Torture Whitewash: How “Professional Misconduct” Became “Poor Judgment” in the OPR Report


The seal of the US Justice DepartmentThe long-awaited report by the OPR (the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility) into the conduct of the lawyers in the OLC (Office of Legal Counsel), regarding their role in approving the use of torture, has finally been published (PDF).

The report largely focuses on two memos dated August 1, 2002, and a third dated March 14, 2003. Widely known as the “torture memos,” these notorious documents sought to redefine torture so that it could be used by the CIA (and by the US military in the March 2003 memo), and the report concludes that the primary author of the memos, John Yoo, an OLC lawyer who is now a law professor at Boalt Hall, the University of California’s School of Law in Berkeley, and the senior official who signed the August 2002 memos, Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee, who is now a judge in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, were guilty of “professional misconduct.”

As the report explained, in no uncertain terms:

Based on the results of our investigation, we concluded that former Deputy AAG John Yoo committed intentional professional misconduct when he violated his duty to exercise independent legal judgment and render thorough, objective, and candid legal advice.

We found that AAG Jay Bybee committed professional misconduct when he acted in reckless disregard of his duty to exercise independent legal judgment and render thorough, objective, and candid legal advice.

A footnote added, “Pursuant to Department policy, we will notify bar counsel in the States where Yoo & Bybee are licensed” — with the clear sub-text that these notifications would almost certainly lead to both men being disbarred, and that Bybee might find himself impeached. These actions might then have led to the possibility of prosecutions taking place for those who engineered America’s emergence, in the summer of 2002, as a nation that officially sanctioned the use of torture.

Unfortunately, as Newsweek reported three weeks ago, the devastating conclusions of the report — which took four years to complete — were swept aside by Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis, who downgraded the report’s conclusions. In a 69-page memo to Attorney General Eric Holder, dated January 5, 2010 (PDF), Margolis, a career official who has worked at the DoJ for 17 years and has a history of shielding officials from allegations of misconduct, asserted that Yoo and Bybee had only shown “poor judgment.” As a result, two slaps on the wrist are all that have emerged from an investigation into one of the darkest periods of modern American history.

This, of course, is disgraceful. One of the techniques approved by Yoo and Bybee was waterboarding, a form of controlled drowning that was referred to by the torturers of the Spanish Inquisition as “tortura del agua.” Even more significantly, both Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are on record as stating that waterboarding is torture. As I explained in an article last March:

In an interview with ABC News on January 11, [2009,] President-Elect Obama responded to a recent CBS interview with Dick Cheney, in which the then-Vice President had sounded his usual alarms abut the need for “extraordinary” policies to deal with terror suspects, by stating, “Vice President Cheney I think continues to defend what he calls extraordinary measures or procedures and from my view waterboarding is torture. I have said that under my administration we will not torture.”

Two days later, at his confirmation hearing, Eric Holder reinforced Obama’s opinion. Noting, as the New York Times described it, that waterboarding had been used to torment prisoners during the Inquisition, by the Japanese in World War II and in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, and adding, “We prosecuted our own soldiers for using it in Vietnam,” he stated unequivocally, “Waterboarding is torture,” and reiterated his opinion [on March 2, 2009], in a speech to the Jewish Council of Public Affairs in Washington. “Waterboarding is torture,” he said again, adding, “My Justice Department will not justify it, will not rationalize it and will not condone it.”

As a result of Margolis’ intervention, however, it now appears that, although torture was clearly authorized, no one is to be held accountable.

Jay S. Bybee and John YooMoreover, although Margolis tried to claim in his memo that it was important to remember that Yoo and Bybee were working to prevent another major terrorist attack, which led him to claim, “Among the difficulties in assessing these memos now over seven years after their issuance is that the context is lost,” this is a pitiful argument. OPR lawyers are obliged to provide objective legal advice to the Executive branch on all constitutional questions, and, as OPR head Mary Patrice Brown explained in an earlier version of the report, “Situations of great stress, danger and fear do not relieve department attorneys of their duty to provide thorough, objective and candid legal advice, even if that advice is not what the client wants to hear.”

