now, I am sure it would take time before things are in some sort of order and he can begin to think about smaller issues. Both Obama and biden are Constitutional scholars, so they know what has been going on. Let an investigator with no conflict of interest check it out.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  147. Beth - Waco, TX

    I think Mr. Obama and congress should think long and hard about the expense to the taxpayers that prosecuting members of the Bush Administration. It would cost us millions which could be better spent on the economy. Surely as president Mr. Obama could reverse the current ruling on torture and eavesdropping without prosecuting Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  148. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    This is "A Nation of LAWS"... When you take an oath of office you swear to uphold the Constitution. It doesn't matter if you are a military recruit or the President. If the President, (or the Vice-President ) can make the laws to suit his desires, then this country is no better than Germany under Hitler.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  149. Richard

    The President-elect needs to avoid telegraphing any legal initiative concerning the present administration. He needs confirmations on cabinet posts to begin transition and consolidation of the future administrations repair and recovery agenda. At least for now the best thing to do is to open the windows and doors and turn off the shreaders on Jan 20th.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  150. Rose in Az

    Nothing, it will do nothing but waste money and Obama has plenty on his plate right now, he needs to figure out how to save this country first.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  151. John in Atlanta, GA

    He must proceed with caution as he is doing now. This country has been through a hellish 8 year period where we've seen unprecedented corruption, job loss, a war with no end, recession, and just a huge ol' dose of dumb. Sounds like a lot of people in prison for less Jack.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  152. Sherri in Illinois

    President Obama's TOP PRIORITY is the economy as of 1/20/09 and getting the millions of JOBLESS Americans employed again!. This is something the Democratic Congress tried to persue but got punked by the Republicans as being Unpatriotic to which they cowardly backed off! . President Obama can take up the cause during his term if he chooses to and I doubt he will. I think you guys in the MSM are loss sheep now that the election is over!.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  153. william fitzwater

    He needs to investage the practies and policies of those people and administrations under the administrations span of control. Different administrations have the effect of cleaning out practies that run counter to the established platform of each party so it is good from time to time to have a change . Now its Obamas turn to make good his promises on torture and treatment of prisners of war in Cuba .

    January 12, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  154. Krishna Koliwad

    The next attorney general should go after Cheney and Rumsfeld, the real perpretrators of the crimes. They should not punish people who carried out their policies. Then, let the chips fall wherever they may!

    LCF, CA

    January 12, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  155. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    He's a constitutional lawyer so he should believe in justice. To hell with the Republicans. The law is the law period. What I REALLY want to see is the UN and the International Court investigate everything from the war in Iraq without provocation to torture. They are war criminals who totally devastated a country and changed world politics. The US should investigate the Patriot Act. I think Obama doesn't want to investigate because Democrats were involved and would have to be investigated too. "...and justice for all".

    January 12, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  156. Paul, Brooklyn NY

    The first thing he should do is say nothing, or Zippy and Darth Vader will spend their last 7 days writing pardons. If Obama believes that the constitution is worth more than the paper it's written on then all who knowingly & willingly violated it must be dealt with. If our constitution can be savaged as it has been for the last 8 years with no consequences what does that say about us as a society? I contributed to, campaigned for and voted for Barack Obama. If he wants to prove me wrong, all he has to do is look the other way and ignore all the "High Crimes And Misdemeanors" of the Bush Chaney administration.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  157. ED in RI

    I'd like to see Obama do the necessary thing – spend some worthwhile taxpayer money on a certain prosecution. All the evidence is readily available.
    The other alternative could be rewarding: The United States made the law in 1984 that considers the crime of torture heinious. IF, Bush/Cheney, or any other Bush official leaves this country, the nations of the world could deliver the verdict. We do have allies.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  158. Eric Platt

    President Ford had it right....you have to get rid of the past before you can move He pardoned Nixon and the country moved on.

    President Obama has to stop any investigation before it begins. He can not waste his administration's time and effort on some sort of revenge on the Republicans or President Bush.

    To really go forward he might consider a pardon.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  159. Lois Canada

    He should do what he does best...try to please everyone! First he should consult with All Religious, and Political Leaders, have him investigated by Republicans, let the guys who were tortured run free, and apologize to anyone this offends with a tax break!!!

    January 12, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  160. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    I think he should wait until his second term (assuming he is re-elected). This will give him the time to deal with the pressing issues first. Right now this issue is nothing more than a distraction. I'd consider it a low priority.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  161. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Jack, I think you'll find the phrase 'he hasn't decided what to do' to be much needed the next 4 years. We've replaced THE DECIDER with THE I'LL GET BACK TO YOU ON THAT.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  162. panhandle

    It took 8 years for this country to get this far off-course, the hijackers are still on board and Obama doesn't even have the helm yet. The American people have basically demanded accountabilty. I think they'll get it in due time. There's no telling what we'll find once the curtains are pulled back and daylight filters back into all the "undisclosed" locations.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  163. Mike

    Nothing...time will judge and when it's all said and done history will tell the WHOLE TRUE AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUE.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  164. don dean FL.

    Jack,why waste all that time and money,except for history.History will judge himand not to kindly i hope.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  165. Frank from Peterborough

    The entire outside world consider the Bush gang criminals guilty of war crimes, violating the Geneva Convention, torture and murder.

    If these people were investigated and the guilty punished according to their crimes the world would likely start to believe America was really a country of laws and integrity.

    Right now pretty well everyone expects these people to go unpunished as many believe America considers itself above the laws that only apply to others around the world. If Obama doesn't proceed with an investigation and bring the guilty to justice then the world wide opinion of the U.S. will not change much, regardless of how decent the Obama administration is, as they know it can all change back every four years.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  166. Jane (Minnesota)

    I think the policies that may have broken laws should be investigated - I really don't think being President or Vice President allows an individual the right to break laws or ignore the Constitution. "Business as usual" needs to stop. What ever happened to accountability????

    January 12, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  167. Vinnie Vino


    More then anything else I would love to see the Obama Administration look into the unfair ploicies of the Bush Administration that clearly violated the Constitutional rights of every American citizen. However the likelihood of this occurring is zero because a new member in the President's club just will not investigate any of his peers in the club, because it's the unwritten code. A code that allows them to govern wothout fear of any of their new predecessors in the club investigate their administration's policies...

    C.I., New York

    January 12, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  168. Pugas-AZ

    Welcome to the "real" world, Obama. Remember, nice guys finish last. The world is not the Harvard campus. Let's take a script from Israel-you started it with your rules, we will finish with ours.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  169. Karl from SF, CA

    I’ve been waiting for this one, Jack. We have to look back to move forward. He has to initiate a full blown investigation. As for torture, the other countries upholding the Geneva Conventions see what Bush has done, regardless of what Republicans say, and it doesn’t set well with them. Torture is torture. Many prosecutors overseas are waiting to see what we do about it once Bush leaves office. If we don’t take action, they will pursue it and that would be real embarrassing to us. This is per Jonathon Turley and John Dean experts on the subject, last week.

    As for the Constitutional violations, they have to be remedied. To let them slide would condone them setting a precedent for future Presidents and that would not be what Obama has said he is about. Bush and Cheney should have been impeached years ago, but Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, looked the other way. That can’t continue. These people have to be brought to justice.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  170. Robin in Colorado

    The new administration should proceed with a thorough and open investigation as quickly as possible.

    There is no other way to prove to the citizens of the US and the world that Bush's regime is over.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  171. John in Rohnert Park

    It would be easy to say yes but if we engaged in a Nuremberg-like pursuit of every crooked politician and official we'd be spending billions more in new prison construction! Money we don't have. I hate to say it but we do need to move forward in course correcting. Let's just make sure those abuses never happen again.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  172. Katherine Palmira

    It is easy to ask that President Obama restore accountability in this country by calling for a broad investigation and impeachment into the Bush administration's crimes over the past 8 years. This should have been done 2 years ago. At the very least, an investigation would certainly restore the American people's confidence in this broken system and our standing internationally. However, after watching Bush's last press conference this morning, it is clear that no matter what happens, the W. legacy is sealed – he is not only the worst President ever, he is the stupidest! That may have to be enough.

    Katherine Palmira
    Austin, Texas

    January 12, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  173. Earnest T., VA

    Jack,. . . Obama and Biden should get Bush in one of the rooms that have been emptied out in the white house and use the Good Cop, Bad Cop routine until bush finally breaks and confesses, Barack being the
    good cop.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  174. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    Wire-tapping without due process is a mere pittance of a crime. Obama and the world would be better served if the Hague World Court tried Bush for war crimes/crimes against humanity. Unprovoked, Bush unjustly brought war to Iraq. Several tens of thousands of people have been killed, many of whom were only guilty of living in the wrong place. Hundreds of thousands have been made homeless and destitute. And then there's enhanced terrogation methods, waterboarding and who know's what else, authorized by Bush, flaunting international laws and the Geneva Convention. If Bush gets away with it, then US will have no moral leg to stand on when it comes time to hold other tyrants accountable.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  175. Bob in Spring Hill, FL

    President-elect Obama should keep his campaign promise and investigate the criminal and unconstitutional acts of the Bush administration. After WW II, our country tried, convicted and executed those who commited the same forms of torture authorized by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. No other administration in our nations history has shown such blatant disregard for our laws and constitution. We claim to be a nation of laws. By Obamas actions, we will know the truth of that claim.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  176. VApatroit

    Personally, I'd just like to see Obama release his birth certificate and college records before he does anything! Then after that, sure why not? I'm just not convinced it will do any good if they prove any wrong doing anyway.

    Dearborn, MI

    January 12, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  177. Todd E. Mashlan, a/BSG

    It would be better for the US to deal with this matter now than it would be to wait for a Bush administration member to be "renditioned" to a another country to be tried for war crimes!

    Todd, a/BSG

    January 12, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  178. Jerry from Jacksonville

    We need to know if any laws were broken and to what degree the peoples privacy was abused.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  179. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    President Obama should renew this nation's commitment to the rule of law and let the Justice Department do its job. If eaves dropping and torture is illegal before and after the Bush administration, then it is illegal during the Bush administration. Just because President Bush scoured the countryside and pulled a lawyer from under a rock to say eaves dropping and torture are legal does not make it so. If the president does it, it's not illegal sounds familiar.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  180. ajks

    Why waste the money? Nobody believes that after all of the millions or billions that it would require to investigate and hold people accountable, that somebody would be held accountable.

    January 12, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  181. Tom from Irvine Kentucky.

    Jack Why don't they start with when the devil did the 347 Ton's of One Hundred Bill go to in Iraq then ask about the wire tapping and torture.
    Maybe Halaburton?

    January 12, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  182. Paula in Albuquerque

    Leave the subject alone! usually, it takes a "cooling-off" period to assess whether there were significantly great aspects to a Presidency. However, this pathetic display has had a decided stench about itself for 7 years, or more! Everyone who occupies the Oval Office is fully aware of how much whoring and lying is required to get elected, so i think that it's "bad form" to point fingers at predecessors, and make an issue of what they might be guilty of! Anyone with an IQ of 17 knows that the administration which is passing into history...and, soon!...is the nadir of American Presidencies...a total embarrassment...one that is riddled with more blunders, than accomplishments...and proof, positive that ANYBODY, regardless of intellect or expertise, can be President, as long as you've a rich Daddy...corrupt friends...and a Congress, whose sole job it is to look after their OWN self-interests, feather their own nests, and to forget where they came from, and why!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  183. John, Fort Collins, CO

    As soon as his administration up and running, I think Barack Obama should task Leon Panetta with providing a complete report of all torture and warrantless wiretapping activities that took place. He should review the findings with Eric Holder and have him proceed accordingly. These offenses are orders of magnitude worse than anything Richard Nixon ever did, and those responsible should held accountable, not ignored or pardoned.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  184. George from Tampa, FL

    President-elect Obama should just let it go regarding investigation of the Bush administration policies.

    The fact that he will be out of office in 10 days is the best type of justice for Americans. He's got too much clean-up work to do with the mess that the Bush administration left the American people....

    January 12, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  185. Pete, Fla.

    This definitely ranks among your stupidest questions, Jack. Obama's administration is partly based on the idea of unity. Investigating the previous administration and casting blame gets us simply nowhere.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  186. Dean in Pa


    I say an investigation is warranted. If it is found that anyone in this administration is in violation of Federal or Global Laws (including the Geneva Convention) justice should be served. Give them their day in court and prosecute as applicable. NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW.


    January 12, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  187. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    The whole problem with politics is that they always look forward, but do the same old same old and no one is ever held accountable when laws and the constitution is shredded for political purposes. I doubt Obama will do anything including removing the policies of torture and eavesdropping. They all lie to get into office and its always business as usual. What he SHOULD do is have them all prosecuted at the very least for destroying evidence with disappearing emails and memos.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  188. Claude,Calgary Canada

    President Obama should call Bush in for another "dinner" but instead of the UFC stare down he should challenge Bush to a octagon Cage match!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  189. James in TN

    I would investigate it but I don't think a full investigation and drawned out stink is neccessary. We all know he was a lame duck, why upset us more.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  190. Kyle- DuPont, WA

    Haven't we been through enough already. Let the man retire to Texas and let's get on with the business of running America.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  191. gary saari

    Jack, you should not have asked this question because it is unfair to "we the people" who would like to see all the criminals held accountable for their criminal actions. Please do not forget G.W. Bush is still in office. Remember the pardons for criminal behavior as I understand it can be retroactive. I guess as President he could pardon himself and Dick Cheney for any future indictments. Isn't that scary?

    January 12, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  192. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    I'd like to think that Obama's administration would take on the Bush administration. It's time that Karl Rove and Dick Cheney find out that there is no special government position that exempts one from following the law. I don't think it's going to happen, however, because Obama needs the republicans to get this country moving again and they will fight him tooth and nail if he is going after the Bush team.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  193. Roger Wolff, Colrado

    The law requires respect and processing. At the very least Obama needs to see if it has not been observed. Failure to do so opens the door for anyone who follows to do wrong if they wish.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  194. Jay in Texas

    Eavesdropping, spying on private U.S. citizens, torture of prisoners, 9/11, the War in Afghanistan, the War in Iraq, preferential treatment of private military/industrial contractors, the Patriot Act, and every other crime that the Bush Administration has been accused of in the past 8 years should be fully investigated by the incoming Obama Administration. No stone should be left unturned. Then, if Obama continues to pursue any of the illegal and unconstitutional policies of the past administration, then he will be as guilty as Bush.
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  195. SY, Oviedo, FL

    Wasting assets placing blame is a waste. Condemnation of the acts should be loud and clear followed by an absolute commitment that such practices will not occur again.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  196. Sean in California

    Obama should turn bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Yoo, and the rest of those goons over to the International Criminal Court and let the international community decide their fate. (It'll save US Tax dollars for investigating the bush cabal, and it'll keep the GOP apologists busy so that Obama and his administration can focus on fixing our economy).

    January 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  197. Imagine That

    I might have been born at night but I wasn't born yesterday; he absolutely belongs in jail!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  198. Marilyn - Herkimer NY

    Bush, etal are criminals and should be investigated and prosecuted – just as any other citizen would be probed and punished for breaking the law. I hope the new administration has the guts to do something about their corrupt administration, and steer the country in a positive direction.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  199. Steve Gaydos

    Listen to his advisors on this one.

