Monday, February 1, 2010

John Yoo Gets Away With It

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 9:15 AM

A heavily reedited report from the Obama Justice Department likely will mean that former Bush-lawyer John Yoo will remain a law professor at UC Berkeley. Newsweek reports, citing anonymous sources, that the long-awaited report from the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility concludes that Yoo and federal Judge Jay Bybee used “poor judgment” when they authorized torture and secret wire taps of American citizens without a warrant. An earlier version of the report had concluded that Yoo and Bybee violated legal ethics standards and recommended that disbarment hearings proceed against them. Without a law license, Yoo may have lost his tenured professorship at UC Berkeley.

But Newsweek reports that a career Justice Department official, David Margolis, revised the earlier report, and that his decision was not influenced by politics. Yeah, right. The magazine also reported that Yoo had altered his infamous 2002 torture memo to say that Bush could override legal bans on torture after meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney’s then legal counsel David Addington. Yoo’s memo was later discarded by the Bush Justice Department because its conclusions could not be supported by statute or legal precedent.

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