Even more significant is Mary Patrice Brown’s reference to “the client.” Although George W. Bush evades scrutiny in the report, former Vice President Dick Cheney is mentioned as putting “great pressure” on the OLC regarding revised memos issued in May 2005, and consultations with Cheney’s Legal Counsel, David Addington, and White House Deputy Counsel Tim Flanigan are mentioned in 2002. It is surely in the context of this relationship between the OLC and the White House that the report’s authors stated, damningly, “We also found evidence that the authors of the Bybee Memo and the Yoo Memo tailored their analysis to reach the result desired by the client.”

Anyone with any doubts regarding how closely Yoo worked with the White House should read Philippe Sands’ book Torture Team, which establishes that, following the 9/11 attacks, a “War Council” of lawyers met regularly to plan and implement the legal strategies they wanted for the “War on Terror” — largely without any outside consultation — and that this “War Council” consisted of just six men: Addington, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, Flanigan, Yoo, William J. Haynes II, the Pentagon’s General Counsel, and his deputy, Daniel Dell’Orto.

The report’s authors added that, “In many instances the authors [of the memos] exaggerated or misstated the significance of cited legal authority, failed to acknowledge or fairly present adverse authority, took inconsistent approaches to favor the desired result, and advanced convoluted or frivolous arguments.” They had no hesitation in concluding, as a result, that, when it came to tailoring their advice to a preordained outcome — rather than providing objective advice — Yoo and Bybee “violated their duty” under the OLC’s rules, “to provide a straightforward, candid and realistic assessment of the law.”

This was not all. Elsewhere in the report, the authors also expanded on the “numerous failures of scholarship and analysis,” which resulted in violations of the OLC’s rules. “While it may be that no single one of those failures, considered in isolation, would compel a finding of less than competent representation,” they wrote, “we concluded that the many instances of unsupported arguments, incomplete analysis, failure to discuss adverse authority, and mischaracterization of precedent compelled the conclusion that the authors of the Bybee Memo and the Yoo Memo failed to meet their obligations [under the OLC’s rules] and thus committed misconduct.”

Furthermore, the authors of the report also drew on damning criticisms made by Michael Mukasey, the Attorney General from November 2007 until Bush left office, and by other senior OLC officials, after Yoo and Bybee had left the department: in particular, Jack Goldsmith, the Assistant Attorney General from 2003 to 2004, who attracted the wrath of the White House by ordering the “torture memos” to be withdrawn; Daniel Levin, who served as Acting AAG from 2004 to 2005; and even Stephen Bradbury, the Acting AAG from 2005 to 2007 (and the senior appointed official overseeing the OLC until Bush left office), who managed to escape censure for his own role in the torture program, as the author of three vile memos endorsing “enhanced interrogation” in May 2005. As the authors explained, “Mukasey acknowledged that the Bybee Memo was ‘a slovenly mistake,’ even though he urged us not to find misconduct.” They also stated:

Our view that the memoranda were seriously deficient was consistent with the comments made by some of the former Department officials we interviewed, even though those individuals would not necessarily agree with some of our findings in this matter. Levin stated that when he first read the Bybee Memo, “[I had] the same reaction I think everybody who reads it has — ‘this is insane, who wrote this?’” Jack Goldsmith found that the memoranda were “riddled with error,” concluded that the key portions were “plainly wrong,” and characterized them as a “one-sided effort to eliminate any hurdles posed by the torture law.” Bradbury told us that Yoo did not adequately consider counter arguments in writing the memoranda and that “somebody should have exercised some adult leadership” with respect to Yoo’s section on the Commander-in-Chief powers [a section in which Yoo claimed that the President, as Commander-in-Chief, could override the federal law banning torture].

