Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Disbarment of Yoo, Bybee and Bradbury?

NPR is reporting that the DoJ Office of Professional Responsibility has completed its investigation into the torture memos written by Bush's Office of Legal Counsel. The report will likely be released in the coming weeks.

The report allegedly concludes that the authors of the infamous torture memos, John Yoo, Jay Bybee and Steven Bradbury, will be referred to the various state bars that have licensed them for possible disciplinary proceedings, but they will not face criminal charges.

This may not seem serious to some, but it means professional ruin for all three. John Yoo is presently a tenured professor of Law at UC Berkeley. Jay Bybee is now a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. If a disiplenary referral is made -- regardless of the outcome -- both men will almost certain step down from their current lifetime positions and Judge Bybee might well be impeached. Shockingly, Bradbury remained at OLC until January 20, 2009, even as this investigation was underway.

As the NPR report explains, for a successful criminal prosecution to come out of the memos, there were have to be significant evidence that all three knew that the advice they were giving was false and inaccurate. After a three year investigation, we can safely assume no such evidence exists.

If NPR is correct, the report itself will be pretty sensational with, "a detailed play-by-play of how the memos were produced. It will contain e-mails sent from one Justice Department employee to another and from Justice Department employees to other government officials."

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