Another Torture Regime Shoe Drops
The draft version of a highly-anticipated and bound to be controversial internal Justice Department inquiry into the conduct of Bush administration lawyers who wrote secret memorandums authorizing torture concludes that the authors committed serious lapses of judgment but should not be criminally prosecuted.The forthcoming report from the Office of Professional Responsibility focuses on three Office of Legal Counsel lawyers -- Steven Bradbury, Jay Bybee and John Yoo.
The investigation was framed in terms of whether these lawyers acted ethically in writing a series of legal opinions from 2002 to 2007 to gave the Bush administration legal cover for using torture, including the waterboarding of terrorism suspects.
Legal scholars have noted that conspicuous in their absence from the memos are citations of cases in which the U.S. government prosecuted American law enforcement officials and Japanese interrogators in World War II for using waterboarding.
The Obama administration has been reluctant to prosecute the lawyers.
While the report also does not recommend prosecutions it states that Bybee, a Circuit Court judge in San Francisco, and Yoo, a UC Berkeley law professor, should be sanctioned by the California state bar association -- an extraordinarily lame remedy considering these lawyers' reprehensible actions.