From Newsweek last Friday we have an article indicating that Berkeley School of Law professor John Yoo, formerly of the Office of Legal Counsel and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jay Bybee, also formerly with the Office of Legal Counsel, may not be held responsible for professional misconduct but for poor judgment for their legal opinions used to justify torture--I mean, enhanced interrogation.
Previously, the [Justice Department Office of Professional Responsibility] report concluded that two key authors—Jay Bybee, now a federal appellate court judge, and John Yoo, now a law professor—violated their professional obligations as lawyers when they crafted a crucial 2002 memo approving the use of harsh tactics, say two Justice sources who asked for anonymity discussing an internal matter. But the reviewer, career veteran David Margolis, downgraded that assessment to say they showed “poor judgment,” say the sources. (Under department rules, poor judgment does not constitute professional misconduct.) The shift is significant: the original finding would have triggered a referral to state bar associations for potential disciplinary action—which, in Bybee’s case, could have led to an impeachment inquiry.
Thank goodness we don't have to rehash all that nasty business again. After all, look how successful we were after waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times in March 2003 and Abu Zubaydah 83 times in August 2002.
Yes, it violated international law, but let's not dwell on that. And we're not holding anyone responsible, but let's not dwell on that either. Someone once said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
That won't happen. Look how we're making sure.
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