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Authors of Bush torture memos to be cleared of misconduct

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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.

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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.

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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.


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Giuliani’s public invitation to Ukraine to interfere in US elections opened the door for other countries to run to Trump

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President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani turned heads with his bizarre, unhinged rant on national television that effectively urged Ukraine to continue trying to gather dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden — and for news outlets to take whatever they find seriously.

As Casey Michel wrote in The Daily Beast, even if this effort ultimately fails to turn up useful opposition research against Biden, this is a profoundly dangerous development for American democracy.

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Trump whistleblower needs to go directly to FBI because Bill Barr can’t be trusted: Ex-FBI director

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Appearing on MSNBC with host Alex Witt, former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi blew up Donald Trump's claim that he is the victim of a "Ukraine Witchhunt."

He then added that the whistleblower who went to the inspector general with a serious charge against the president should take what he has and go to the FBI within a week if nothing happens.

"We've got to get to the bottom of this, and we can't rely on leaks and certain reporters getting certain tidbits of information," the ex-FBI man explained. "This needs to be explored and it's likely this could end up in a criminal investigation."

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Raw Exclusives

California finally has a progressive government. Here’s how it’s changing the game.

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Democrats won supermajorities in both houses of the California legislature in 2006. They have dominated Golden State politics ever since, defying conservative expectations. Instead of sinking into deficits and collapsing, California is running a budget surplus, and has become the world’s 5th largest economy.

However, tensions between the Democratic establishment and grassroots activists have continued – until now. In 2019, reams of progressive legislation are finally becoming law after years of resistance from centrist forces within the party, a barrier that only dissolved after the 2018 elections. Put simply, now that a truly progressive majority has taken power, the people of California can at last have nice things.

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