    Those policies that get reversed/changed will send a strong message to the prior administration.

    Bush, Cheney and the like can chew on it as they relax with their nice government pensions.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  200. Marietta

    What just eavesdropping and torture only? Your kidding right?

    January 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |

    Before closing Guantanamo, put Bush, Cheney, Rove, etc. in there and do unto them what they did, such as waterboarding, naked pictures of them, very loud music and other degrading things.
    Mr. Obama has a plate full he is inheriting from Bush. He should turn it over to Fitzgerald and let him investigate them.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  202. Ray Kinserlow

    The people with the real case against Bush are on the international level. Bush and Cheney should stand trial for war crimes before the World Court in the Hague. I have little hope Obama would allow this to come to pass but it would be real justice if it did.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    January 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  203. Karen - Missouri

    Let Congress and the Justice Dept do what they want to, why should Obama be the only one wanting to investigate. Bush and Cheney CERTAINLY need to be investigated.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  204. Autumn Meadows

    Obama will do an investigation just to pandor but I mean come on.. NIXON got off the hook as far as criminal charges but will get off too. A couple of pawns will get their head chopped as feeder for the public. Maybe a show trial or something but nothing that will actually hold him responsible.

    Awesome blog Jack!!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  205. Paula, Los Angeles CA

    Obama should be and bring the CHANGE he promised... by beginning his presidency with the necessary prosecution and conviction of the Bush crime family!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  206. David

    Definitely, this guy committed heinous crimes in the name of national security.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  207. Tino

    He should investigate it and prosecute. This nonsense about moving on? Well, moving on includes cleaning up and that's one big mess the Bushies left us all with. Turning the other cheek doesn't mean so you can get slapped on the other side. That's just what would happen. This country isn;t going down the tubes it' already gone down the tubes. I AM ashamed to be an American when these are the people who lead!! I have no problem saying it. It makes me feel clean.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  208. Linda in Arizona

    I am sick to death of people saying, "Don't look back. Don't play the 'blame game' ". Better to just sweep the war crimes under the rug and move on? If we never look at our mistakes (and bush was a MISTAKE), how will we ever learn from them? Obama should work behind the scenes to make sure bush is investigated for his violations of the Constitution and his crimes against humanity.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  209. Gigi

    He would better off investigating his own people. It's his responsibility to get us out of this mess. What is done is done let's not waste any more money on the past lets put it on the future. It's time for change. Lets begin with a new tax structure made simple that you and I can understand and watch. Then get the middle class to working again. America was built by the labor of the middle class.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  210. Morris Roth

    The Obama administration should investigate and prosecute, if necessary, ALL those in the Bush administration who broke the law and defiled our Constitution. Failure to do so may only invite worse civil rights violations by future administration.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  211. John Iowa

    Hell yes, Bush, Cheney all should be investigated and sent to prison just like John Doe.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  212. Tom from Boston, Mass.

    The fact is that the spineless cowards in Congress during the Bush Administration were unable – and unwilling – to investigate and prosecute the unconsititutional (and probably criminal) acts of the current administration – most notably those perpetrated by Cheney and Rumsfield. that made Nixon look like a saint in comparison. That was disgraceful but it is now history. Obama should not pursue this, but rather close that sorry chapter and focus all of his energy on salvaging the future that the Bush administration has placed in very serious jeopardy.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  213. mike, ohio

    I think Obama should look ahead with his new administration. We have too many fish to fry. We have so many problems right now that we need to concentrate on where the country is going and not waste our time focusing on the past!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  214. gerry luimes

    Pres.elect Obama is caught between a rock anda hard place on this one;On one hand it would be morally just to call the Bush years into a form of litigation.On the other hand it would have to include the citizenry of the country that voted him in for two terms,either by design or by accident.Pres Bush has been victim of his own ideology and lack of intellect.He had qualities that were much admired,but not inducive to sound government. Besides,it appears that REAL power had been hijacked by his vice president. Rather then villifying the pres, I think we should pity him and send him into retirement with our best wishes for his personal well being and for that of his family.
    Let us begin to nationally AND globally find common ground to an improved and workable international society,free of strife and warring.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  215. Georgiann, Ambridge PA

    Of course he belongs in jail. How disingenuous of the judge believing that Madoff didn't realize that he was hiding and protecting assets by sending them off to relatives. I'm sure he has a great deal of protection that we are paying for under the guise of monitoring that he stays in his multi-million dollar penthouse. Put him in jail and save our tax dollars. How did this judge get his position and what do we have to do to remove him ASAP or eventually?

    January 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  216. Teeps, Pt Huron, Michigan

    Everything he can possible. He was our worst President in history. If people remember in August he said the economy was fine. He start a war that wasn't justified, tortured, and lied and stole from the American people. We deserve JUSTICE.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  217. Katrina, Robinson

    First fix the economy.......... George isn't going anyplace.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  218. Sabin

    You can't Chenny worked on a secret legal way around of being prosecuted for any torure. It was signed last min. these are documentary about the behind scenes.

    Bush and Chenny are exempt.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  219. Roy Munroe

    Everything in his power. Bringing back accountability to the office of the President and government is paramount to this country for ALL Americans.

    Olympia, WA

    January 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  220. Paul Richmond, Kalamazoo, Michigan

    President-Elect Obama should do just as he is doing, no commitment. Wait for Mr. Bush and his administration to leave office so that he can't do preemptive pardons. Then appoint his justice department to investigate 9-11 through the financial meltdown to find what involvement this administration had in any of these events. I think we will find quite a connection to this administration and all of these events including but not limited to, torture, outing CIA agents, eavesdropping on citizens, a preemptive war with a country that had not threatened us, giving the banks billions of dollars without accountability, ohhhh, it just goes on and on and on. This country must investigate and prosecute where wrong doing is proved so that future Presidents and administrations do not try to repeat the abuse of power we have suffered throughout the last eight years. Good riddance Mr. Bush.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  221. Chris Kisala

    It is a mystery to me why President Bush was not impeached for taking us into war without just cause, not to mention all his other financial bungling which caused the dire situation our economy faces today. He should be investigated, prosecuted, convicted and removed from the retirement money and benifits that we will continue to pay him when he leaves office. He literally got away with MURDER!...and to think President Clinton was almost impeached for a personal indescretion that didn't directly effect anyone, except his own family...As you say Jack...only in America!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  222. fanofgrendel

    Not much. Time to MOVEON.(not-DOT-org). Hope and Change. Not hang our vanquished opponents. Too much to do to solve multiple SERIOUS PROBLEMS!.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  223. richard a. winkler

    He should do whatever it takes to put Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, and any others, in jail. They have committed so many crimes it is mind-boggling, and they can't get away with it in a society of laws.

    It cannot be ignored.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  224. Rev Craig Kerewich

    What our great nation needs right now is looking forward, not backwards, but action in the direction of what will make this nation greater with each new step into future. Any time Congress spent on investigation anything, meant that our nation simple wasted too much time on symantics and not on the real issues that need to be addressed right now – the future.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  225. Barb New Port Richey Fl

    I would love to see a full investigation and the truth come out, but then I have always been a realist !

    January 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  226. Tony from Torrington

    We haven't been attacked since 9/11. History will show that George W. Bush, faced with the most devastating attack on our soil ever, and nations who were in league with those attackers possibly plotting more attacks, did what the President is supposed to do. Protect this country. Through NSA eavesdropping on suspected terrorists and tough interrogating pratices, other attacks were prevented, including one on the GW Bridge and commercial airline flights to America from overseas. If Barack Obama starts a broad investigation of President Bush, and he eliminates eavesdropping and tough interrogation techniques...and then we are attacked with hundreds of thousands of Americans killed, his career, his legacy, his historical importance will not be remembered as the first black President, but as the biggest blunder by a President in America's history.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  227. Jeff in Connecticut

    I won't claim to know how far Executive powers extend. Not now, not 8 years ago. However, I hope Obama does eveything in his power to have Bush & Cheney et. al. and all their cronies brought to trial, tried, convicted & put behind bars or sent to the gas chamber. Which reminds me, why don't you 24 hour news guys replay daily all the lies we caught those guys in?

    January 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  228. james

    President Bush and cohorts should have been indicted and impeached while in office. Unfortunately, we are still dealing with the ignorant do nothing Congress that went along with criminality for the last 8 years. Should we indict all of congress as well as the Bush Whitehouse? I think that would be an effort in futility.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  229. Emerson in Mass.

    He should stop the inappropriate behaviors and then MoveOn.

    He can't afford to repeat the Clinton mistake of taking focus off what he was elected to do (the "Don't Ask" policy ate up alot of the capital Clinton came in with). Any energy put into investigating the past will be sapped from fixing the problems that face Americans every day.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  230. Max

    Doesn't he have more important things to do. We can cry about what has happened or we can work to make tomorrow better.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  231. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    President-elect Obama said it’s more important to look forward than back.

    When I read this answer, it reminded me that I never look back but in life you always have to watch your back!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  232. Ken in NC

    Jack, there is no room on his plate for a venture of this magnitude and even if he did follow through with such an investigation where would we get the money to purchase all the 7MIllion dollar NY apartments required to hold these people in while they serve their terms?

    January 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  233. Daniel, Indiana

    What should be done and what will be done will be two entirely different stories. How many of the criminal "laws", the signing statements of President Bush, will Obama maintain so that he can continue unprecidented powers? Until these are overturned the abuse of power in America remains possible and probable. Unless these are overturned on January 20 there is no chance that Bush nor his administration will likely be investigated.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  234. Kim - Blair, NE

    How long is the statute of limitations? He currently has his hands full cleaning up the mess that will soon be handed to him.
    If Nixon was called on the carpet, then Bush should be thrown under the carpet.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  235. Ron from SF

    If there is no cost for what they have done, the Bush administration will prove beyond doubt, that the word “justice” in America is a farce. Without prosecution for their crimes, there are there are those who are above the law and “Just Us” and no longer any reason to support a Federal Government that fails to represent us. Obama’s talked about change, but what he’s offering here is the status quo. Worse yet for all of us, if we don’t hold these War Criminals accountable, other countries will. Quite frankly, it would be a lot less humiliating for us to hold them accountable, than for these War Criminals to be tried and convicted in the Hague.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  236. frankie

    It is important to stop the eavesdropping, and torture under any name, immediately, get back to Constitutionality and the Geneva Convention. It is not important to waste time investigating people who would only get house arrest in their mansions anyways, just get the perpetrators out of our government.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  237. Ann from S.C.

    When are we ever going to give it a rest? Americans have been angry at Bush since he took office under questionable voting in Florida in 2000 and have been finding ways to blame him for anything and everything since then. Haven't we spent enough time, money and energy on this unproductive activity? Obama said that prosecutions will proceed if the Justice Department finds that laws were broken. There is no other reason to spend taxpayers money – anything else is nothing more than the pursuit of vengeance. This country cannot and will not move forward until we stop hating people who do not share our own precious point of view.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  238. lynnej from lattimore, nc

    On one hand, I'd like to see Bush and his administration grilled and then shackled. But he has made it such as mess that we don't need to waste anymore time in getting this place back on track. Maybe on purpose to keep folk from wanting it looked into.

    Wiretapping, torture and looking at folks' reading material needs to be looked at seriously. If not, this will happen again.

    Form the committee and make them accountable.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  239. Annie, Atlanta

    I, personally, would like nothing more than to see the law work on behalf of "we the people" for a change, instead of against us. It would be a good channel for the anger I have against Bush & Co. for ruining us.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  240. Dick

    Until Bush is on his way back to Texas on Airforce One, Obama should do nothing. Right now names only provide Bush a list of individuals to Pardon.
    I want to see Bush, Cheney, Paulson,Rumsfeld, Gonzalez, the head of the FDA, head of Homeland Security and a few others put on trial for spying, illegal wiretapping, war crimes and treason against the citizens of the United States of America.
    My worry is, that the same people who spent all that money on Bush, so he could steal the election from Gore, are now loading Obamas pockets so he will not go after these traitors.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  241. Jim/NC

    If the Bush administration broke the law, investigate. If Barney Frank and Chris Dodd did something wrong regarding homes loans and masking Freddie and Fannie's problems, investigate. Investigate them all and waste more tax payer money. I agree with Obama, why beat the past to death...let's move on.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  242. STAN - PEKIN

    Investigate them from top to bottom. After they have served many years in jail, send Bush, and Cheney to Alaska. Cheney and Palin with their guns, plus Bush, can keep an eye on Putin.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  243. frank zeringue

    So jack, we are told our actions have consequences, and words have meaning. Obviously that only applies to we who have no political, or monetary influence. Ordinary people would be tried, and jailed for the lies, and schemes this administration has made. But, like with Nixon's pardon, the public good is better served. Tell that to the loved ones of those brave Americans who paid the ultimate because of those lies, not to mention the Iraqi families who have suffered much more in terms of numbers.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  244. Thom Richer

    It should be just that. Broad, thorough, candid and complete. Most of all, it must be done soon and not put aside. This administration was a dishonest and deceitful one and that goes without debate. The American people deserve no less from the Obama administration than an honest investigations into their actions. Much too much harm has been done to Americans by Bush, Cheney and their policies to pardon them without an investigation. It must be done to win back the confidence of the people in government and country. The Madoff justice fiasco is a perfect example of how those with money and power escape paying for their crimes with special treatment not afforded every American citizen. To let Bush slide will discredit Obama and the U.S. government forever.

    Negaunee, MI

    January 12, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  245. Roxane from Hancock, Mn

    Jack, I disagree with you on this one. Yes, wiretapping and torture are awful practices, but I say let bygones be just that and make sure it doesn't happen again on your watch. President Elect Obama has bigger fish to fry right now, i.e. the economy.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  246. Dave from Erin Ontario


    For two terms now, the Senate and Congress could readily have taken action against the President and his Administration.

    Let's not make Obama responsible for cleaning up 8 years of lunacy, not only by Bush and his buddies, but the entire Federal Government. Senate and Congress had the power to act and didn't. Put the blame where it belongs.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  247. Tom, Bradenton, FL

    Bush and his administration have to be investigated for their actions and practices violating our rights, the constitution, international peace. Tried, convicted and hanged to send a message to future scumbags like the Bush administration.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  248. Dee in Florida

    I think Obama should launch an immediate investigation into the workings of the Bush administration. I think he should look into every incident and into every agency and into every action the Bush administration ever had anything to do with.

    I hope Obama is going to make it his priority to restore our constitution to the way it was before Bush mangled it.

    I hope Obama will NOT allow the creepy-crawlies in the government to scare him into accepting the violations of the Bush administration as being necessary in any way.

    Am I holding my breth? No, because I think those who manipulate our government will maintain the status quo at all costs.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  249. Diana Ewing NJ

    I may be wrong but I believe each of the states who lost soldiers can file in their own states against bush..... and let Obama work on getting us on our feet.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  250. frank zeringue

    One more thing. If it's more important to look forward, instead of backwards, why do we have laws to punish for past actions at all?

    January 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  251. Dave from Erin Ontario

    Let’s not make Obama responsible for cleaning up 8 years of lunacy. not only by Bush and his buddies, but the entire Federal Government.