So what happens next? Both the New York Times and the Washington Post tried to claim at the weekend that the publication of the report spells the end of attempts to hold to account senior Bush administration officials and lawyers who turned American into a “Torture Nation.” The Post called it “the end of a 5-year internal battle” at the Justice Department, and the Times claimed that it “brings to a close a pivotal chapter in the debate over the legal limits of the Bush administration’s fight against terrorism and whether its treatment of Qaeda prisoners amounted to torture.”

This is nonsense, however. Margolis’ intervention may shield Yoo and Bybee in the short term, but he was unable to quash the report’s devastating findings, and it is clear that the DoJ will now find itself under close scrutiny. As soon as the report was issued, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, who made the documents publicly available as soon as they were provided to him by the DoJ, stated:

For years, Bush administration officials who approved torture and abuse of detainees have hidden behind legal memos issued by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel. Today’s report makes plain that those memos were legally flawed and fundamentally unsound. Even worse, it reveals that the memos were not the independent product of the Department of Justice, but were shaped by top officials of the Bush White House. It is nothing short of a travesty that prisoners in US custody were abused and mistreated based on legal work as shoddy as this. It is a blight on our national honor.

The Office of Legal Counsel has a proud tradition of providing independent, high-quality legal advice to the executive branch. Today’s report makes clear that the lawyers who wrote the torture memos did not live up that tradition, and dishonored their office and the entire Department of Justice. While the report concludes that the lawyers did not breach their minimum professional obligations, I certainly hold top lawyers at OLC to a higher standard than that, as all Americans should.

Conyers promised to hold hearings in the near future, but was beaten to it by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who set a date for hearings on Friday (February 26). In a statement, Sen. Leahy explained:

The report from the Office of Professional Responsibility is a condemnation of the legal memoranda drafted by key architects of the Bush administration’s legal policy, including Jay Bybee and John Yoo, on the treatment of detainees. The deeply flawed legal opinions proffered by these former OLC officials created a “golden shield” that sought to protect from scrutiny and prosecution the Bush administration’s torture of detainees in US custody. In drafting and signing these unsound legal analyses, OLC attorneys sanctioned torture, contrary to our domestic anti-torture laws, our international treaty obligations and the fundamental values of this country.

I have serious concerns about the role each of these government lawyers played in the development of these policies. I have said before that if the Judiciary Committee, and the Senate, knew of Judge Bybee’s role in creating these policies, he would have never been confirmed to a lifetime appointment to the federal bench. The right thing to do would be for him to resign from this lifetime appointment.

As a United States Senator, as a former prosecutor, and as an American citizen, I am offended by the premeditated approach taken by former high-ranking officials in the Office of Legal Counsel in constructing the legal underpinnings of seriously flawed national security policies.

Clearly, then, we have not yet heard the end of this story, and unless the United States is to become a country in which torture was authorized, but no one was actually responsible, this is as it should be. It may take years, but those who authorized torture must be held accountable, and claims that cynical lawyers like John Yoo were responsible only for exercising “poor judgment” cannot be allowed to overrule the OPR Report’s far more damaging conclusions.

Note: As well as releasing the final report, “Investigation Into The Office of Legal Counsel’s Memoranda Concerning Issues Relating to the Central Intelligence Agency’s Use of ‘Enhanced Interrogation Techniques’ on Terrorist Suspects,” dated July 23, 2009, and Margolis’ memo, the DoJ also released two earlier versions of the report, the first dated December 22, 2008 (PDF) and the second dated March 4, 2009 (PDF), as well as John Yoo’s responses to the second report (PDF) and the final report (PDF), and Jay Bybee’s responses to the second report (PDF) and the final report (PDF).


Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in January 2010, details about the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and launched in October 2009), and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

As published exclusively on the website of the Future of Freedom Foundation.

