It appears that the Bush Administration lawyers who authored the so called ‘torture memos’ are going to escape prosecution, the Justice Dept. will instead refer them to State Bar Associations for disciplinary action:
The Justice Department said it is nearing completion of an internal probe that is expected to recommend professional sanctions but no criminal prosecution for former department lawyers who authorized harsh Central Intelligence Agency interrogations.
John Yoo and Jay Bybee, Justice Department lawyers in the Bush administration who produced the memos, both responded to a draft version of the department’s report by a Monday deadline.
In a letter to two Democratic senators who have been following the probe — Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Richard Durbin of Illinois — the Justice Department said its Office of Professional Responsibility is examining the lawyers’ responses and will make any necessary revisions before seeking a final review from Attorney General Eric Holder.
I’m no fan of the of the interrogation tactics used but I’m not going to sit here with benefit of hindsight and second guess the decisions of people who had to make difficult choices in the shadows of the September 11th attacks.
Wars are ugly business that all to often call for good men to do horrible things… The unpleasant reality is that, if you aren’t willing do those horrible things in war, you will loose to those who are. It’s sad and scary thing that so many of our elected leaders can’t or won’t accept this reality.
Count me among those who agree with Gregory Kane:
Here’s why I don’t care that al-Qaeda operatives Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah were waterboarded after Sept. 11, 2001: I remember where I was the day before.Every American who recalls that day can probably remember where he or she was when those jets hit the World Trade Center. I do too. But I remember where I was on Sept. 10, 2001, at about the same time.In the lowest level of the World Trade Center, getting off a commuter train from Jersey City, N.J. I had an appointment in midtown-Manhattan and had to take a subway train from the WTC. Had I done that a day later, I’d have arrived at the WTC at just about the time the first or second jet hit.But what if I had arrived maybe 15 minutes earlier and had some time to kill? What if I’d decided I wanted to go to the top of the WTC and take in the view?Then I’d have been one of those people who were trapped above the inferno that raged below them, terrified, wondering how or if we could ever escape. I’d have experienced the terror they felt as the WTC Twin Towers collapsed beneath them and sent them to their horrible deaths.And you sure as heck wouldn’t be reading this column. Yes, I came that close to perhaps being among the WTC casualties of Sept. 11.So when President Obama declassified Justice Department memos that revealed the waterboarding of Mohammed and Zubaydah, perhaps you can forgive me if the knowledge didn’t exactly leave me prostrate with grief. Nor am I feeling the arguments of those who claim how torture violates our principles and destroys our values.