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The Justice Department has released the long-awaited report on the torture memos and the conduct of Bush Administration lawyers including John Yoo.
While the final report by the department's internal watchdog, the Office of Professional Responsibility, found that attorneys John Yoo and Jay Bybee engaged in professional misconduct, top DOJ official David Margolis overruled that finding in a memo to Attorney General Eric Holder.
Margolis, the most senior nonpolitical official in the Justice Department, has served for many years, including during the Bush Administration.
The Office of Professional Responsibility had found this.....
After it became apparent, during the course of our review, that relevant documents were missing, we requested and were given direct access to the email and computer records of REDACTED, Yoo, Philbin, Bybee, and Goldsmith. However, we were told that most of Yoo's records had been deleted and were not recoverable. [Former Deputy AAG] Philbin's email records from July 2002 through August 5, 2002 -- the time period in which the Bybee Memo was completed and the Classified Bybee Memo (discussed below) was created -- had also been deleted and were reportedly not recoverable.
Bush and Cheney asked lawyers like Yoo and Bybee to "legalize" acts of known-to-be-illegal torture. Torturing prisoners or detainees is a violation of American laws and an abrogration of the Convention Against Torture which the U.S signed on to in the 1980's under Republican President, Ronald Reagan.
Since torturing prisoners or detainees is blatantly illegal, the only way Bush-Cheney could skirt culpability for ordering torture was to have some "legal" escape mechanism. That was the purpose behind Bush-Cheney's call to faithful lawyers Yoo and Bybee to come up with some "legal" justification for ordering something unquestionably illegal.
Now, because of Bush-holdover at the Dept. of Justice, David Margolis.....the Office of Professional Responsibility's findings resulting in their call for some form of discipline for Yoo and Bybee....have been sh*tcanned....overruled.
Which means that the crime of torture AND the crime of "legalizing" torture to give the torture-orderers plausible deniability have both been successfully carried out......without ANY findings of guilt or responsibility.
I find it odd when the world's lone superpower impeaches a Democratic President for fibbing in a civil suit, later thrown out, about sex.....while refusing, with prejudice, to hold a Republican President responsible for the transparently-illegal act of ordering detainees to be tortured. Doesn't anyone else find this odd?
Hypothetical: Republican Scott Brown becomes president in 2020. A terrorist attack happens somewhere in the midwest U.S. President Brown calls in a couple of lawyers and orders them to "legalize" internment camps for American citizens with middle-eastern roots. With plausible deniability in hand, President Brown begins rounding up a whole bunch of American Muslims and placing them in prison camps.
Would this act by President Brown be legal?
If it would be.....then what would a president not be able to order his lawyers to "legalize"?