For a sequence of articles dealing with the use of torture by the CIA, on “high-value detainees,” and in the secret prisons, see: Guantánamo’s tangled web: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Majid Khan, dubious US convictions, and a dying man (July 2007), Jane Mayer on the CIA’s “black sites,” condemnation by the Red Cross, and Guantánamo’s “high-value” detainees (including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) (August 2007), Waterboarding: two questions for Michael Hayden about three “high-value” detainees now in Guantánamo (February 2008), Six in Guantánamo Charged with 9/11 Murders: Why Now? And What About the Torture? (February 2008), The Insignificance and Insanity of Abu Zubaydah: Ex-Guantánamo Prisoner Confirms FBI’s Doubts (April 2008), Guantánamo Trials: Another Torture Victim Charged (Abdul Rahim al-Nashiri, July 2008), Secret Prison on Diego Garcia Confirmed: Six “High-Value” Guantánamo Prisoners Held, Plus “Ghost Prisoner” Mustafa Setmariam Nasar (August 2008), Will the Bush administration be held accountable for war crimes? (December 2008), The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney (Part One) and The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney (Part Two) (December 2008), Prosecuting the Bush Administration’s Torturers (March 2009), Abu Zubaydah: The Futility Of Torture and A Trail of Broken Lives (March 2009), Ten Terrible Truths About The CIA Torture Memos (Part One), Ten Terrible Truths About The CIA Torture Memos (Part Two), 9/11 Commission Director Philip Zelikow Condemns Bush Torture Program, Who Authorized The Torture of Abu Zubaydah?, CIA Torture Began In Afghanistan 8 Months before DoJ Approval, Even In Cheney’s Bleak World, The Al-Qaeda-Iraq Torture Story Is A New Low (all April 2009), Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi Has Died In A Libyan Prison , Dick Cheney And The Death Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, The “Suicide” Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi: Why The Media Silence?, Two Experts Cast Doubt On Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi’s “Suicide”, Lawrence Wilkerson Nails Cheney On Use Of Torture To Invade Iraq, In the Guardian: Death in Libya, betrayal by the West (in the Guardian here), Lawrence Wilkerson Nails Cheney’s Iraq Lies Again (And Rumsfeld And The CIA) (all May 2009) and WORLD EXCLUSIVE: New Revelations About The Torture Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (June 2009), The Logic of the 9/11 Trials, The Madness of the Military Commissions (November 2009), UK Judges Compare Binyam Mohamed’s Torture To That Of Abu Zubaydah (November 2009), UN Secret Detention Report Asks, “Where Are The CIA Ghost Prisoners?” (January 2010), Binyam Mohamed: Evidence of Torture by US Agents Revealed in UK (February 2010). Also see the extensive archive of articles about the Military Commissions.

For other stories discussing the use of torture in secret prisons, see: An unreported story from Guantánamo: the tale of Sanad al-Kazimi (August 2007), Rendered to Egypt for torture, Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni is released from Guantánamo (September 2008), A History of Music Torture in the “War on Terror” (December 2008), Seven Years of Torture: Binyam Mohamed Tells His Story (March 2009), When Torture Kills: Ten Murders In US Prisons In Afghanistan (July 2009), US Torture Under Scrutiny In British Courts (July 2009), What The British Government Knew About The Torture Of Binyam Mohamed (August 2009), Torture in Bagram and Guantánamo: The Declaration of Ahmed al-Darbi (September 2009), UK Judges Order Release Of Details About The Torture Of Binyam Mohamed By US Agents (October 2009), “Model Prisoner” at Guantánamo, Tortured in the “Dark Prison,” Loses Habeas Corpus Petition (December 2009), Dark Revelations in the Bagram Prisoner List (January 2010), and also see the extensive Binyam Mohamed archive.

