DOJ Report on Bush Torture Memos: Move Along

The Department of Justice OPR (Office of Professional Responsibility) Report on the torture (interrogation) memos from the Bush Administration has been released. You can access all here. It finds the memos did not violate professional ethics.

The report focuses on three men who worked at Justice under President Bush: John Yoo, Jay Bybee and Steven Bradbury. All three worked in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, crafting the standards for interrogating high-value terrorism detainees.

....the report says the men "exercised poor judgment." That means the men will not face disbarment or criminal punishment.

The report includes e-mails between DOJ, the White House and the CIA. Shorter version: Move along, no misconduct here.

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    Seems like more of a commentary on the (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Anne on Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 05:34:34 PM EST
    state of professional ethics, in my opinion.

    This is going to go down as one of the most shameful periods in our history, and there are few signs that much is "changing" in the current administration.

    "Law Professor" John Yoo pretty much brings down the standards for law school educators just a tad, too.

    we can hope that it will (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Nathan In Nola on Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 06:27:28 PM EST
    go down as one of the most shameful periods in our history... in any case, our current president has his stamp of approval all over it, no less than his predecessor.

    ..and HIS predecessor.. (none / 0) (#12)
    by jondee on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 03:27:11 PM EST
    ..this is, if giving the stamp of approval to "extraordinary renditions" is an area of concern for those opposed to the use of torture by this country.

    In the time between Operation Phoenix, the infamous training sessions conducted at the School of the Americas in the interests of "freedom", Reagan, Bush I and Clinton, was there some period in pre 9-11 American history when the U.S unequivocably disavowed the use of torture or the promotion of the use of torture?


    Didn't students at UC Berkeley (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 09:01:02 PM EST
    -- I think that's where Yoo teaches -- petition for Yoo's dismissal when Yoo returned to the faculty with the result that the University stood firm on retaining him?

    This is exactly why the International Court was (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by jawbone on Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 06:21:38 PM EST
    established: To step in and provide justice when sovereign governments wanted and did overlook such deeds by their own people.

    And it's why we didn't sign on to the court we asked to have established....

    Oh, how we have fallen.

    ITFDUS (none / 0) (#11)
    by fairleft on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 02:50:31 PM EST
    International Tribunal for the Formerly Democratic United States

    Permanent Record (none / 0) (#1)
    by ricosuave on Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 05:18:54 PM EST
    I'm sure all of those guys will now have trouble getting a job with that black mark of "poor judgment" on their permanent record.

    They weren't going to have trouble anyway (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 05:22:13 PM EST
    Had their licenses been suspended or had they been disbarred, some consrvative think tanks would have found them lucrative work.

    Are you really surprised this happened?  No current administration is going to go after a former administration because they don't want to risk what happens when they leave office.


    No surprise and no joy (none / 0) (#8)
    by ricosuave on Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 09:39:17 PM EST
    I am neither surprised nor happy.  I was just making a sarcastic remark, trying to express how ridiculous this is.  

    These things happen because individuals make decisions.  They need to be held accountable for those decisions.  I will give Yoo the benefit of the doubt that he was not some power-hungry madman who loved torture, but that he thought he was protecting the American people.  But his job was not to find legal justifications for the things his bosses wanted to do (like some mob lawyer) but to advise them on what was legal and what was not.  He should have been an Elliot Richardson, but he was a Robert Bork. (See this if those names mean nothing to you.)  Yoo, et al, should be held accountable for the decisions they made and the actions they took, but instead they are simply being criticized for bad judgment.  Sad.


    Apparently, they initially found misconduct, ... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Yman on Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 07:58:59 PM EST
    ... but then the Associate DAG reversed the initial finding.

    The department's Office of Professional Responsibility had originally found that the lawyers, John Yoo and Jay Bybee, had engaged in professional misconduct, according to a letter sent to the House Judiciary Committee leaders.

    However, Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis reviewed the ethics report as well as responses by Yoo and Bybee and decided not to adopt that finding, according to the letter by Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich.

    I'd be very curious to hear their rationale.

    I just feel (none / 0) (#9)
    by weltec2 on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 01:41:18 AM EST
    such a deep sense of disgust. From allowing illegal wire taps before he was even elected to simply everything that has happened under this administration and those under his authority... the only thing to be thankful for is that the Repugs aren't in charge... because it would be a little bit worse... I think.

    Well, there were a number of referrals (none / 0) (#10)
    by scribe on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 02:05:07 AM EST