Legal bureaucrats clear their peers of crime. Surprised?
One of the most controversial aspects of the “war on terror” – especially at the height of the fighting in Iraq – was the way those captured by US and other allied forces were questioned.
Described variously as “torture” or merely “harsh,” these “enhanced interrogation techniques” included the infamous waterboarding – the near-drowning of captives – as well as “stress positions,” sleep deprivation, isolation, extremes in temperature, and other methods meant to elicit actionable intelligence.
At the heart of the controversy among military professionals as well as elected officials (and Americans generally) were the so-called “torture memos” written by Justice Department officials in the Bush administration as a basis for justifying harsh interrogation.
Now, the Justice Department’s ethics watchdog, the Office of Professional Responsibility, has determined that the memo’s authors – John Yoo and Jay Bybee – exercised “poor judgment” in writing legal opinions that “contained significant flaws.”
Office of Professional Responsibility investigators found that Yoo had “violated his duty to exercise independent legal judgment and render thorough, objective and candid legal advice.” And they determined that Bybee had “acted in reckless disregard” of ethical obligations for his actions regarding the memos.
RTFA for the details. Essentially, this administration’s White House lawyers criticize the last administration’s White House lawyers for letting their ideology trump the law and justice.
But that’s OK because after all – they are lawyers.
They all ride the same bus.