The Whitewashing Of John Woo Is Now Complete


WASHINGTON POST: Bush administration lawyers who paved the way for sleep deprivation and waterboarding of terrorism suspects exercised poor judgment but will not be referred to authorities for possible sanctions, according to a forthcoming ethics report, a legal source confirmed. The work of John C. Yoo and Jay S. Bybee, officials in the Bush Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, provided the basis for controversial interrogation strategies that critics likened to torture in the years after al-Qaeda’s 2001 terrorist strikes on American soil. The men and their OLC colleague, Steven G. Bradbury, became focal points of anger from Senate Democrats and civil liberties groups because their memos essentially insulated CIA interrogators and contractors from legal consequences for their roles in harsh questioning.The reasoning, set out in a series of secret memos only months after Sept. 11, 2001, prompted a multi-year investigation by the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which reviews the ethics of Justice lawyers. The legal source was not authorized to discuss the report’s conclusions and described them on the condition of anonymity. A draft report prepared at the end of the Bush years recommended that Yoo, now a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and Bybee, now a federal appeals court judge in Nevada, be referred to state disciplinary authorities for sanctions that could have included the revocation of their licenses to practice. But then-Attorney flamingyoo.jpgGeneral Michael B. Mukasey and Deputy Attorney General Mark R. Filip blasted the analysis in the draft and sent it back to the ethics office for more work. Meanwhile, the five-year statute of limitations on Yoo’s alleged conduct expired, raising doubts about whether a disciplinary referral would have had any bite. MORE

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