Bush Lawyers Have Reason To Be Nervous
Michael Isikoff at Newsweek is reporting that a probe by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility is sharply critical of former top officials John Yoo, Jay Bybee, and Stephen Bradbury. A draft of the report questions whether legal advice on harsh interrogation techniques “was consistent with the professional standards that apply to Department of Justice attorneys.” These are the attorneys who approved waterboarding and other tactics that many legal scholars believe constitute torture. John Yoo (left), in particular, is infamous for authoring what has become known as the “torture memo”.
…the OPR probe began after Jack Goldsmith, a Bush appointee who took over OLC in 2003, protested the legal arguments made in the memos. Goldsmith resigned the following year after withdrawing the memos, and later wrote that he was “astonished” by the “deeply flawed” and “sloppily reasoned” legal analysis in the memos by Yoo and Bybee, including their assertion (challenged by many scholars) that the president could unilaterally disregard a law passed by Congress banning torture.
Three former Bush lawyers who have asked not to be identified question whether interrogation memos were designed to tell the Bush administration what it wanted to hear. None of the implicated attorneys are willing to comment.
H. Marshall Jarrett, head of the watchdog unit of the Office of Professional Responsibility, says he’ll inform the Senate Judiciary Committee of his findings, and may issue a public version as well. Then, the debate will begin as to whether there should be prosecutions of former BushCo. officials. Check that. This debate has already begun.Click here for reuse options!
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