And for other stories discussing torture at Guantánamo and/or in “conventional” US prisons in Afghanistan, see: The testimony of Guantánamo detainee Omar Deghayes: includes allegations of previously unreported murders in the US prison at Bagram airbase (August 2007), Guantánamo Transcripts: “Ghost” Prisoners Speak After Five And A Half Years, And “9/11 hijacker” Recants His Tortured Confession (September 2007), The Trials of Omar Khadr, Guantánamo’s “child soldier” (November 2007), Former US interrogator Damien Corsetti recalls the torture of prisoners in Bagram and Abu Ghraib (December 2007), Guantánamo’s shambolic trials (February 2008), Torture allegations dog Guantánamo trials (March 2008), Sami al-Haj: the banned torture pictures of a journalist in Guantánamo (April 2008), Former Guantánamo Prosecutor Condemns “Chaotic” Trials in Case of Teenage Torture Victim (Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld on Mohamed Jawad, January 2009), Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo’s Forgotten Child (Mohammed El-Gharani, January 2009), Bush Era Ends With Guantánamo Trial Chief’s Torture Confession (Susan Crawford on Mohammed al-Qahtani, January 2009), Forgotten in Guantánamo: British Resident Shaker Aamer (March 2009), A Child At Guantánamo: The Unending Torment of Mohamed Jawad (June 2009), Torture In Guantánamo: The Force-feeding Of Hunger Strikers (June 2009), As Judge Orders Release Of Tortured Guantánamo Prisoner, Government Refuses To Concede Defeat (Mohamed Jawad, July 2009), Torture And Futility: Is This The End Of The Military Commissions At Guantánamo? (September 2009), A Truly Shocking Guantánamo Story: Judge Confirms That An Innocent Man Was Tortured To Make False Confessions (Fouad al-Rabiah, September 2009), UK Court Orders Release Of Torture Evidence In The Case Of Shaker Aamer, The Last British Resident In Guantánamo (December 2009), Shaker Aamer: UK Government Drops Opposition To Release Of Torture Evidence (December 2009), Afghan Nobody Faces Trial by Military Commission (January 2010), Murders at Guantánamo: Scott Horton of Harper’s Exposes the Truth about the 2006 “Suicides” (January 2010), Two Algerian Torture Victims Are Freed from Guantánamo (January 2010), and the extensive archive of articles about the Military Commissions.

32 Responses

  1. Torture Whitewash: How “Professional Misconduct” Became “Poor Judgment” in the OPR Report « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] Andy Worthington Featured Writer Dandelion Salad 23 February, [...]

  2. Sally_Oh says...

    This kinda bullshit scares me way more than terrorism.

  3. Jeffrey Kaye says...

    Excellent article. In my way of seeing things, this is a watershed moment, when the final decision of the government’s Department of Justice refuses to condemn the actions of its own officials in constructing a torture program. It means the United States of America is now officially on record as a torturing country, allowing torture, refusing to punish for it, and all with the imprimatur of the executive agency tasked with enforcing the nation’s laws.

    Furthermore, it’s evident from the report that the CIA is allowed to get away with not participating when it feels like it, and delivering false information when called upon, or even proactively, to investigators. The report makes clear that Yoo collaborated closely with the CIA, even giving them a road-map to produce mea culpas for the torture, telling them how to get around the “specific intent” aspects of the torture law.

    This is a dark time in America, as dire as any we lived through during the Bush-Cheney era. Over 200,000 combat troops remain in the Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan arena. Civilians are killed each day. The regimes propped up in that part of the world are openly corrupt and phony (cf. Karzai stacks the election commission that’s supposed to stop him from stuffing the ballot boxes with over one million votes, as he did the last election).

    There appears to be no avenue to pursue accountability. The proposed congressional hearings look to be mere popgun batteries in the faux-assault on Bush era crimes. For instance, it is not even proposed to call David Margolis before the committee (as reported thus far).

    I don’t know how we don’t fall further down the rabbit hole, and I hate to see what we will find there.

    Thanks, Andy, for being a clear, honest, diligent, and intelligent source of information, and for your passion.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Jeff. That’s a real boost. And I promise to keep hammering away at the torturers and their apologists, so long as you do too!
    Check out Jeff’s site, folks, if you’re not up to date with the man who’s doing more than anyone to uncover the dark truths about psychologists, psychiatrists, the SERE program, the CIA and the Bush administration.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Here’s a quick comment from a reader on Digg:

    Alheithinn wrote:

    This is simply an obscenity. I can’t think of another word for it. There is no excuse, none.

