Call me a fan of the vice president.
As politicians go, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is an American treasure. Although it's landed him in hot water more than once, Vice President Biden has a habit of doing what few other politicians dare do -- say what's really on his mind at any given time -- damn the consequences. Even though we'll probably never know one way or another, it very well could be that the vice president's comments on Meet the Press last year effectively quickened the president's own 'evolution' on gay marriage a short time later. It was less than a week after Biden announced his wholesale support of marriage equality that the president himself announced the administration's support for the issue.
Now, the question is, will lightening strike twice? Will the president himself call for the release of the classified Senate Intelligence Committee report on the use of torture and enhanced interrogation by the United States?
Roll Call has the story.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Friday night that he supports making a classified Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture and enhanced interrogation more available to the public.
Biden’s revelation was overshadowed by another statement he made at the forum in Sedona, Ariz., in which he suggested that the tanking economy in 2008 was the main reason Sen. John McCain lost to President Barack Obama. The vice president was appearing at a forum featuring a conversation with McCain.
Of course this is his own personal view on the report. With his patented " don't look back... look forward" attitude, it's difficult to gauge where the president stands. Biden's statement is in agreement, however, with Senator John McCain who also called for the report to be made public. Both men also agree that the report has been the subject of intense debate at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
“Now this voluminous study has been done,” Biden said. “And the internal debate that goes on in the Congress and in the White House is, do we go back and do we expose it? Do we lay out who was responsible and how we got to where we are?”I don't agree with McCain on much of anything. But on this issue I do.
“It offends the fundamentals of what kind of country we are, and the practical side of it is, don’t think it didn’t damage the United States’ image in the world in ways that we’ll be paying for for years to come,” McCain said, noting his support for disclosing more details of what happened.
“It is not resolved yet, John, but I’m where you are. I think the only way you excise the demons is you acknowledge, you acknowledge exactly what happened straightforward,” Biden said.
Biden insisted that everything regarding the issue of torture (and its insidious doppelganger 'enhanced interrogation') should be laid out on the table in order for the country to move beyond it. As an example of a country finally able to move past a torturous past, the vice president talked about Germany.
“The single best thing that ever happened to Germany were the war crimes tribunals, because it forced Germany to come to its milk about what in fact has happened,” Biden said. “That’s why they’ve become the great democracy they’ve become.”
In his statement, Biden also cited the war crimes committed in the Balkans as another example.
Hmm, Dick Cheney's name associated with that of the likes of Slobodan Milošević? Why not? As far as I'm concerned, the only difference between the two is that one of them has yet to be convicted of war crimes.
But that's just me.