    Senate and Congress had the power to act and didn’t. Put the blame where it belongs

    January 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  252. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    Wire-tapping without due process is a mere pittance of a crime. Obama and the world would be better served if the Hague World Court tried Bush for war crimes/crimes against humanity. Unprovoked, Bush unjustly brought war to Iraq. Several tens of thousands of people have been killed, many of whom were only guilty of living in the wrong place. Hundreds of thousands have been made homeless and destitute. And then there’s enhanced interrogation methods, waterboarding, extraordinary rendition, and who know’s what else, authorized by Bush, flaunting international laws and the Geneva Convention. If Bush gets away with it, then US will have no moral leg to stand on when it comes time to hold other tyrants accountable.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  253. Brian - Trinidad

    Investigating your predecessor represents the tired,old politics that stagnates Congress.You can change how things are done without outing people.That's the new way,the bigger way,the way we want things done in Washington in these turbulent times.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  254. Karen W.

    Is there any possibility of a positive for America coming out of such an investigation? Or is it best to cease and desist on all felonious activities and focus upon the current issues that pose harm to our country? Perhaps those resources and taxpayer money should be spent on repairing what is broken and would improve Americans' lives. President-elect Obama should work on getting our house in order, helping create jobs, and getting our sons and daughters back on to American soil.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  255. Darr

    Obama should assign a investigative panel with the power to bring charges if said investigation finds the Bush administration guilty. But this is America, any findings that are actually found to be criminal will be reserved for those smaller fish in the vast ocean called the Bush administration.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  256. Tim

    Jack, this may be the hardest question you've ever asked. All I can say is I am glad it's not me that has to answer it, and whichever course Obama takes, I will support his decision. Not prosecuting Bush and Cheney will hurt our status in the world - torture will be another one of those things that we basically say "You can't do it, but we can." Prosecuting Bush or Cheney for war crimes (which is what they would need to be prosecuted for) would rip this country in two. Nothing like being stuck between a rock and a hard, hard place.
    Tim in Texas

    January 12, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  257. Brett Milam

    Be extremely aggressive. You could investigate for years Bush and his Iraq agenda, much less all the other incompetence and criminality. Bush deserves to be in jail and if Obama and Congress gives him a free pass, I'll be extremely upset.

    Cincinnati OH

    January 12, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  258. Sue -Idaho

    I say put in a group of investigators and let them have at it, whatever the outcome Bush/Cheney, et al should suffer the concequences.
    Since when do we let Presidents off for their crimes, look what they did for Clinton for having Sex in the WH, these guys torture and they want to walk away, retirement package and healthcare in hand like they did nothing.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  259. Mary Steele

    He needs to be held accountable for treason, just for starters. He has gotten away with too much for too long, if he is not brought to justice Obama will be in the same boat as the rest of the sorry Democrats. Clinton should have been ousted as soon as he committed perjury.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  260. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Obama is showing himself to be just another two-faced,lying politician. He isn't even sworn in yet and I want him gone. Isn't there an honest man left in America?

    January 12, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  261. J in ATL

    I agree with an investigation, but we all know where that will get us ...nowhere! Obama has enough on his plate .... the scum bags has cost this country too much already!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  262. Richard Leatherwood

    Let's just move on and learn from the crimes of the Bush era and now that we know how dangerous the GOP and their consevative base are...make sure they are never elected or steal an election again...

    January 12, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  263. Karyn

    I can understand his reluctance to say anything but if we give this past eight years a pass – after we let Nixon 'off' and didn't investigate "Iran-Contra" – whatever he is able to accomplish won't mean much.

    We cannot push 'rule of law' to other nations without making sure we keep it intact here.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  264. Rose, London

    If he doesn't, I hope some International organization does. It would demonstrate that NO ONE is exempt from the law.

    Rose, London

    January 12, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  265. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    Wire-tapping without due process is a mere pittance of a crime. Obama and the world would be better served if the Hague World Court tried Bush for war crimes/crimes against humanity. Unprovoked, Bush unjustly brought war to Iraq. Several tens of thousands of people have been killed, many of whom were only guilty of living in the wrong place. Hundreds of thousands have been made homeless and destitute. And then there’s enhanced interrogation methods, waterboarding, extraordinary rendition, and who know’s what else, authorized by Bush, flaunting international laws and the Geneva Convention. If Bush gets away with it, then the U.S. will have no moral leg to stand on when it comes time to hold other tyrants accountable.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  266. Ralph Nelson

    I agree with the President elects statements, if illegal activity is found go for it. The people simply need to know what happened. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  267. Jason Egroff

    At least announcing he intends on investigating Bush admin. officials would be a start. The Democrats seem totally off the idea of prosecuting any of the offenses this group of tyrants have instigated against our Constitution. Clinton was impeached for a personal matter. Bush has committed crimes against the country as a whole. I don't get it.

    Scranton, PA

    January 12, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  268. Harry

    Sure, by all means, investigate Bush. I am particularly interested in who knew what, and when. Just don't forget to leave out his co-conspirators ........ the American press. It's the American press, that proclaims itself the defenders of liberty, which requires access to all things governmental.

    You guys like polls so much, take a poll on levels of dissatisfication, regarding the American press.


    January 12, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  269. hugh ~ tracy, california

    If President-elect Obama wants to make friends with conservatives that is good policy and a noble idea, but he needs to stick to his own principles. If some conservatives under Bush are guilty of breaking our laws, their crimes should not be swept under the rug to appease the republicans. Obama should proceed with caution and avoid seeming partisan, but he needs to reverse the policies of the Bush Doctrine and restore the trust the world once had in America. If "cleaning house" results in prosecutions–so be it.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  270. Carolyn in Houston

    President Elect Barack Obama should most definitely appoint a Special Prosecutor to do a thorough investigation of Bush styled wiretapping and torture. John Yoo who was supposed to be serving as legal counsel in the Justice Department and David Addington, legal counsel to Dick Cheney, very likely willfully misinterpreted the law.

    I would not be surprised if these two so-called lawyers did what the Downing Street Memos revealed regarding WMD's in Iraq. The intelligence was fixed around George Bush's policy. The law, likewise was probably interpreted in a manner in which George Bush and Dick Cheney were given the green light do whatever they wanted, whether legal or not.

    I can appreciate how President Elect Obama does not want to have his new Administration mired down in investigations, scandals, and hysterical screaming from conservatives, especially since our economy is in dire straits and we are at war on two fronts.

    However, unless there is a thorough investigation of potentially illegal acts, the door remains open for future Presidents who will likewise abuse their power. This would widen the door for future possible dictator types to creep into the White House and destroy what is left of democracy.

    Finally, who cares what conservatives think. They are irrelevant. They just devastated every sector of our government and started a war that did not have to start. Their destructive and petty politics went after Bill Clinton for having a consensual affair. Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden was plotting and scheming against us. If conservatives are screaming it is because they have a lot to hide.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  271. Ron Lackland AFB

    If no one holds the Bush Administration responsible for all this loss of money in Iraq and elsewhere, it means no change in government and we are done. Nothing will get done in Congress and the lying and cheating and criminal activities continue!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  272. Rick from Murfreesboro, TN

    The Bush administration should be held accountable for any illegal acts that were committed by them. If this leads to appointing a special prosecuter then so be it. It should not be a persucution of the Bush administration by their political enemies but a real attempt to establish what illegal acts were commited so proper punishment can be administered. This would go a long way in reestablishing the image of the United States to the world.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  273. Bill

    Why should Obama get off track just because we have a do nothing leader in Congress. He already has too much on his plate.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  274. Warren, Minden, Ontario

    Jack, when President-Elect-Obama is installed as Commander-in Chief, there are more presssing issues for him to consider than an immediate investigation of President Bush. There are investigative commissions and legal avenues his administration can persue to establish irregularities and inhuman agendas in all of Bush's policies, and at that time commence the appropriate action to reverse, moderate or abolish those decisions. His precedence is in stimulating the economy, creating jobs and changing Bush's disgraced U.S. foreign policies.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  275. Julie in Topeka

    It should have begun two years ago when the Dems took control of Congress.It needs to be done ,but how and when, given all of the problems facing our nation today.Intriguing thought:maybe the international community will take Bush,etc. to task for violations of the Geneva Convention?

    January 12, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  276. Susan Frost

    America's integrity in the world can only be restored by a full-fledged and public repudiation of the Bush administration's crimes against our own citizens and those of other countries. How can we expect the "kids in the hood" to respect the law if we let thugs and scoundrels like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their cronies go free? Lock 'em up and throw the key away, and appropriate their personal assets as restitution for their many victims – starting with our maimed and mutilated veterans.

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    January 12, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  277. S Ty

    Doubling of the national debt in 8 years? I just bet there are a lot of wealthy people who don't want this detail to be examined. Ever.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  278. Jack

    Mr. Cafferty:

    The problem with broad investigations, as practiced to date, is that they get too broad, unfocussed, wildly expensive, and lead to torture of the public, I just can/t take it any more, Jack, I can't !

    Lancaster, Ohio

    January 12, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  279. Valerie - Raleigh, North Carolina

    Obama should select a panel to investigate Bush and Cheney. Not the "mad dog" type they used to investigate Clinton and Monica but
    authoritated, intelligent members of the NEW Justice Department , with extensive inquiring power to investigate taking us into the Iraq War, allowing torture, foreigh prisons, Cheney's secret energy group, wiretaping, revealing Valerie Wilson as a CIA Agent as well as the many other dishonest and deadly operations of this administration. And, if Bush and Cheney are found guilty = prison time would be justified. Nobody is above the law.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  280. Geri

    President elect Obama is walking into a hormets nest. If he were to start digging there would be no end to it and he has a momentous crisis on his hands. I figure the reason he wanted to have lunch last week at the White House with the present and former presidents, is to be able to look the four men in the eyes who created and perpetuated this New World Order, where most Americans are left broke and holding the bag for these men and their pals mistakes and misdeeds.

    Geri – Mead, Ok

    January 12, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  281. Ken M . Millington MI

    Hello Jack. I think because i'm retired military that i would be sympathetic to the bush administations actions regarding the war in Iraq, torture and eavesdropping on american citizens. But i'm not! The american people have the right to know if this administration lied ,coherised, spied or detained and tortured . I f President elect Obama doesn't because he's afraid he will rankle the conservatives in congress and the cia then he doesn't deserve to be president. Most of the CIA and Congress went along with this administration willingly. maybe they should be investigated also. Enough lying and covering up for corrupt people and government Officals.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  282. Shelly

    Obama has enough problems when he takes office. Take care of what is important and forget about Bush......he's old news!!!!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  283. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Unfortunately, Obama will have a plate overflowing with huge problems that must be addressed immediately. But the Justice Department can look into possible crimes and hopefully WILL while Obama is busy solving problems that need to be addressed immediately if not sooner.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  284. Thomas - Yo.town, OH

    Let's just reduce this question to a pin head Jack. What did Obama say during his campaign concerning the issues of PORK? Then, on the bailout vote, where did he then take his stand? Obama, like McCain, like Bush.....really, there is no difference. Just there hype.
    All talk........where's the action? I've lost all hope.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  285. Eron.V

    Well he talks about change. Lets see it investigate.Or show the American people he's more of the same.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  286. Brian, Buffalo, NY

    President Elect Obama is not yet in full knowledge of the facts of this present administration's actions. He has already demonstrated his determination to not act himself without full acquaintance of facts. If he then felt that it would be in the country's interest to pursue an accountability reaction, I am sure that we shall see his full attention applied.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  287. Roy - Chicago IL

    Jack, perhaps we shold fix the economy (i.e. look forward) before we go back on a witchhunt to villify prior administration. Remember if Obama does not get the economy on track, the President after him may be investigating THAT! Not that there were no abuses in the last 8 years, but right now...LOOK FORWARD not back!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  288. Helena, Clearwater, FL

    He should follow the law as it is written and not do as the Bush Administration has done. It's about someone in charge follows the laws of our great country. if The law was broken, the guilty should be treated and punished as anyone else regardless of their station in life.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  289. Jeff Crocket

    When you look into the authorizations to go to war passed by Congress, and the subsequent Patriot Act you understand that the Bush Administration has handled everything with authority, and has even presented all information to Congress in the correct manner.

    The media doesn't want to understand this, and continues to beat the drum of scandal.

    Nobody including Congress discusses these issues because it is all classified!! Correctly!

    Now that Obama is in the loop he knows too, and has said already, "I will look forward not back". Correctly!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  290. Thomas

    Don't think going after Bush is gonna get to far, save your energy for fixing the country. Might have better luck beating on the health care issue, getting a national plan in action.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  291. david doherty

    I know it's kind of a joke , but I think he should do what He promised the American people, (ya know, the ones that elected Him) and He should prowed the Iraqi goverment into trying him for war crimes, cause you know a blanket pardon is on it's way, which will leave him untouchable in our courts!
    Dave from NH.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  292. Joshua, Chicago IL

    This is a political hot-potato, but Bush deserves to be investigated. I think that this should be something Obama should take on, but I am not sure if doing it right away would be smart or not.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  293. Will K from San Jose CA

    Obama should use Biden to put pressure on Congress to start their own investigations, but not sanction any official investigation from the executive branch.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  294. Carmelo, Shrewsbury, NJ

    Jack Obama this would be a start he also should investigate the reason for going to war with Iraq. The investigation would reveal that Bush and his compadres have commited war crimes and therefore should be punished for the crime.

    Jack why is there no questions related to the butchery that Israel is inflicting on the Palestinians in Gaza? I bet if the shoe was in the other foot we would see on TV 24/7

    January 12, 2009 at 5:07 pm |

    Absolutely. Turn it over to Fitzgerald. He can lump them together with Rod B. They have commited several crimes and deserve to be made to pay to play. Hard times prison.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  296. Chris in Ithaca

    You cannot expect the president to prosecute former presidents. It undermines their powers. It is in the best interest of the office to let Bush get away with crimes. It is to bad that the office is more important than the country. Thanks to Richard Nixon for setting the example.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  297. Chris from Canada

    Investigate and find out if any wrong doings have taken place. Torture being the big one. Obama should not give Bush a blind presidential pardon.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  298. Mark..N.Y.

    No absolutely not,,,,What he should do is send a thank you note to President Bush for keeping us safe...

    January 12, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  299. jim marks

    There better be investigations in to the bush administration and people better be held accountable for any wrong doings.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  300. Danny

    I think they should take care of it in an appropriate manner. Bush and Cheney both tortured terrorists, and eavesdropped on phone calls, although I agree it was for the greater good, they still deserve punishment! They are not above the law Jack!

    Danny from Long Island NY

    January 12, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  301. Rich in Las Vegas

    Send Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz to the Hague.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  302. Michael Oian

    Hand him over to the U.N. Court in The Hague. Let them determine the crime and punishment and let history be recorded.
    Minneapolis, MN

    January 12, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  303. Nicholas Ruscitti

    Investigate, prosecute and hang the bastards.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  304. Dicky Neely

    Hi Jack,
    I would love to see GW and his cohorts be called to account for the abuses of the past administration.
    But that is a political impossibility during the present economic situation.
    A President only has so much political capital at any given time and he will need all he can muster to begin to improve the economy and bolster public confidence.
    Dicky Neely
    Corpus Christi, Tx.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  305. dave

    barack obama should conduct a real investigation of the events of september 11, 2001. plain and simple. bush did worse things than torture or wiretapping.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  306. Joshua from Pittsburgh

    Although the Bush administration has committed terrible crimes, any in-depth investigation into their actions will be reduced to yet another case of partisan bickering. President-elect Obama is right: we need to look forward, not back. We have a lot of problems in this country that need to be addressed, punishing people soon to be out of power is not one of them!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  307. S. Snow

    This country will spend decades recovering from the damages of the last 8 years. We need to know that this administration will be held accountable for their policies. We ask this of our citizenry, and we should demand this of our government

    January 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  308. Mary Rouleau

    We need to remember that this is NOT about revenge. It is about restoring the belief that we believe in our Constitution and in the rule of law. It is also about how the rest of the world views us. Do we practice the values we preach and have sought to impose on others?

