Where Was The Voice Of Reason?

Marty Lederman can’t come up with descriptive enough language to discuss the newly released John Yoo penned torture memo. It’s the “Big Kahuna”, and the “Torture Memo to Top All Torture Memos”. We get the point, this is the Final Boss Fight of torture memos.

I’ve yet to pick through them, but the timeline that Lederman provides does pique my interest:

On Friday, March 13, 2003, Jay Bybee resigned from his Office as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, to become a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The very next day — a Saturday, mind you — John Yoo, merely a Deputy AAG in the Office, issued his notorious memo to the Pentagon, on behalf of OLC, which effectively gave the Pentagon the green light to disregard statutory limits on torture, cruelty and maltreatment in the treatment of detainees. This is the version of the 2002 Torture memo, which was addressed only to the CIA and the torture statute, as applied to the numerous statutes restricting the conduct of the armed forces. None of those statues, you see, limits the conduct of war if the President says so. It is, in effect, the blueprint that led to Abu Ghraib and the other abuses within the armed forces in 2003 and early 2004. Here, finally, is Part One of that memo, and here is Part Two. (Thanks to the Washington Post for forwarding the memo.) (Needless to say, the classification of these memos all these years was ridiculously unjustified. There’s no reason at all that this roll out could not have occurred in 2004.)

Think about that: Either Jay Bybee — who actually signed the August 2002 torture memo concerning the CIA — did not know of this explosive memorandum, or it was so implausible that Bybee refused to issue it to the Pentagon. And as soon as he was quite literally out the door, John Yoo did not hesitate to issue the opinion on a weekend, presumably bypassing the head of the office (Acting AAG Ed Whelan) and the Attorney General. (I am assured that Ed had no involvement in this matter.)

It brings me back to the same question that this administration continuously forces me to over and over again: What keeps happening to the voice of reason? Where’s the person in the room that’s supposed to say, “Hey, wait, let’s think about this?”

More at memeorandum: Convictions, RADAMISTO, Threat Level, Pacific Views, Emptywheel, Lawyers, Guns and Money, Grasping Reality …, ACSBlog, War and Piece and American Street

One Response to “Where Was The Voice Of Reason?”

  1. joe says:

    John Yoo nests at the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California Berkeley.

    Brendan over at brendancalling wants to singe his tailfeathers.

    Check out this link and if you can get behind the program, please, pass it on.

    http://brendancalling.com/2008/04/02/shaming-and-shunning/

    I am so so so sick of these turkeys screwing up my country and then proudly strutting off.

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