Authors of Bush torture memos to be cleared of misconduct
The men who advised former President Bush to waterboard detainees and deprive them of sleep will be cleared of charges of professional misconduct by a Justice Department ethics report.
The report, which has yet to be released, states that Jay Bybee, now a federal appellate court judge, and John Yoo, now a law professor, showed “poor judgment,” but will not face legal action for their advocacy of harsh interrogation tactics.
Previously, the probe concluded that the two men violated professional obligations, meaning Yoo could be barred from practicing law and Bybee could be impeached.
Now, not so much.
The torture memos of Bybee and Yoo, officials in the Bush Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, outraged civil liberties groups and Democrats because they protected CIA interrogators from legal consequences for torture.
The winds began to turn for Yoo when attorneys with the Obama administration filed a brief arguing against prosecution. The brief states that because Yoo was giving advice to the president on a national security matter, Yoo should not be held accountable for his actions as it would have a chilling effect on advice provided to future presidents.
Shortly after the release of the memos in March 2009, constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann that the memos “provide the very definition of tyranny.”
“These memos include everything that a petty despot would want,” Turley said.