    January 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  309. Matthew

    What Obama should do and what he will do are two different things. There's no question that Bush Inc. should be in prison, but it will never happen. There are no courts in this country for criminals like Bush and Cheney; that is the tragic reality of American politics – no accountability for the powerful. Obama will do exactly what Clinton did regarding Bush the Ist and Iran/Contra – ignore it and never look back. So much for "change we can believe in."

    January 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  310. Terri

    Hey Jack–
    Ask Wolf if, now that he's mastered "Ellen," is he ready to tackle the ladies of "The View"?


    January 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  311. Karen Olson

    FORGET IT! Congress has enough to do without going into some grand investigation of the Bush Administration. What's done is done, get on with it!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  312. Eric Mahopac,ny

    procecute, procecute, procecute.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  313. N. C. Wright

    He Should Do The Smart Thing – Stay As Far Away As Possible.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  314. Brett from California

    I'm much more interested in having Dick Cheney investigated for constitutional and legal violations (such as destroying records of his activities as Vice President) and prosecuted to the full extent of the law for every violation that he committed along with all of his henchmen! If this nation lets him go on his merry way after all of his criminal activity it is the beginning of the end of this country as a democratic nation.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  315. Lisa Higdon

    Obama should appoint Kenneth Starr as special prosecutor to investigage the Bush administration. He'll find something to hang them for!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  316. Don

    Are we better than the rest of the world? We had investigations and trials for both Germany & Japan. We gave out death sentences to those that borke international law. Is the United States above the standards we hold the rest of the world to? We need to show the world we practice what we preach.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  317. Harris Herman


    Of course Obama should pursue this subject and with vigor. Those responsible for this torture and invasion of privacy must be held accountable.

    Letting these criminals fly off to Texas and Wyoming would be a National disgrace.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  318. Stanley Lanker

    I say they should not have a witch hunt, and should concentrate on solving our problems. Like Obama says, look to the future.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  319. Luther Giordano

    The investigation should be quick and thorough. Like flushing a fouled toilet, it needs to be done to prevent the further pollution of everyone and everything around it.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  320. Alan, Buxton Maine

    Obama should appoint a special prosecutor with top secret clearance to investigate the Bush administration and hold everyone accountable who violated the Constitution or committed a crime while in office. Presidents and politicians need to know that they are not above the law and will have to suffer consequences for their illegal actions or it will never stop.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  321. Ed Wieder

    The best thing to do about Mr. Bush is to never again mention his name. No reference to him ever again is the best treatment.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  322. Darren Wong-Ward

    Will an investigation make the U.S. more favorable in the world? Will it undo what the administration has done? Are we going to indict Bush? No. Obama should make the appropriate move and use his resources to fix our economy, to fix our foreign relations, and to keep us in our homes. When all that has been done, there will be plenty of time to weigh the decisions of President Bush.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  323. Joe

    Instead of investigating things, such as LEGAL EAVESDROPPING (it's ok to listen to terrorists, Jack), Obama should use the same anti-terror policies that the Bush adminstration used. You guys hate to admit it, but there wasn't a soul on 9/11 that didn't believe we wouldn't be hit again. In spite of some mistakes by this administration, they kept the U.S. population safe, and thwarted many potential attacks. Of course, you (CNN) and others simply mimimize this or don't report it at all.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  324. Mike Guckin

    How about we spend our time, effort, & money investigating our enemies instead of those who protected us for the last seven years.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  325. Bob Bogdal


    He should man up and use the Justice Dept as intended and hold those accountable for any abuses, that also includes the Plame case and missing billions from Iraq, and especially close scrutiny of Blackwater. we can not let Rumsfeld , Cheney, Rove etc just walk away and enjoy the loot.

    The idea that we can not go after presidents when they leave office is absurd.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  326. Patty

    There are still a few days left in the Bush term and just enough time for him to pardon anyone from future prosecution who may have been involved in this mess. Let the countdown begin....

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  327. Jennifer Calloway

    All of our leaders should be interested in re-establishing integrity with the citizens of America and of the world. Crimes were committed. This administration thumbed their nose at international law and American law in front of the world and the citizens that elected them. They continue to do so, and if we don't prosecute them for behaving like thugs in the world, why are our prisons full of other criminals? Why prosecute anyone, if you don't hold accountable people that caused others to die unjustly?

    Raleigh, NC

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  328. neil grossman

    if the president-elect believes in the rule of law, he should investigate what happened. if the prior administration's actions were illegal under american and international law, there should be accountability. exigency is not a legal principle.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  329. scott

    Jack I believe that although an investigation will be launched into Bush administration policies,nothing what so ever will come of it simply because of those Democrats who either enabled them,or were wholy complicit in said policies.Its a sad,pathetic state of affairs.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  330. James W. Blevins

    The essence of the problem is that about a third of the country likes torturing "terrorists". Is is difficult to do much prosecution when a large minority thinks the behavior is good. Obama's plan sounds about right, let the appropriate authorities handle the problem without pushing too hard.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  331. Steve

    Are you kidding!! Those responsible should be prosecuted. How are we supposed to tell the world about human rights when we have violated them ourselves. The Bush Admin. SHOULD be held very responsible and those involved from Bush to Cheney and everyone under them should stand trial for their obvious violations.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  332. Matt

    If Obama launches investigations into the Bush and Co. shenanigans, then his administration becomes about what Bush did, and right now it is more important for the damage to be fixed then to prosecute those who caused it.

    That being said, I think that Obama should quietly sic Michael Ware, Anderson Cooper, and Christiane Amanpour on all of them.....

    Saint Augustine, Fl.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  333. Linda Dinkin


    #1 You rock!
    #2 Broad? ... you want a broad investigation ... go for Treason. He did NOT defend, protect or uphold the Constitution.
    #3 Bring back pillories.
    #4 Take away all the pay checks AND benefits which all members of Congress receive so they can FEEL what's really going on
    #5 Please come up with a better label than "ordinary American"; it implies elected officials are extra-ordinary AND I believe there's no such thing!
    I could go on but I won't. Greetings from Santa Fe, New Mexico

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  334. Roman

    Hey Jack. I was brought up in a Catholic orphanage and was taught all the words that define America; Truth, Justice, Freedom. How can you have hope without Justice? Practice what we preach.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  335. Stacy, Boston, MA

    Are we a nation of laws?

    If yes, then there's your answer- we investigate those who created the illegal policies and hold them accountable. If a particular administration, or officials within an administration, can simply ignore federal law and the Constitution some of the time, what is the justification for having them abide by the law and the Constitution at other times? Simple. There isn't one.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  336. Mr Dean n Seattle

    I think that the bush administration should be given some pink underware from sheriff Joe and then all send them all to gitmo

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  337. Brooks

    It makes no difference if it is the current or past administration, the law is the law and if laws were broken it is the responsibility of the Attorney General's office to investigate. No administration past, present or future is above the law.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  338. Lou Gerstle

    Continue them. I kind of like the idea of someone watching my back.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  339. Gary ----Michigan

    Illegal is illegal.What is so difficult about that concept? following the line of reasoning that we shouldn't look back, then we shouldn't pursue murders thieves,etc.It's all in the past,right?Set an example for the future.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  340. Don

    You realize that if WE didn't re-elect ed him, or if OUR elcted congressmen had impeached him when they had the chance, THIS wouls not be even a question. I say put them all in jail.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  341. Matt from MD


    President-elect Obama needs to realize that Bush was neither the first president to do this nor the last. While I in no way endorse any of these methods of extracting information, this is nothing new.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  342. john hickey, dallas

    Jack, I am infuriated with our next President. He seems to forget that he and the Democrats won a landslide election as he panders to the right and gives hints that he will continue some of the Bush policies. Why push an investigation into practices that Obama may want to use?
    He should not go after Bush with vengence; however, he should not stand in the way of invesitigations designed to determine wether Bush was simply incompetant, or culpable in potential criminal activities.
    Americans have been damaged by our current President and we deserve answers, answers Bush has never felt he is obligate to give.
    I am really starting to wonder how far to the right will Obama go?

    January 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  343. Larry Patterson

    Blame Cheney. I George go and prosecute Cheney. A President should be given a chance for his decisions. I belive that like Libby Cheney should take the bullet for the President.
    Bush is cool, gangster. i would be glad to hang out with him anytime.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  344. Michael, Springfield, MO

    Obama should pursue an investigation into the Bush administration's policies, if for no other reason than this: if he doesn't, the world might take it on, and they will be much harsher than he would be if they're found guilty of anything.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  345. chris south bend Indiana

    Jack I feel white collar crimes are just as bad as any other, so I feel that the Obama Administration should in the first week, get the economy going first, health care,and get some help to us out here in the Real World that have fallen off the Unemployed list, and then crawl up every hole ,crack, file, and leave nothing un turned NO MERCY for them Jack!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  346. Steven G. Erickson

    Everyone from the US President on down should be accountable to all laws the rest of us are.

    Prosecute away, all the way.

    VP Spiro Agnew under Nixon had a coat with large pockets as Maryland Governor, then as VP, he did the same thing. The coat would be hanging in his office. Visitors just left bundled cash in the large pockets and told Agnew what they wanted. Agnew didn't serve a day in prison, even for tax evasion.

    Bush should be the first US President arrested, hauled off in handcuffs, and then jailed after the fair trial.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  347. stuart

    I believe he should implement the policies and torture Bush every day for the rest of his life. Don't eavesdrop though as he says nothing worthwhile.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  348. Jay, Niagara Falls, Ont

    He should find out everything he can about what Bush did. You cannot let people get away with crimes, even if he was the president. But the investigations cannot become a centerpiece of Obama's administration the way the Clinton scandal became the GOP's main talking point. In fact, save some time and money, and just have Obama go on TV and give Cheney a swift kick in the crotch...that will satisfy the whole world.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  349. miriam lerner

    If no one investigates, no one is accountable. If no one is accountable, these injustices can be perpetrated once again. During the Bush administration the president was given carte blanche because of the fear and hysteria in the aftermath of 9/11. As time went on and new information about his dealings came to light, everyone just rolled over and died as if it didn't matter anymore. What DO we stand for as Americans, or, indeed, as any free and democratic people ? What could YOU get away with if you weren't the president ????

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  350. Barbara, MO

    I believe there should be an investigation, because if we don't is not there a possibility that the some rrepresentative from the world court might want to investigate and then what would we look like considering that we have on tape that water boarding was used.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  351. Dan Brady

    Credible investigations are required and prosecutions should follow as appropriate. To paraphrase Nixon, "it isn't a crime if the president does it" is just wrong. Let's investigate...let the people know what really happened.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  352. Chris

    When the Space shuttle Columbia crashed, the investigation was done without question. Now when the Country is in the process of crashing "we have to decide whether to investigate" Give me a break.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  353. palo kel

    If, in fact, we are a nation of laws; a special prosecutor must be appointed to investigate torture and violations of the Geneva Convention. Where ever it goes...it goes.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  354. Katja in Bradenton, Florida

    While I realize that these are issues that should be addressed, this is not the time, and it may not be time for a while. There is so much that Mr. Obama needs to take care of first, economy, unemployment, Iraq, etc.. Everything cannot possibly be done in the first 100 days.
    Of course his toughest job will be muzzling Pelosi and Reid. Keeping those to morons will be harder then anything else.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  355. James in Alabama

    Great show as always Jack. This is really a simple matter-either cease all pending investigations at every level in the country, to include dreg dealers, murderers, etc...etc..etc...or take the usual position that no one is above the law and peal back the layers of the onion and prosecute where criminal activity is found.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  356. Lynne Forrest

    He should have Bush and Cheney arrested for War Crimes. Without consequences for what they have done it sends a message that the U.S. is no longer a country of laws, and the Constitution is just what Bush said it was – just a damn piece of paper.
    President Clinton was impeached for lying about sex and no one had any problem impeaching him. In fact the Republicans were screaming about their rule of law interminably. Why is it different now?

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  357. Anthony C.

    Obama may be the answer for the future but we can not forget what civil liberties the Bush administration has stripped from the American people in the past. Obama needs to heal the wounds inflicted by this administration and he could do this by holding the Bush administration accountable! Every criminal lives by the credo that they should not commit the crime if they are not willing to do the time. Bush and his administration are no different!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  358. Tom Culhane

    Jack, it really doesnt matter about the talk of possible investigations ,because you can bet that Bush will pardon anyone he has ever even shaken hands with during his tenure. We will be discovering crap about this administration for years to come.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  359. Ben

    Nothing Jack, Simply because Obama would then be open to prosecution as well. I donm't know if you recall that Barack voted to pass the bill that allowed for wiretapping and eavesdropping. So how could Barack Obama allow for an investigation that would very well implicated Barack himself. Also he can't investigate rendition, because it was a practice authorized by his current Secretary of State's Husband (Former President Bill Clinton). He simply cannot afford to have these things looked into because they will implicate himself and his cabinet members.

    As for the interregation techniques, you are fooling yourself if you think Barack Obama is going to make any changes. Barack knows if he makes a change and America Proper is attacked he will be blamed for it. Barack will also probably keep Gitmo open for at least 150 days if not more when he realizes no one wants to take the prisoners kept there. He will also be unable to try them in a civillian court and win. In all likelihood he will have them tried in military trials and put into military prisons.

    Barack Obama is just going to be George Bush/Bill Clinton Lite, sorry to burst everyones expectational bubble.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  360. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Not only is it important to thoroughly investigate past wrongdoings – whatever they were, it is imperative. Whether that moron bush pardons all or none is immaterial. This country deserves to know who broke which laws. Then this country can decide what to do about them – I mean the laws and the people who broke them.

    Something . . something . . about them what ignores history . .. something something doomed to repeat it . . . whatever .

