Will The Velvet Revolution Protect American Values?
They’re calling it the “Velvet Revolution” It’s an attempt by advocacy groups to disbar BushCo lawyers who were complicit in allowing torture. Targeted among the 12 attorneys are three US attorneys general. The argument is that they violated a professional code of conduct by authorizing torture techniques, violating the Geneva Conventions, the Convention Against Torture and American law.
The filing comes as the Justice Department’s ethics office, the Office of Professional Responsibility, completes a report on the department lawyers who wrote opinions authorizing harsh interrogations. The report, in the works for nearly five years and expected to be released during the next few weeks, is said to be highly critical of some authors of the opinions, including John C. Yoo, a senior official at the department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2002, and his boss, Jay S. Bybee.
The Velvet Revolution complaint also targets Steven G. Bradbury, who headed the legal counsel office from 2005 to 2009; the three attorneys general, John Ashcroft, Alberto R. Gonzales and Michael B. Mukasey; Michael Chertoff and Alice S. Fisher, who headed the Justice Department’s criminal division; two former Pentagon officials, Douglas B. Feith and William J. Haynes II; and two former White House attorneys, Timothy E. Flanigan and David S. Addington.
They are making the case that opposing opinions within the Bush administration led the way to a particular outcome that may have been pre-ordained.
In testimony at a Senate hearing on Wednesday, Former State Department counselor Philip Zelikow (r), told a committee panel that Bush administration officials engaged in a ‘collective failure’ on detention and interrogation of suspected terrorists. He called the torture memos “unsound” because “the lawyers involved … did not welcome peer review and indeed would shut down challenges even inside the government.” Another witness testified that the legal policy constituted “an ethical train wreck” because it violated constitutional, statutory and international law.
Zelikow is no left-winger. He worked for Bush 41 on the National Security Council, co-wrote a book with Condi Rice, served as an adviser to her during her tenure at State, and headed the 9/11 Commission. Zelkow says he knew BushCo intended to torture when they ignored the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation to acknowledge the legitimacy of Common Article III of the Geneva Convention.Click here for reuse options!
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