  6. Paola says...

    Unfortunately, Andy, our transparency is as clear as mud and our ability to lie with a straight face is getting too comfortable.
    The horror of what has been done in the name of the US, her people and her Constitution is making our founding fathers roll in their graves…

    I can only hope KARMA holds the war criminals accountable because our so-called transparent government hasn’t the moral compass or BALLS to do so

  7. What Torture Is and Why It’s Illegal and Not “Poor Judgment” | says...

    [...] now over three weeks since veteran Justice Department (DOJ) lawyer David Margolis dashed the hopes of those seeking accountability for the Bush administration’s torturers, but this is a story [...]

  8. Militant Libertarian » Republican Witch-hunters Embrace Dictatorship says...

    [...] those who established the Bush administration’s torture regime as the deputy to Haynes, who was one of Dick Cheney’s key “war council” lawyers, along with David Addington, John Yoo, Alberto Gonzales, and Timothy [...]

  9. Neocon Witchhunters and Dictatorship – Dark Politricks says...

    [...] who established the Bush administration’s torture regime as the deputy to Haynes, who was one of Dick Cheney’s key “war council” lawyers, along with David Addington, John Yoo, Alberto Gonzales, and Timothy [...]

  10. Republican Witch-hunters Embrace Dictatorship : STATESMAN SENTINEL says...

    [...] who established the Bush administration’s torture regime as the deputy to Haynes, who was one of Dick Cheney’s key “war council” lawyers, along with David Addington, John Yoo, Alberto Gonzales, and Timothy [...]

  11. Defining Torture « roger hollander says...

    [...] now over two weeks since veteran Justice Department (DOJ) lawyer David Margolis dashed the hopes of those seeking accountability for the Bush administration’s torturers, but this is a story [...]

  12. Col. Morris Davis Defends the Rule of Law, Calls for Prosecution for Torturers « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] also pulled no punches when it came to explaining why torture is a criminal offense, and why those who authorize it must be prosecuted — an unsurprising, but important opinion, given that he resigned as chief prosecutor when placed [...]

  13. New Report Reveals How Bush Torture Program Involved Human Experimentation « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] recently concluded a four-year long investigation into the legal work former OLC attorneys John Yoo, now a Berkeley [...]

  14. Murders at Guantánamo: The Cover-Up Continues « roger hollander says...

    [...] and setting the conditions for the use of torture techniques” – commonly known as the “torture memos” – which “CIA agents and others could use to defend themselves against any subsequent [...]

  15. Andy Worthington: By One Vote, U.S. Court OKs Torture and "Extraordinary Rendition" | says...

    [...] on issues like the Jeppesen case, handing victory back to the senior administration officials who so desperately crave blanket immunity for the Bush administration's [...]

  16. The Progressive Mind » By One Vote, US Court OKs Torture and “Extraordinary Rendition” :: :: informazione dal medio oriente :: information from middle east :: [vs-5] says...

    [...] on issues like the Jeppesen case, handing victory back to the senior administration officials who so desperately crave blanket immunity for the Bush administration’s [...]

  17. Andy Worthington: By One Vote, U.S. Court OKs Torture and "Extraordinary Rendition" | says...

    [...] on issues like the Jeppesen case, handing victory back to the senior administration officials who so desperately crave blanket immunity for the Bush administration’s [...]

  18. All Guantánamo Prisoners Were Subjected to “Pharmacological Waterboarding” by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] Legal memos prepared in August 2002 by former DoJ attorneys Jay Bybee and John Yoo for the CIA’s torture program permitted the use of drugs for interrogations. The authority was also contained in a legal memo Yoo prepared for the DoD less than a year later after Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld convened a working group to address “policy considerations with respect to the choice of interrogation techniques.” [...]

  19. Algerian in Guantánamo Loses Habeas Petition for Being in a Guest House with Abu Zubaydah « Eurasia Review says...

    [...] more “high-value detainees” seized in the “War on Terror” — was implemented, which was formally approved by lawyers in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel — in what are now referred to as [...]

