The Justice Department confirmed that the investigation originally found professional misconduct by Yoo and Bybee, but an unnamed high-ranking official at the Office of Professional Responsibility overruled the finding to avoid any professional action against them.
Now the report merely states that the men “exercised poor judgment.” That is a remarkable downgrade from the Nuremberg prosecutions of lawyers and judges for war crimes to the Obama Administration saying that support of torture is a matter of “poor judgment.” Poor judgment is when you invite the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre and Susan Brady to a small dinner party. Arguing for torture and misrepresenting settled law to facility a torture program is usually viewed as something of a slightly higher order than “poor judgment” or “bad form.”
Bush administration lawyers who wrote "torture" memos have been cleared of allegations of professional misconduct after a Justice Department internal investigation, which recommends no legal consequences for their actions.
The report by the Justice Department concludes the high-ranking lawyers who developed controversial legal guidance on waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques may have exercised poor judgment, but not professional misconduct.
The conclusion resulted from a decision by top career Justice Department executive David Margolis to reverse a recommendation of investigators that found the two lawyers' legal memos did constitute professional misconduct. That tentative conclusion, which was overruled by Margolis, said the lawyers should be referred to their state bar associations for potential disbarment.
But in the final report, the examination of the legal guidance written by Justice Department lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee found they did not constitute a professional breach that could have led to state disbarment. Read on...