    January 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  361. Allen

    Jack, I see no need for a broad investigation. The president and vice-president were the deciders. Anyone else is small fish. Therefore the investigation could be narrowed down to the crimes committed by those two.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  362. Ray

    While I generally subscribe to the notion of 'let's not trip over what's behind us', in this case I must admit I want to rout those responsible for basically ruining our nation and damaging the world – this includes investigating our financial 'leadership'. I balance that notion against all the work our new president needs to to against these investigations and prosecutions, but I think inflicting pain is the only real way to see some of the bad things do not repeat. I am all for investigations in a big way.
    Ray, California

    January 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  363. Brett from California

    I'd be in inclined to see these techniques used against secretary Paulson if he doesn't tell Congress and the American people what he's done with $100's of Billions of the taxpayer's dollars.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  364. william rownd

    It is a time for the healing of America...NOT attempting to chase or prosecute former US Presidents

    January 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  365. eric thorensen

    I don't think that we should ban torture or close Guantanamo until we've had a chance to talk to Madoff, Paulson, Bernanke, and a number of corporate executives. As for the past, let it be the past. Just make a statement condemning the practice and go on. We don't need any more bad press in the world.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  366. Felicia (in Georgia)

    Obama should let democracy play out. If the Justice Dept. finds probable cause to run a full investigation then so be it. However, there are powers and laws that are associated with the Office of President that preclude criminal charges in light of "W" protecting the country.....end justified by the means. He won't ever prosecuted in my opinion.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  367. Brad

    The blight caused by the Bush administrations torture policies are not only felt by Americans but by the world. Forget the fact that Cheney is a war criminal. A seious line was crossed by Abu Grahib, Quantanamo bay, and rendition. I feel shame as an american. The lying to the American people about the wiretapping policies was
    a legal quagmire. Hopefully history will judge Bush and all his cronies ( including Gonzales ) harshly.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  368. dave opasik

    President elect Obama should form a committee to start immediate steps in looking into war crimes by Rumsfeld, Bush and Cheney. The committee would have the power to check FBI files as well as CIA files. To show the connection between Bush and the Arab emigres. The connection between Rice, Cheney and Bush in the oil price spike and their holdings. Should I keep going?

    January 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  369. Van

    I don't give a 'rats behind' what happened; the past is the past – let's move forward and solve the critical issues facing the country. Regardless of anyone's opinion on this issue, we as citizens and you as the media are not privy to the information and intelligence the President utilizes to make the hard choices he has to make. The country has NOT been attacked since 9/11 – what are you whining about and what good will come of an investigation anyway?

    January 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  370. Bob Abuey

    Look, half the country would like to see BushCo run up the flagpole and the other half either doesn't care about or doesn't know the extent of the damage they caused – but wasting resources chasing them through the courts for decades accomplishes nothing. Guys like that just don't care, nor will the next bunch of thugs that come in to do the same thing care about any consequences.

    All we can do is move on and try to repair the damage done and hopefully see it as a lesson learned.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  371. Ricky from Roseville, MI

    President-Elect Obama has to remember that while he is working with people who both agree and disagree with him, the buck will stop with him on January 20th. He also must remember that an investigation is exactly what it is – investigating whether or not President Bush broke the law. He won't be indicted or charged until he is proven guilty in a court of law. So, yes, let the investigation begin.

    Finally, there are many reasons why Obama is hesitant on discussing an investigation. Who's helping the President-Elect prepare for office? Would you go up to Wolf Blitzer as he's hosting the show with you and tell him you're going to investigate his hosting practices (No offense Wolf – you rock!)?

    January 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  372. jim williams

    Jack, my very strong suggestion would be to communicate with Vincent Bugliosi about what to do in this case. If you don't know exactly what I am talking about – read "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder"

    January 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  373. Donald

    He should leave it alone. While it may appease the left, of which you are part of, it would only increase infighting in Washington and ruin any chance that any good will come out of the Obama administration.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  374. Jerry Lynch

    I t hink charges should be brought against the whole Bush/Cheney Administration. But, I know that nothing will ever be done even though they broke many international laws.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  375. David from Arizona

    He should do nothing because that will be what is expected of him.Just like all the presidents before him. NOTHING!!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  376. Allen

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Jack, I see no need for a broad investigation. The president and vice-president were the deciders. Anyone else is small fish. Therefore the investigation could be narrowed down to the crimes committed by those two.
    Hartwell, GA

    January 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  377. Vicci in Indiana

    Accountability. The current President has failed to own up to it, and our standing in the world view of things has fallen because there has been no accountability for torture, rendition, breaking the Geneva Convention and getting into these wars to begin with. When Barack Obama takes the oath, he must hold first to accountability for the wrongdoings of the previous administration as well as all those who were behind the scenes directing the breaking of laws, namely Addington, Foo, Feith , Rumsfeld, Rove, as well as those elected.
    There MUST be accountability for wrongdoing. If we do not insist upon this, the world will not take us seriously ever again.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  378. Thomas Howard

    There HAS to be an investigation. Americans deserve to know that their leaders are held accountable for their illegal actions, just as we are. If the United States is to regain its credibility in the world we need to hold oue elected officials accountable. Rumsfeld and Cheney are certainly as culpable for their war crimes and those enlisted men and women at Abu Grab or John Walker Lynd. Perhaps Gitmo might be a good place for Rumsfeld, Cheney and Madoff!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  379. Millie Sosa

    Jack, I am so grateful that we had a man like Bush in office during
    these most dangerous times. We have to do whatever is necessary
    to keep this country safe. I cannot believe that people are so blind that
    they cannot see what we are really up against! We need the toughest
    people available to deal with this. If that means eavesdropping and
    torture, so be it!

    M Sosa

    January 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  380. Paul

    This administration needs to be held accountable and the next one should without a doubt hold investigations into these practices of torture and wire tapping plus any additional laws broken. As the current administration is noturious for break the law and then have it changed. Well before the law was changed it was still broken and punishable under law. I am sure any average citizen would like for the law to look the other way when they break a law but that's not the case. The presdient and his administration are not above the law and should be subject to the same treatment as any one else. It's we the people, not we the people oh and yeah exlcluding the current administration or government officials with enough clout. If we do nothing here this shows a lack of strength in America to punish the elite as happens to often all they get is a slap on the wrist.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  381. Scott

    Pres. Elect Barack Obama and VP Biden said they want to "look forward instead of backward." Should we then let all the criminals in this country suspected of commiting serious crimes off the hook in the name of "looking forward?"

    January 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  382. susan ortiz

    Of course a special prosecuter should be appointed to investigate any crimes committed during the Bush/Cheney trainwreak. The general public is not above the law, why are they any different. No more excuses. Hold people accountable and bring about real change.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  383. Krystal

    I think that Obama should take every measure possible to ensure that no further "wiretapping" and "torture" occur. As far as the past incidences that occurred during the Bush administration, pressing this issue is not going to change much...a few people will be in trouble and Obama will be wasting a lot of time and valuable resources. By "looking to the future" as Obama puts it, and making positive CHANGES to our nation and it's policies from the moment his is sworn in onward, he will be proving to this tattered nation that the failures of the Bush administration were simply a smudge on America's history, not complete destruction and failure of our government.

    Hagerstown, MD

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  384. Jack

    Obama is OBLIGATED on behalf of the US citizens, the rest of the world and the US Constitution to investigate wrongdoing by the Bush administration. Bush should be put on trial for the apparent crimes against humanity. Severe sentencing would send a message to the world that such abuses of a Democratic nation's leadership are not tolerated.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  385. Ken, Miami, Florida

    Anything and everything. The worst decision ever made by a President was Bush's unjustified and unnecessary invasion of Iraq. The second worst was Ford's pardon of Nixon, because it sent a message to future power-hungry Presidents like George W. that they can do whatever they want and get away with it. We must send a message to all future leaders of our country that this country was founded on laws that define our goodness and no one is above those laws. We must look at illegal torture, wiretapping, AND the total politicization of the Justice Department. Heck, lets face it, the guy tried to turn the whole government into an arm of the Republican Party. Just goes to show you Republicans can win elections, but they can't govern. And now all Bush talks about is the perks of office that he'll miss and Obama will enjoy, and how history will judge him well. If justice is served, a judge will judge him well and throw him in jail for his selfish crimes against the people of America and other countries.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  386. Sylvia Chudy

    No way, Jose, should Obama give Bush a clear pass on wiretapping and torture. If we don't face this and make his administration responsible for the laws of democracy, what will the future hold? Bush's administration should have been investigated before now. Pelosi did and said the wrong thing in order to not create dissension when she was elected Speaker of the House. To continue in this vein, we are giving a free pass to future administrations. We have lost our standing with foreign countries. Who could have thought so much could happen to democracy in 8 years?

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  387. Steve Stanion


    I think president elect Obama has enough to take care of when he takes office.If he starts investigating wrong doings in the Bush administration he won't have any time to carry through on his campaign promises!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  388. Neil Greehling

    I am a long-time Democrat but ever since the 2006 elecion I have been disappointed. I had hoped that impeachment of Bush and Chaney would happen. I think that they are war criminals. It is too late for that now, but I still think that they should be held accountable for their actions and hope that the Obama administration will take some action to hold them accountable.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  389. Frank B. Fort Worth, TX

    Pres-elect Obama should not really do anything in connection with the previous admin's actions on wiretapping and the like. What's done is done. Whenever there is error we must err on the side of caution-the caution being sure we're doing everything to protect the homeland.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  390. Joe Consolini


    Investigate practices
    Prosecute offenders
    Legislate new protections
    & then move on .........

    Best Regards,
    Joe Consolini
    Option 7

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  391. Don, Massachusetts

    If you knew someone killed on 9-11 you would want to do whatever it takes to prevent it again. If it weren't for President Palmer on Fox's 24, Obama might not be president. He should act like Palmer and trust those who know how to deal with the scum of the earth.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  392. Renee

    The dye has been cast on the atrocities that occurred during the Bush administration. Pres. Obama will have enough to handle with two wars, multiple conflicts, and an economy in shambles. There are too many issues that need to be confronted such as education and housing to worry about what has already been done. The best thing that pres. Obama can do is not repeat the mistakes of the past and be the best damn president this nation has seen in decades.

    Justice, IL

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  393. Virginia

    He needs to get to the bottom of this issue. He needs to have a thorough, unadulterated investigation and indict and convict all concerned per the investigation results show. To NOT do this is NOT helping this country move forward in a positive way. This will always hang over us. And we need to show the world that those who do illegal acts, no matter who they are, need to be brought to justice and pay the penalty. To do anything less than this only gives the world more reason to find this country, it's government, dispicable. It also only teaches our children that they can get away with murder if they are the President or his henchmen or anyone in power for that matter. Anything short of bringing this will be abhorant.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  394. George - Wayne, New Jersey

    Jack, If we have the time and resources to investigate a personal matter regarding former president clinton; Obama, by all means, should investigate all criminal and degrading acts of the Bush administration which did nothing but lower our standing in the free world. Whatever it takes jack to clear and return the respect the oval office entails to all of us who still believe in these United States of America. And yes Jack, that includes his VP.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  395. peggy minnesota

    Jack, I would love to see some legal action against the Bush White House but the thought of more of my hard earned money being flushed down the toilet is more than I can stand.And just in case I am so blessed as to have my e-mailed read on air ,I would like to say thanks Mr. Bush,for the war that has ruined my country my beleif in my country,my 401K and last but not least my dream of retiring before I'm 70.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  396. Sandy McBride

    Jack, Obama had groups of people collecting money for his campaign and I'm sure with very little effort these same people would get donations to pay the costs involved, if it meant that Bush and his buddies get their just deserts.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  397. Joseph Egbeh

    Hi Caff.
    We recall the past to make the present better, and the future best. If found that there were any law broken by anyone during the Bush administration, they should be prosecuted. If nothing, to show the world that we are very serious about changing the way we do business abroad.

    Joseph Egbeh
    Vineland NJ.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  398. Terry

    I say let it go. If some of the methods used interrogating detainees under the Bush Administration wasn't how liberals and pacifists would handle it oh well. The fact is that some of the information obtained probably saved the lives of thousands of Americans.

    What separates us from extremists among many things is that we don't strap bombs to our chest and walk into a crowded city street with children, women in close proximity and blow ourselves up taking those inoccent people with them all in the name of God is malarky!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  399. Gary Stacy

    With all our problems; the economy, war in Iraq, Afghanistan and an national infrastructure in need of repair...lets not waste time on another government "investigation" which accomplishes nothing except allowing for more inter-party name calling.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  400. Martin from Laredo, TX

    I hope the Era of "Pointing Fingers" comes to an end with Obama's succession. Sure, accountability is important, but not at the expense of attention to more catastrophic Issues our country cannot afford to ignore. Let the witchhunters hunt and the President preside, after all, that is what we hired him to do.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  401. Steve Claflin

    He should authorize an investigation into CNN's hiring practice, eavesdrop to listen to you and do the opposite, and torture himself by watching your show.

    You need to step into Bush and Barack's shoes as President for one day before you become qualified to critique. As always, continue to criticize but not offer solutions...

    January 12, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  402. James Michaud

    Obama should have the U. S. join the International War Crimes Tribunal and let them investigate if any crimes were committed by Bush Administration operatives. He should guarentee that the US will honor the results of the investigation and not give immunity for prosecution to anyone. Treat Bush just like Milosovich if needed.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  403. mike-sey

    Of course he should investigate and prosecute anyone involved in authorizing or carrying out torture. But Obama is above all an American and a disapointment. He represents basic American values, and is already in deny, deny, deny, sweep-under-the-rug mode. To do otherwise would be unamerican and do damage to the values Americans say they hold so dear.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  404. Bob


    There ared too many problems for the future to dwell on past errors, horrors and miscues. President-elect Obama has enough on his hands to spend time and energy to find fault with the past.

    He has to try(and hopefully succeed in fixing the economy, establish peace in the mid-east, end the war in Iraq (and maybe even in Afghanistan!), solve the energy problem, social security underfunding,medical care for all the people, fixing our infrastructure, etc.

    Why wastetime and trying to place blame for prior broblems? That doesn't solve the issues we (he) must now confront!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  405. Mike Vice


    Are we a nation of laws, or not? And do we hold ourselves up to the rest of the world, or not? One of the charges against the Germans at Nuremberg was "waging aggressive war." Are we going to hold OUR OWN LEADERS accountable, or not? Or will we sit back and watch the international community attempt to do it for us?

    Mike Vice

    January 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  406. The News Guy

    What should President-elect Barack Obama do when it comes to a broad investigation of Bush administration policies such as eavesdropping and torture?

    Have a special commission set up to investigate what the Bush Administration did and then have a special prosecutor indict and take those people responsible for breaking laws into the hands of justice. This way Obama is free to 'fix the country' and at the same time let
    others go after the criminals.

    The reality is Obama will do nothing about it, because Obama with his wavering on torture (abc interview) has just signaled he is going to let the same crimes be committed under his administration and hope it never comes out. If the media had any backbone they'd make Obama live up to his word during the election. Too bad the guy is full of talk and no action. Also too bad the media is in the pocket of Obama and don't want to look like racist so they will say nothing about the continuation of torture that will continue under the Bush-Lite (Obama) administration.

    Obama is a continuation of the Bush administration, a no experience hack that wants to make big changes, administration full of hacks from previous administrations, and the media selling their side of the story because they smile and talk a good game. You people have been fooled by another moron and deserve it.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  407. Dan in Massachusetts

    We all know in our gut that George W. Bush and his administration has no respect for the people in this country, the constitution and certainly not the law. If Bush pardons administration officials not currently under investigation, Obama should investigate to no end. This administration is guilty of much. The question is: How much do we want to know?

    January 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  408. Anna

    Obama should investigate Bush administration for bankrupting the country and put him in jail with Bernie.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  409. Lord Hong!

    Amazing of what a hero Obama already is and did nothing so far – now he's breaking promises just like most polititians. Of course he's not going to burn Bush because they're in the same 'club' – what we need is an organization who represents the people to investigate government corruption (unlike the CIA and Homeland Security) to keep politians honest and within the law. By the way it is still 'We the People' right?