  20. The Dark Desires Of Bruce Jessen: The Architect Of Bush’s Torture Program – OpEd « Eurasia Review says...

    [...] as we now know to our disappointment — and to America’s undying shame — there was no political will to pursue those in the Bush adminstration who did all they could to drag America down to the level [...]

  21. On Guantánamo And Torture, Campaigners Send Letter To Justice Department – OpEd « Eurasia Review says...

    [...] tooth and nail, in case after case, to ensure that no US official need suffer any consequence for having committed or authorized torture. And it has worked to prevent any victim of US torture from securing justice in any court, [...]

  22. On Bush’s Waterboarding Claims, UK Media Loses Its Moral Compass by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] to redefine torture so that it could be used by CIA operatives under Bush’s command — was whitewashed in February this year. Although the original report concluded that the lawyers in question — John Yoo and Jay S. Bybee [...]

  23. Torture Whitewash: Probe Of Two CIA Murders Ends Obama Administration’s Investigation Of Bush’s Global Torture Program - OpEd says...

    [...] into John Yoo and Jay S. Bybee, lawyers at the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, was cynically overturned by a DoJ fixer, David Margolis. Yoo had written the notorious “torture memos,” issued on August 1, 2002, that purported to [...]

  24. Ten Years After 9/11 America Deserves Better Than Dick Cheney’s Self-Serving Autobiography - OpEd says...

    [...] at bay those who are aware that he and other Bush administration officials were responsible for authorizing the use of torture by US forces, and that torture is a crimein the United States.As a result, Cheney knew that, on the [...]

  25. Guantánamo: Las comisiones militares y la ilusión de justicia | Amauta says...

    [...] los abogados del Departamento de Justicia –John Yoo y Jay S. Bybee- quienes pretendieron que se aprobara su uso, aunque no hay situación alguna en la que los abogados puedan intentar justificar el uso de la [...]

  26. Guantánamo: Las comisiones militares y la ilusión de justicia | Comunicacion Popular says...

    [...] los abogados del Departamento de Justicia –John Yoo y Jay S. Bybee- quienes pretendieron que se aprobara su uso, aunque no hay situación alguna en la que los abogados puedan intentar justificar el uso de la [...]

  27. Abu Zubaydah And Silencing Of Guantánamo’s 'High-Value Detainees': CIA Censors Drawings - OpEd says...

    [...] colleague Jason Leopold at Truthout has been doggedly pursuing a number of important stories about the Bush administration’s torture program, and the lack of accountability for those who authorized or implemented aspects of the program. [...]

  28. The Progressive Mind » Trial at Guantánamo: What Shall We Do With The Torture Victim? :: :: informazione dal medio oriente :: information from middle east :: [gd] says...

    [...] however much John Yoo, a compliant lawyer in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, said it wasn’t in a series of notorious memos that will forever be known as the “torture memos,” [...]

  29. US Military Attorney Compares Rationale for “War on Terror” to Nazi … says...

    [...] lives on, and, in some ways — in accepting arbitrary detention, for example, and in blocking all efforts to hold senior Bush administration officials and lawyers responsible for their crimes — remains [...]

  30. Ten Years of Torture: On Anniversary of Abu Zubaydah’s Capture, Poland Charges Former Spy Chief Over “Black Site” « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] both men were guilty of “professional misconduct,” a veteran DoJ fixer, David Margolis, was allowed to override the conclusions, deciding instead that Yoo and Bybee had only shown “poor judgment.” Of course, “professional [...]

  31. The 4th Media » Torture: Bush Administration on Trial says...

    [...] sanctions, but a senior DoJ fixer, David Margolis, was allowed — or encouraged — to override those conclusions, stating instead that both men had, understandably, been under great pressure following the 9/11 [...]

  32. CIA torture prison in Poland update | Dear Kitty. Some blog says...

    [...] torture program, every avenue has been shut down within the US by the Obama administration, the Justice Department and the courts, and the only hope lies elsewhere in the world, and specifically Poland, one of [...]

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