A Senior DOJ official, David Margolis, said Jay Bybee and John Yoo “simply showed poor judgment” when they drafted “legal theories” in August 2002 that led to waterboarding. The two men will not face further sanctions for professional misconduct. I’m glad this one is behind Mr. Bybee and Mr. Yoo.
Three developments last week show the growing gap between the Obama
Administration and its NATO allies with respect to the legacy of
torture from the Bush era. They also demonstrate that, contrary to
Obama’s promises faithfully to uphold the Convention Against Torture
and Geneva Conventions, his Justice Department has no intention of
doing so when crimes from the Bush era are in question. This attitude
is not going over well with key allies.
While the probe is sharply critical of the
legal reasoning used to justify waterboarding and other “enhanced”
interrogation techniques, NEWSWEEK has learned that a senior Justice
official who did the final review of the report softened an earlier OPR
finding. Previously, the 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
I’m glad these two men have this behind them now, but take no comfort in the knowledge that this administration has not a clue about getting desperately need information from the terrorists that are even more determined today, than at anytime since 9/11/01 to hit America in a meaningful way. May those who use their law licenses to impede the freedom of America and safeguard the enemy, find sugar in their gas tanks, mice droppings in their Fruit Loops and their DISH network dithering.