    January 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  410. Donna Fletcher

    The only way the United States can begin to restore its honor is to fully investigate and bring to justice the leaders who authorized the use of torture and violation of human rights. However painful and disruptive this will be, we must hold our leaders acountable, for if we do not, we are complicit in their actions.

    Washington DC

    January 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  411. Chuck

    Though I voted for him twice, Bush and Cheney betrayed the trust of most Americans. I wholeheartedly support an aggressive investigation into any and all criminal activities. If by some miracle it occurs, I hope punishment will be swift and equal to the scope of the crime.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  412. Rob in Portland

    Obama had chances to address these issues when he was in Congress. Should there be the assumption that he's suddenly going to act after years of giving only lip service in the Senate?

    I'm glad he won the election, but I'm not so sure he's the Knight in Shining Armour for the constitution that many would like to believe he is. Besides, I'd rather he spend his time getting alternative energy solutions and preventing Hoovervilles. Maybe what eventually happened to Pinochet will happen to Bush and Company.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  413. Mark

    Very simple send them to club fed !

    January 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  414. Tim DeLong

    Jack: From one of your old Des Moines fans ... Obama needs to focus on turning this country around. At the same time we need to investigate the MANY areas in which the Bush administation has broken the law. All of this needs to be handled by "Baker Hamilton" types of commissions ... with appropriate Congressional and Judicial involvement. No matter how you look at the past eight years ... great harm has been done to the US (financially, world opinion, energy, deterioration of our military, healthcare, environment, and more). We need to investigate how this could have happened to our great country and put those responsible behind bars.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  415. Skip Molander

    Obama must prove to the world that The United States of America is still a nation of laws, not men. And perhaps more importantly, Obama must not allow the lawlessness that occurred during the Bush years to set a precedent for future administrations.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  416. foxford

    I voted for Obama with conficence in him to correct the wrongs of the
    Bush administration. He is directly responsible for the death of thousands of American servicemen and tens of thousands of innocent citizens of Iraq. Yes, by all means, Impeach him, Cheny, Rumsfeld, rove and Gojnzalas. How can we send anyone to jail if we let murder go unanswered? Obama, we need to roll back ALL the damage Bush has done, not just a token slap on the wrist.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  417. Jasmine in Germany

    It would improve the international image of the largest "democratic" country in the world if the international media would be able to suggest that an investigation of the "corrupt" Bush administration was in progress. Positive views of democracy and capitalism might be somewhat restored world wide.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  418. David

    Obama should keep in mind the crimes of another Republican Administration (Nixon/Agnew/Ford) and how allowing this party to avoid the legitimate trials for their crimes implies they have done nothing wrong. WILL THE DEM's EVER LEARN?
    After Nixon was pardoned, we aven enacted the FISA & Hatch Acts which BushCheny & this same political party openly violated. Proudly committing the same crimes & worse! Torture?! secret prisons?
    IF NOT NOW, WHEN? Once we are a prison state?

    January 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  419. Carol Hillson

    To do nothing is to condone illegal and immoral behavior. This sets a bad precedent and sends the wrong message to the world. An alternate solution would be to hold something like South Africa did after the fall of Aparthied; Truth and Reconciliation Hearings. They foster honest dialougue and allow for accountability while fostering country unity.

    New York City,
    Department of Peace Campaign

    January 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  420. Richard

    If Obama does not make this a priority and a basic tenant of his administration, in my humble way of thinking, we as a nation of laws, are a joke. IF , getting along- is more important than the constitution, are civil rights and basic reasons for being a democracy are gone. For if we do not investigate and prosecute then maybe complicity of both parties is what is being covered up! Then the world will know are system is as corrupt as any other failed state, and we the people have no HOPE. Then we can call our republic what it really is- THE HOME OF THE GREED.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  421. Tom Tipton

    "Legal" or not, the only thing that has kept this country safe from terrorist attacks for the last seven years have been the policies and procedures of the Bush administration. If we want to remain safe, Obama should not only continue these policies, but should grant President Bush and his administration a blanket amnesty/pardon for any alleged "crimes" comitted, similar to the blanket amnesty Ford granted to Nixon. It's time to move on to other topics and not spread "blame" for keeping our country safe.
    Tom Tipton
    Roseburg, Oregon

    January 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  422. Bob Regl

    I sent the following Email to Barack Obama.

    I supported your election campaign with my time and my money as well as my vote.

    If, as appears likely from your public statements, you fail to pursue justice in the matter of the crimes committed by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Wolfowitz, Powell, Rice, Rove, etc., etc., etc., ... then you are a fraud and there's no chance that we will ever recover our once proud reputation for being a country ruled by laws and not men!


    Bob Regl

    January 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  423. Frank Jensen, San Francisco

    I fully expect that President Obama will yield to the temptation of balancing political objectives against the need for justice. He can let the Justice Dept. and House Committees play "bad cop" while he tries to make friends with the Conservatives.

    In the long term, this would be a mistake. America's reputation of being a force for good in the world has been seriously damaged, if not eradicated, by the immoral and seemingly criminal acts of the Bush administration. If we ever want to be able to claim the high ground again in international conflicts, the new President has to show that American ideals of justice, morality and respect for human rights weigh heavier than short-term political objectives.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  424. monica von berndt

    monica Jerome Idaho If president Obama dont take a stand against what the Bush Bunch has done against this country he is going to loose a lot of trust that from the American people that fought hard to get him into office DONT GET SOFT NOW PRESIDENT OBAMA Vincent Bugliosi would be a excelent source of knowledge to help get things going Or better why not let the American people vote on weather they want to bring Bush up on charges or not

    January 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm |

    Ask for a resolution of both houses commending President Bush for keeping the USA safe during his terms inspite of the elite media and the spineless Europeans.



    January 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  426. William Watkins, ca

    I think he should investigate and prosecute anyone who has broken the law. Close down GITMO bring the prisoners to US territory and prosecute under the law. We cannot talk about Russia, Iran any other country when we do what we are doing know.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  427. Cecil Jones

    Obama can't build on a shaky foundation. President Bush left cracks in the foundation. The Constitution has been cracked, but the loyal opposition held it together. Obama must secure the foundation or it's just a matter of time before whatever he tries crumbles.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  428. E. Elliott, Orlando

    Well, we could make him liable for civil suits to the millions whose rights he violated, but really, he has to be sent to Iraq to stand trial there. Let the Iraqis do the investigation. Ship them the papers from the administration. Everything from Bush or Chaney, Ashcroft, Gonzo, Rice et al. as potential evidence. They would certainly give him a proper trial before the hangings.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  429. Ardeth Jerde

    I absolutely do think the Bush Administration should be investigated. If we don't do it, it is likely some other country will. It is my perception that there is abundant guilt, simply because of objections by the Republicans and the present Justice Department, as well as my own observations.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  430. janelle in missouri

    President Obama should do exactly as President Ford did-move the country forward. The goverment needs to learn from mistakes, correct what can be corrected and get things moving forward from here. Looking back by investigating and prosecuting members of the former administration is just going to use up resources that greatly needed to fix the economy, health care, the middle east crisis and the many other urgent matters the new administration is facing. We can't move forward if we're entrenched in the past.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  431. Joyah French


    Thank you for your commentary and insights. I feel it is very important that Barack and his new administration not allow the Bush Admins. to get away with the ways they found to manipulate the Constitution and with the war crimes and the crimes against America and the world. Bush and Cheney have come so close to ruining Am.'s reputation in the world and in nearly ruining this amazing country we are blessed to live in. What were they thinking? I would love to know their true motives. I wonder how long it will take for Truth to reign once again in this dear land and that we know all the crimes commited in these past 8 years. I would like to see all the Bush and Cheney wealth be redistributed to those who have suffered because of their greed and wrong-doings. How about they have to dedicate the remainder of their lives to public service - like helping out in homeless shelters or in inner city hospitals!

    Thank goodness just 8 more days and we will have the opportunity to embrace sanity again. We will be able to align with integrity/honesty /
    the spirit of service and generosity and support Obama to lead this great land back toward it's Greatness!

    Thanks Jack!
    Half Moon Bay, Ca.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  432. Osi Kaminer

    Investigate the Bush administration and prosecute them all without thinking twice. They must be held responsible for crimes they commit, and go to jail like other criminals. AND he should close Guantanamo Bay ASAP.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  433. I. Jacklin

    First, I admire the vigilance and perseverance of the Bush administration in preventing another attack. People who object to the wire tapping "might" have something to hide, and objecting to aggressive interrogation in time of war is self-destructive. Which is the lesser of two evils: infringing on the constitution or the loss of life of 9/11?
    Do you think these means were used in any other confrontation with evil by any other country?

    This is an attempt to undermine one of the positive things in the Bush administration. Liberals be damned!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  434. Daniel Opara

    I was watching the show 24 last night, and I similar subject was raised up against the formal CTU Unit on the show. I believe that every human should be treated equally and with respect. But I am a firm believer that it is important to use and means necessary to get imformation from people or person(s) that do not have a good intention for a fellow human. What happened to the sayings "What goes around comes around"

    January 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  435. Ricky from Roseville, MI

    Lose the first one and post this one. I had an error in typing. Thank you:

    President-Elect Obama has to remember that while he is working with people who both agree and disagree with him, the buck will stop with him on January 20th. He also must remember that an investigation is exactly what it is – investigating whether or not President Bush broke the law. He won’t be convicted until he is proven guilty in a court of law. So, yes, let the investigation begin.

    Finally, there are many reasons why Obama is hesitant on discussing an investigation. Who’s helping the President-Elect prepare for office? Would you go up to Wolf Blitzer as he’s hosting the show with you and tell him you’re going to investigate his hosting practices (No offense Wolf – you rock!)?

    January 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  436. eric in colorado

    Jack...torture and eavesdropping are at the bottom of the list for this group of clowns. Lets go for the gold, and try the entire lot, which includes
    Rumsfeld, Rove, Libby, Cheney, Rice, Gonzales Bush and all their accomplices, as the traitors that they are. We should keep gitmo open but empty, because if justice were served, we could fill it up with these liars, cheaters and war criminals. Lying to America to start an oil war, outing CIA operatives, and allowing Halliburton to steal us blind and not excusable crimes. Dont try them at home...

    January 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  437. James L Hardman

    The Barrack O administration should "look ahead". What use has looking into the rear view mirror ever provided? Yes, we always need to learn from our mistakes (yes I believe they {the Bush crew} made grevious mistakes) but working the past never has given us a forward return.

    I'm not asking for consideration of blanket forgiveness, but this Great Nation needs to move forward, stop the "Media hungery anger" of reliving and redrudging the past.

    I believe in America, I believe the majority of us are good and this Great Nation will move forward and the sooner we move away from the (Bush Administration policies) the best.

    Jim H

    January 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  438. Jeremy

    I 100 percent agree with Obama that we should, as a country, look forward and not back. However, this country and its citizenry were wronged by several policies and practices of the current administration. If we will not hold our own government accountable to the ideals of individual liberties that we encourage other countries to practice, then how CAN we move forward?

    January 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  439. Tessa, Massachusetts

    Obama should concentrate on finding solutions for our future and not make a spectacle of what has already passed. If the justice department has a case then they should deal with it quickly and quietly.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  440. Christine Dorsey

    Is there any way a responsible Justice Department won't find laws have been broken? The House of Representives has failed to fullfill its duty by not impeaching this President and Vice President. Someone needs to hold them accountable if for no other reason than it will make future presidents give pause before they decide to shred the Constitution.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  441. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    The Bush Administration should be investigated, and investigated to the maximum that the laws of our land allow and those of the world court, as well. Bush and those in his administration are criminals and guilty of numerous war crimes. Bush abused all of his powers and even those he did not have. Bush never met a law he didn't like, and if he did he changed it or ignored it to match his misguided policies.

    He changed the intelligence to start a war of choice, which led to tens of thousands of people dying in this war. He abused our rights as citizens and even took away the rights of some citizens. He tortured "enemy combatants," knowing that this position put our military personnel at greater risk. The Bush "doctrine" has allowed it for other countries to now take pre-emptive action which places our world in a more dangerous place. He and all of his policy makers need to be investigated and action needs to take place to make them accountable for all of their illegal actions. This is what the world is waiting for in order for America to once again get the respect it lost because of this man and his immoral actions. We need to come clean and break free of all the Bush doctrines!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  442. Ken-Long Island

    As gracious and forthcoming as George Bush was in the transition he is accountable for his actions. Although it is a natural tendency to forgive someone who acted with sincerity and with the best of motives, the law is the law. Our society is predicated on the fact that no one is above the law. As easy as it would be to sweep the filth under the rug, the best thing for America is to face the truth. It is a President's responsibility to advocate for the public interest and full disclosure is in the public interest.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  443. Clifford

    Bush and Company have to be investigated, so another administration can't do the same thing in the future.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  444. Gerard

    If Obama doesn't hold George Bush and his administration officials accountable for allegations of wrongdoing, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will become worthless pieces of paper, "with liberty and justice for all" will have to be stricken from the pledge, and King George's belief that "policy is above the law" will replace government of, by and for the People. The British will have finally won the American Revolution. The Boston Tea Party will have to be continued until the People succeed in getting it right.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  445. Scott in NM

    RE: Obama & investigations into Bush policies.

    Of course Obama must support investigations but for various political reasons he may have to do it in a subdued manner. The Justice Dept on the other hand, doesn't have to be subdued about anything. Full speed ahead. The elections were a triumph of democracy but the job isn't done. As with the movement to impeach, simply removing the scoundrels from office isn't enough. Real consequences must follow their actions. Maybe Gitmo has a legit future after all.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  446. Tameeca Griffin

    Obama and his team are absolutely correct. We need to be looking foward, in an attempt to fix things that can still be fixed. Besides, don't these Federal investigations often end up with with many unanswered questions and without actually assigning blame (a few come to mind...)? With certainty we know that investigations are expensive and time consuming. Time and money are better suited to be used in an attempt to help the masses rather than persecute a few.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  447. Sam Gore Houston,MS

    If violating the constitutional the rights of thousands of americans were not crimes enough, Bush has dragged the reputation of this great nation through the mud and in so doing he has dashed the hopes and dreams of millions of non-americans. Throw the book at the ignoramus.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  448. el-tee from the lower right hand corner of ND

    Jack - Isn't it realistic that the President will issue preemptive pardons before he leaves the White House? This would render any investigation fruitless! Much to my displeasure this how I see it playing out.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  449. Robert Thomson

    The whole world knows how much we did and that it was wrong. Abu Ghraib, waterboarding, premptive invasion with cooked intel, shock and awe. The neocons are working their butts off as we speak to try and convince us that they prevented new invasions and therefore all of their wrongs were right. I think we need to set the record straight and prosecute all of the evil doers in a kangaroo courts and hold them without habeas corpus rights. They taught us what to do didn't they?

    Bob Thomson – Southfield, MI

    January 12, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  450. LibertyAnne in DC

    Not only should Obama investigate these offenses but every Attorney General in the country should bring these criminals up on charges of murder of every soldier their state has lost.

    I will be most grateful for any effort the Justice Dept. makes to bring these wiesels to justice. Our dignity and our constitution MUST be restored.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  451. Henry, Mt.Pleasant,MI

    President Obama needs to launch a full investigation, how else are we going to learn from mistakes and this abuse of power, it is that simple!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  452. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    Obama needs to let this one go. There are so many issues facing this nation, we just don't need the unnecessary political distraction. The only one's who really want it are the far left and they are so whacked out they don't need this type of bone thrown to them.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  453. Bob Smith

    Ahoy Jack

    Bad Idea!! With an end to wire tapping etc. the chances of our being hit take a quantum leap. If we get hit again he may want to reinstate the Bush anti terror policies, but it will then be too late to save his presidency in 2012.

    Bob Smith Killington Vt.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  454. Nancy Lee

    He should keep his mouth shut and his intentions to himself until Bush is out of office and unable to issue blanket pardons. If he doesn't hold those responsible accountable then, we will simply keep reliving variations on Senator Stevens in the Congress and Bush in the White House for ever.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  455. Mike

    In order to restore America's honor and integrity on the world stage it's imperative that the Bush administration be judged to determine if they committed crimes or not.

    If a court of law finds them innocent, then so be it. But if they are found to have committed crimes against humanity then, like any murderer, they must pay the appropriate retribution to society.

    El Dorado, AR

    January 12, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  456. Larry Pearson


    I think the only people that have to worry about eavesdropping are the ones that have something to hide . As far as the torturing of prisoners it should stop . In the 21 century things are a lot different than they have ever been before . We must protect the USA at any personal cost . A long term investagation at this time our country can not stand we must move on .

    Larry Pearson

    January 12, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  457. Jewell in Tennessee

    The Bush Administration is not above the law, but now only the Bush Administration should be investigated, but the whole congress (Republicans and Democrats).

    January 12, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  458. rick

    In a few days and in front of millions, Obama will take an oath to uphold and protect the U.S. Constitution. He will either accept the burdon of rthis esponsibility to the fullest extent or he will tell his first lie to the American people.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  459. David, Tampa, Fl

    I would opt for investigation and if warrented trial. If convicted he should give Bush a Presidential pardon at the 11th hour of his last day in office. Better yet, let Bush serve time till the eleventh hour deny the request and let Obama's successor deal with Bush.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  460. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    Let the chips fall where they may! If what they did was illegal, it needs to be exposed . We have laws for a reason! If an administration is considered to be exempt, then Congress will think they are exempt also, and we may as well not have a Constitution!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  461. Harry Mills


    It amazes me how amazingly flexible (partisan) those of you on the left can be. Seven years ago, you criticized our president (yes, yours too), and his staff, for 9/11. Even though, the intelligence was there on Bill Clinton's watch. Now, you, and other liberals, want to have charges brought against the people that have done everything possible to keep me and other Americans safe from further attack.

    Harry Mills
    Spring Hill, TN

    January 12, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  462. Jan

    We can't have transparency without windexing the dirty windows clean.
    ACCOUNTABILITY has to ACCOUNT for something.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  463. Lisa

    Lets let Ohio's Mr. Kucinich talk to President-Elect Obama. I watched Mr. Kucinich detail President Bush's crimes. It took hours. Lisa ,Ohio

    January 12, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  464. Paul S.

    Hi Jack,

    He should remain ambiguous until the Bush administration is safely out of office, then open the floodgates of investigation. Bush and Cheney still have a week to declare martial law and it is obvious that they are capable of anything.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  465. Ron

    I think that we should prosecute Bush if the laws of the land were broken.President elect Obama has enough on his plate to handle.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  466. Pierre LeClerk

    All criminals are emboldened when justice is delayed or denied. The precedent set by failure to account and to be accountable to the "Rule of Law", as applied equally to all, is immeasurable in its impact on civilized society.
    We must not simple,"move forward" for the sake of convenience and congeniality, We the People are called to a higher standard. The basic concept of Equality, rests on all men being created equal, none set above the law.
    Generations of citizens have sacrificed blood sweat, life and limb, too both remove yoke of tyranny from our life's, and protect all mankind as a true torch of "FREEDOM"!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  467. Terry


    How else are we supposed to get the information needed to thwart terrorist attacks? Ask them nicely? Fact is sometimes the easy wrong must be done over the hard right.

    Another fact is when Bush stepped into the Oval Office I'm sure he walked tall at first as well, but times have changed i.e. 9/11 and no doubt somethings were done wrong in hindsight which is always 20/20.

    One things for certain though terrorists are brutal and without honor. If pacifists and liberals can't get that through there heads they should come and walk a mile in the boots of the men and women on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  468. Sherry

    Can we afford the enormous cost of the investigations and probable prosecutions... right now! These things cost! And they cost a great deal of money! It seems that our more immediate need is to get our economy in order. The public spectacle-in-the-making that this is bound to become has little or no relevance by comparison. For people without jobs and in immenent danger of losing their homes the idealism of American justice comes in quite low on the list of what's important...right now!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  469. Jim, from Las Vegas

    It's too late now. The voters had a chance to do what was needed in 2004, but couldn't stomach the alternative. Congress had a chance in 2006 but deliberately turned away from it. Obama can't do anything now without setting dangerous precedents for future officeholders, including himself.

    Ulitimate responsibility for holding our leaders accountable lies with the us, the voters. When we fail to do so, then we shouldn't expect those leaders to punish themselves.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  470. Gary Meixell

    Where was the outcry on torture when John McCain and the others were being tortured by the North Vietnamese, how about the torture by Saddam Hussein during the 1st gulf war? Read the the Geneva Conventions and you'll find out that Al Qaida is not covered. I believe the Bush Administration has followed the UCMJ laws, regarding it's treatment of detainees.
    Our adversaries around the world are just laughing at us, they don't care about following laws, they make up their own.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  471. Arlene-- Illinois

    Nothing, just let Bush go back to Texas to cut brush and Cheney
    to go back to Wyoming and continue to shoot his gun!

    Just move on as the last 8 years are over.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  472. Suzanne

    I am sorry to say that this statement by Obama is just the latest one in a whole series of actions that signal that the new administration does not intend to live up to the promises made to the American people whether it be constitutional rights and international law, ending tax cuts for the rich, providing a stimulus package for working people not the banks and corporations. Ominous also are the remarks on "reforming" Social Security and Medicare.

    What this indicates is that the millions of people who mobilized to insure Obama's election not go home and wait for change but continue to fight for it.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  473. Immigrant

    Ah, yes! AMERICA! The country where, if you are rich you can get away with anything! I want to live there!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  474. J. Weidenbach in Marburg

    I don't think that is the job of the new President. Isn't that something the people should have protested and demanded during the current administration?

    January 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  475. Jim Fauci

    It's quite obvious that their were some unorthodox methods used and could also be considered illegal, however, we neither have the time nor the money to be doing Congressional investigations into the
    Bush Administration. Let's move forward together to make America right.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  476. Mat Hylan

    closing guantanamo bay is definately a good start. quiet a bit will be learnt over the process of the next year when the institution is being shut down. obama sure has to clean up a mess, he will have to sort it out. let george sit on the shelf for a while, and when the time has come to deal with the rediculous policies of that administration we need the international community to assist in the investigations.

    mat, victoria, british columbia

    January 12, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  477. mike carrigan

    Wait for it. Yes there should be an investigation but it doesn't have to be the first thing talked about. In fact it would be ironic to start a secret investgation into secret techniques used uring the last president. At some point you do need to bring to light what happened but don't alienate the people you will need to cooperate until you can move ahead.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  478. Barak Obama

    Hello everyone! Thanks for your input on what I should do to address the wrongdoing of the previous administration. I will keep your thoughts in mind as I decide what to do. Change is coming, but we should all remember the past. But I have to be careful how I handle this because if I piss off Bush's constituants, my life wouldn't be worth a nickle.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  479. Mark Rayman

    Obama should urge congress to initiate hearings and prosecutions. It is, after all, a target-rich environment, with so many misdeeds against the best interest of our country. The Congress didn't do oversight. They didn't do impeachment. They didn't do what was required in a timely way, but that doesn't mean they should be allowed to pass this off to the executive branch now. The Majority Leaders didn't lead on this and need to be replaced. It isn't just that the Presidency became too powerful, it's also the the Congress has has been severely weakened.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  480. Rose in Chicago, IL

    Jack, The entire "enhanced interrogation" practitioner group has been given funding by Mr. Bush for legal defense expenses, so the question of prosecution can be argued from a cost-benefit standpoint.

    I think trials of people who facilitated and inflicted torture would be worth the cost, but I can easily imagine the Republican appropriations committee members protesting prosecution in the interest of "fiscal responsibility" and opposing expenditure of taxpayer funds on lawyers to argue both sides of the matter away from public oversight to protect "national security" and classified documents involved. Unless they have law firm friends who will get the defense contracts, of course.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  481. Joe

    Why all the sympathy for terrorists being tortured? Who cares if they are sleep deprived. What about the families left behind after their loved ones was killed on 9-11? They are the ones who are sleep deprived. They now have to live with a void in their life and their life has been changed forever, because of terrorists who could care less, who care nothing about life, who wants to do nothing but kill and destroy even if it means giving up their own life. The media gives more coverage and sympathy to terrorists, than they do to the thousands that were slaughtered on 9-11 and the families who were left behind. I expect my President to do whatever deems fit to keep this country safe and to keep all of us safe. If that means terrorists losing sleep, then so be it.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  482. Danni

    Saying it is one thing, doing it is another

    Upland Ca

    January 12, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  483. AJ from Austin TX


    The democrats will never let Obama call for hearings or an investigation. If there are investigations into the Bush admin, it will bring to light the fact that the democrats were kept in the loop all along and went along with everything, especially the Terrorist Surveillance Program. Why do you think there haven't been any investigations thus far with the democrats in power? Why hasn't a special council been appointed? Sure they beat their chests and pound their fists (for the cameras), but in the end, they don't want Americans to know just how spineless they really are.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  484. Will Schmidt

    Hello from Canada Jack: I will make my comment short.
    In any competition/battle the side following the rules can never expect to succeed against an opponent that does not follow any rules.
    When you have religious fanatics of any belief, that are prepared to fly Planes into buildings,kill thousands of people, strap bombs to themselves and kill inocent children and civilians, I ask : How far does a society go to make sure the rules are followed? Terrorism is not based on any rules!
    For me, the answer is "crystal clear".

    January 12, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  485. Greeley Dotson

    If Barack Obama ignores lies,torture.,rendition,illegal wiretapping, making end runs around congress, calling the constitution a g!!#$ dam piece of paper, and manipulating the justice system he deserves one term then ride him out of town on a rail.

    I would like to ask the American people if Bush and Cheney do not qualify for impeachment what crime on gods green earth would a president and vice president have to commit?

    This is the moment in history to prove to the world what America is really made of.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  486. David

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” ML King
    “Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. ML King
    “Justice delay is justice denied.” William Gladstone
    Obama must constitutionally execute justice in the matter of illegal detentions, wiretaps and the erosion of the Bill of Rights.
    –David from St. Joseph, Missouri

    January 12, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  487. Eleni Mylonas

    You may not like this Jack, but my gut feeling is he should not go down the road to active prosecution. Not now. What good is it to verify the obvious? And at what cost? Everyone can see that Bush & Co. screwed up, big time. We do not want our new President pointing the finger to Bush but to the future, to what we can do to move forward. What was said during the campaign was then, now it's a whole different ball game. We voted for Change. Real change is not a movement from A to B. You can not fix change it is constant and fluid, moment to moment, a new way of thinking. Life is change. You have to be on your toes at all times. Barack Obama understands this; that's why I voted for him and I trust that more often than not he will know to do the right thing.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  488. Thomond O'Brien

    Following Bush's own practice there should be no trial but the Bush/Chaney gang, all of them, should be waterboarded to see whether or not it is torture.

    All the best to you Jack,

    MN Tom

    January 12, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  489. Wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    mr Chaney is the dog here, bush is only the puppet, Chaney would have never been elected, the republicans knew that.. Bush isn't smart enough to come up with all the devious act's.. Obama's plate is so full, there isn't the time or money, FOR NOW......

    January 12, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  490. Dallas Cline

    These people are nothing but partisans and murders,They should have never been captured.. Give them the same justice they give-swisssssh, plooop done

    January 12, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  491. Robin Carter

    l can't believe the Judge will not jail this man until his trial. ls the Judge being paid off? or was he involved in the scheme also. lf it were anyone else especially a minority they would have seized everything, and sure as heck would not be sitting in a 7 million dollar penthouse. They would be up under the jail. Something is not right with this situation. Maybe the judicial system in New York needs to be investigated because this man is still getting away with his crimes past and present crimes. My God what has this Country came to?

    Thank You

    Robin Carter
    Cleveland, Ohio

    January 12, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  492. Walter Szykitka

    It would be a travesty of justice to allow these gangsters to get out of town without either exposure or punishment for their crimes. If the Obama administration allows this, then I'm afraid we're on our way to have our hearts broken once again.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  493. rusty

    president bush is the real jack bauer of america!
    he did what it took to defeat terrorism here and abroad!

    for obama to say he will prosecute president bush will start a war that will end badly for america.

    if obama wants to prosecute anybody go after slick willy(bill cliton) for the selling of illegal technology to china and taking bribes from them!

    But leave our President alone!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  494. P

    With Mr. Obama voting yes for the cover up bill, I mean fisa bill,let's me know he has some things in common with President Bush.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  495. mike carrigan from Buffalo NY

    At some point a look will happen but we may not hear about it right away if at all. You have to get into office first before you can just start investigating. How ironic is it to have a secret investigation of secret techniques used by very secretive groups (like the CIA). Obama needs the trust of the CIA or it will that much harder to work with them.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  496. J. Gard

    A thorough investigation into Gitmo is just one small action that the US can take to make amends with the Muslim community at home and abroad. No investigation could have dyer consequences with respect to the actions of future Muslim leaders and their attitudes towards the United States. Unfortunately, Obama is too concerned with making buddies in the CIA, FBI and HLS to concern himself with the message of not having a broad investigation sends to the world: America can do what it wants, when it wants to whomever it wants without repercussion.

    J. Gard
    Toronto, Canada

    January 12, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  497. Michael Holford, Yakima WA

    Obama doesn't seem to be interested or willing to investigate the circumstances, cause or identify the perpetrators of fraud and incompetence. This pertains to issues of fraud and mismanagement within Wall Street, the apparent incompetence within the Treasury and the finacial regulatory oversight committees and the military regarding torture and human rights violations in Gitmo. The "easy" thing to do is to forgive and forget and don't look back. By ignoring the issues and those who have demonstrated incompetence invites more of the same on Obama's watch. How can we expect to have anything more then "business as usual" as long as the same incompetent people continue to maintain their positions?

    January 12, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  498. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    Personally, I would love to see these defilers of our nation's moral authority and reputation, particularly Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld et al prosecuted to the full extent of the national and international law regarding war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

    However, I am a realist, as I suspect President Elect Obama is, and would not want to see our government handcuff itself, as it did with the political impeachment of Clinton in retaliation for the Watergate hearings of Nixon.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  499. Jan Thomas Pinson, Alabama

    President-Elect Obama has consistently adhered to a high moral and ethical standard through-out his campaign. Americans want our Presidents to have these standards and to be a role model for our children, for businesses, indeed the country as a whole and the world. To ignore the abuses of the Bush administration is to call into question his own integrity. My prayers are with him–that he can resist the political pressures to " protect our own" and clean up government from the top down.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  500. Ed Scanlin

    Investigate the Iraq War theft of Iraqi oil by Halliburton and its subsidiaries. Investigate acts of terrorism by Blackwater
    thugs to incite civil war between the Shiites and the Sunnis.
    Investigate suicide bombings that are not suicides but are innocent people that are wrappen in explosives and told what to do in order
    not to be blown up...... but are anyway. These are directed by more
    hired thugs in order to perpetuate the "War".
    Please do not "moderate" the truth.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  501. Erik from Golden, Colorado

    Obama needs to protect the Office of the President, but first and foremost, he needs to protect the ideals that America was founded upon. If he lets the Bush administration get away with torture, wiretapping, and basically lying to get their agenda pushed through without an investigation, then he is letting our American values continue to slip away. By holding the outgoing administration accountable, he would renew our spirit and our image throughout the world.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  502. Mike Byington

    Look forward - the toothpaste can't be put back into the tube, and we need 30-hour days and 9-day weeks to attack what's on the front of the plate.plate.. Given his freedom, Waxman would investigate all the way back to the SF Fire and Custer's Last Stand!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  503. Stewart, Santa Fe, NM

    What is best for the country is a break with the past. Forget about witch hunts. Obama should focus on rescuing the economy and saving our country's reputation. He should grant full access to historians, full access to every bit of evidence about all of the blunders, the lies, the misteps of Bush and his administration so that they can quickly write about how the worst President in our nation's history almost destroyed the country and just about every institution in it.

    In my dreams what I really want is payback. What I really want the Obama Administration's Justice Department to do is thoroughly investigage Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Rice, and a few others; I want these awful individuals punished with prison terms and stripped of every last penny, stripped of their citizenship and sent to Iraq to live the rest of their miserable lives. I want the then former President George W. Bush to be vilified and humiliated publicly, shunned and drummed from civilized society. I want all of the harm he visited on this country and others taught to our children and their children and their children until his name lives in infamy forever. That is what I want.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  504. monica von berndt

    Monica Jerome Idaho When the Bush Bunch finally leaves our White House he is going home to a comfortable way of life with not a care while we are strugling in one way or the other just to live because of what he has done to our nation If he gets away with what hehas done then as a fair country we need to let every crook murderer extorshionist etc out of prison money and power has got to stop being a shield around these kind of people just ask famous author and criminal prosecuter vincent bugliosi If President Obama dont try and stop the criminals in our government then who will

    January 12, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  505. steve

    Jack, I truly believe that President Obama should investigate the Bush Administration and prosecute anyone who has violated the law of the land. However, if President Obama doesn't proceed in this direction, I will not hold it against him because I know President Obama is trying to unite the country.

    Phila., Pa

    January 12, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  506. John Zapolski in Bayonne,NJ

    Barrack should put it on the back burner for now. The state of our economy is far too important to waste valuable resources. Bush's ignorance and stupidity is unprecedented. How many mistakes and untruths can one administration make. The faster we can forget, the sooner we will recover.

    Bayonne, NJ

    January 12, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  507. Lonnie Robinson

    If the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights means anything to Americans. Then accountability should mean just as much for those who walked all over it for the last 8 years. It is imperative.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  508. SAM

    The Republicans spent $70 million investigating Clinton for relatively minor issues because "this is a nation of laws." Bush and Chaney have manipulated , twisted and broke the laws of this country, causing irreparable harm here and around the world. Since this is still a nation of laws, they should be investigated and then they should be "thrown into jail and the jail should be thrown away."

    January 12, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  509. grayeagle

    jack, do u know what the DC means in washington dc? DOSEN'T CARE!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  510. C. H. Collins, II

    When is the public going to understand that Obama has in him more of the love of God than 89% of the other politicians in Washington. He exibits the true meaning of forgiveness, and understands that too much energy is totally wasted when we are concentrating on revenge rather that moveing forward. This wordly situation is too critical for us not to be following the positive examples that guarantee us peace, and posperity. Furthermore, we should take time to look at P'hilippians 4:8-9, where scriptures commands us to think on those thing that are true, just, pure, lovely, and thing of good report, and the peace of God will rule our hearts. This is where this country is striving to be, and if we remember that God says "vengence is mine, I will repay, we can concentrate on moving forward, one with another.

    Longview, Texas

    January 12, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  511. Tanny

    Jack, I'm going to tell you the way it is. Lot of people have pretty high hopes from President elect but at the end of the day he is going to blame on the previous administration for creating such a mess and nothing is going to be achieved. He is hot air as rest of the politicians and that crap about solar panels and five million new jobs. What I see in the horizon is shiploads of solar panel made in China being installed by hardworking illegal aliens at half the price. The country is doomed until and unless very drastic change in trade & immigration policies are implemented. Remember fair trade is a winning solution, not a free trade.

    Tanny Kapoor
    Toronto, Canada

    January 12, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  512. Terry D

    Last week we took out two Al Qaeda operatives because "we knew" that they had bombed our embassy in Kenya. These individuals never had a trial, were never convicted, and never had a chance to defend themselves. But "we Knew" that they were guilty and we killed them. No one is saying that this was wrong.

    I find it to be a major inconsistency of thought to say that if we had captured them it would have been unjust and immoral to have twisted their arms to force them to tell us about future terrorists activities planed by Al Qaede.

    Terry D

    January 12, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  513. Jim Green, Seguin, TX www.Inclusivism.org

    As much as I am outraged by what Bush has done to America (ala the Republican agenda of the past 30 years)–Obama should implement rational solutions to fix our economy–period–and put these people in our rear-view mirror as quickly as possible......an esxtended investigation will keep them in the forefront of the news, and we should just let them disappear-ASAP!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  514. Mary From Colorado

    Obama needs to appoint a special council to investigate and punish all the people who carried out illegal acts, including Bush and his cronies.. Someone needs to be held accountable for all the crimes commited in our names in the last eight years.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  515. j/NJ

    What should President-elect Barack Obama do when it comes to a broad investigation of Bush administration policies such as eavesdropping and torture?

    Obama's message was clear: if laws were broken by the Bush administration appropriate action will be taken, however, Obama does not intend to initiate or support a political witch hunt which could alienate the American people and detract from the nation's business...in any event the most important thing to keep in mind is that Bush's authoritarian policies arguably the most profound since Ronald Reagan, will hopefully cease to exist...

    January 12, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  516. John from collinsville, Illinois

    Jack what good would it do . Mr. Bush and his administration would just get Madoff defence attorneys and laugh...

    January 12, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  517. Jimmy Couch

    These investigations are a complete waste of time and money. Look back to the Clinton's and Whitewater. Ken Star spent hundreds of millions of dollars and what happened? Absolutely nothing!

    Let's just focus on the future and not elect Jeb Bush in 2012.

    January 12, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  518. Cliff in Mississippi

    Obama has said he will not follow the failed Republican policies, like the 50 million dollar attempt to impeach Bill Clinton.
    We all know the laws that were violated...so he can simply let his attorney general pursue those violations which are critcal. In the meantime, the president has already taken steps to begin shutdown of Guantanamo Bay prison, and will not allow any more torture. This will allow his efforts to be better spent elsewhere.
    The Republicans could have benefited with this approach, as well as the taxpayer.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  519. helen fisher

    We have too many problems to fix. We have no time nor money to waste. Only time will take care of Bush and his followers.Bush will have plenty of restless nights for the rest of his life, and that will be his punishment.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  520. RS Lane

    What would happen if there was a really mean and bratty kid that was kicking elderly people and the father looks idly by and does nothing? And then another parent steps in to take charge. Don't you think the parent of the child would be embarrassed at his own lack of action and/or punishment of the child? Wouldn't it be the same thing if Obama let the Bush Admin get away with kicking us all around while he sits idly by? Especially If another country steps in to try the Bush Admin for war crimes as Obama sits idly by?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  521. Ian

    If the Obama administration wants to side with the likes of code pink and try Bush for war crimes he will create a civil war between those who support the military and police forces and those who support groups like code pink. Gee I wonder who will be the victors?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  522. Rhoda Karr

    Just like the US attorneys fired under the Bush administration, the first think Obama should do is fire everyone in the SEC from the receptionist up. The Obama administration should then fill the positions with qualified applicants who lost everything in the financial crisis and the Madoff scandal. They know best how they were swindled and would know the best ways of oversight. This would give older workers who lost everything and don't have a conceivable way of recouping their losses a chance at employment and a way to secure their retirement funds.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  523. Carol, Lakewood Co

    No, Think about all the time, and money it took for such other investigations. Obama should/ will go forward, after all the mess we all have on our hands is imperative and far more important!
    what should we do about all the mess? well collect enough taxes from Haliburton, and other oil giants to bail us out instead bailing on us , then focus on jobs and other issues. The court of public opinion will have an effect on the Bush years. Turn the issue over to the public, we did not have a voice then, now we will.
    colorado mom

    January 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  524. pete in ny

    Repeating a falsehood or distortion doesn't make it true. Although it is an article of faith among all of the Bush haters, there is no clear violation of any constitutional right. and with exception of GITMO the practices they inveigh against were also carried out by previous democratic administrations

    It will really be terrible for many of your viewers when there is no one out there left to hate. I find that these "liberals" are the most intolerant hate filled people who seem to exist only to find someone or something else to attack.- it is reaqlly sort of pathetic that they can never look forward.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  525. Hollie Bust

    What it means is that Americans are working longer hours and making less money when adjusted for inflation. Mom and Dad have to work long hours now and that means less time to prepare healthy meals. It is also a fact that it costs more to eat healthy than it does to eat the cheap and fast alternative.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  526. Brett

    I normally watch your segment silently, but was asked by I. Jacklin that I felt deserved answer.

    "Which is the lesser of two evils: infringing on the constitution or the loss of life of 9/11?"

    -the loss of life on 9/11, without question. As tragic and horrifying as it was(and I'm a New Yorker, who was there), if it makes us abandon what we built our country on, the core belief of personal liberty without government scrutiny, that loss is tenfold greater. When they talk about "letting the terrorists win".... that's what they mean. Getting scared enough that we give up what it means to be American, bit by bit by bit.

    That being said, no. Give him a pardon if that's what required, but no investigation. Undo what he did, and move on, Mr. Obama will have enough things on his plate to keep him plenty busy.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  527. bruce

    Whoever breakes the law should be procecuted, spesially if they are government officals, even more spesialy the Bush administration should be prosecuted to the highest extent of the law, they shreded the constitution.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  528. Mike from Keller, TX

    The terrorists that attacked our nation do not follow international law regarding warfare. They are continually trying to harm our citizens and the government has the obligation to protect the people of the United States at whatever costs. To tie the hands of our government to follow international and national laws in regards to eavesdropping and torture while the enemy has a blank check to do everything it can to harm us is not realistic. We do need to have checks and balances to make sure it is not abused.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  529. Harry Mills


    I am very anxious to see how things go fo the next 4 years, or 2. We have Obama, who I think is a great man who can unite the country, but we have Pelosi and Reid in Congress. Can you honestly say that they are good for America? God help us


    January 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  530. Eric Kull

    I think Bush,Cheney,Rice, Rumsfeld, and few others should undergo a bit of "Enhanced Interogation" According to them, it's the only way to get at the truth!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  531. mark

    I am reticent to condemn the actions of some goverment officials
    who identified a terrorist threat to this country and acted accordingly to protect
    & defend us from foreign attack. I continue to wonder if I had the responsability for citizens in my care & in imminent danger , to what extent would I go to save their lives. Considering they have a constitutional duty to uphold. I wonder if some of their critics would be answering a converse quetion; had they done enough to investigate, expose, & curtail the actions of these fanatics.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  532. Robin Carter/Cleveland, Ohio

    l feel that Barack should not investigate Bush on the treatment of the way he handled the terrorist. Hello these are terrorist. Terrorist don't have rights. They want to kill the American people, and the lsrali people, and don't mind pulling the trigger, or blowing us up. lf wiretapping is going to help us defend ourselves against these radicals than so be it. Barack has better things to do now than to worry about the actions of the past President. lt's not like Bush was trying to kill us off. lt would be a different story if this was the case. l feel we have to do whatever is necessary to protect America, and lsrael. We need to focus on the future, and getting America back on track, and protecting the Homeland. lf we focus on past, we won't beable to prepare for the future, and as of now we have alot to deal with, and a short time to do it.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  533. johnchristopher, weyburn, SK

    Hmmmm. Didn't like that last one eh? In addition to investigations of unwarranted wiretapping and immoral torture the 9/11 questions keep coming. We saw planes hit the towers adnauseum, but not a single shot of the plane which allegedly hit the pentagon...why is that?

    And do you remember the question asked of President Bush on first hearing about a plane hitting the tower? He said, "A television was on outside the classroom and he saw the first plane hit the first tower." Remember that? Nobody saw that one television until the next day.

    Investigate 9/11...properly.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  534. harold

    If George W. Bush and his staff broke the law, they must be investigated and procecuted. No one is above the law.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  535. Sharon, Chicago, IL

    Obama needs to look back on this issue: His first obligation is to "protect and defend the US Consititution." Bush has made toilet paper out of that document and many people think he should be tried for war crimes. At the very least, Obama needs to appoint a special investigator/prosecutor (Fitzgerald would do nicely) and Congress needs to make certain Bush cannot pardon himself and his cronies before the fact. Bush and Cheney should have been Impeached, but we all know the Democrats are gutless when it comes to this issue and some of them (like Pelosi and Reid) are likely complicit. If we believe in the rule of law, the constitution, and human rights, this bunch of criminals need to be prosecuted and punished.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  536. stan burch

    Jack: How much longer can you and CNN give away a $5.00 toaster and a free bank account with Washington Mutual to listen to the thoughts of Leslie Sanchez? She is the most shallow, superficial, opportunistic "political" journalist who begs media attention due to her double minority status that could ever be created on an afterthought much less any, any ability (yet to be defined). A Bush right wing Republican..??? Today, she suggested that Obama (yet to be confirmed) could be the Herbert Hoover of this generation!!! AND, challenged Donna that she would be looking over her shoulder at the Democrats and their legislative enactments! Leslie Sanchez is an insult to the intelligence of any informed citizen who has grated from middle school a/k/a junior hish. My Best, Stan Burch

    January 12, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  537. vern-t anaheim,ca

    i think they should be prosecuted but fixing the economy is more important,this current administration has commited numerous violations of the constitution and will get away with it because no one has the gumption to may them pay for what they've done

    January 12, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  538. Lizanne Baxter

    Republicans have used attacks and criticism to their advantage for as long as I can remember and they have won election after election. Obama has been the only Democrat that has threatened to return fire and answer the critics. I think it is important for Democrats to participate in the public debate weather it be a negative attack or a friendly difference of opinion on a policy, ideology or issue. In addtion to reinstating the The fairness doctrine, Democrats should enforce the laws and protect, defend and enforce the U.S. Constitution and let the chips fall were they may. If a couple politicans go to jail so be it. Why is it that CNN and other the media organizations refuse to host a public debate on important policies like deregulation?

    January 12, 2009 at 6:36 pm |