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No criminal case likely over torture memos.

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posted on May, 5 2009 @ 06:34 PM
By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer Devlin Barrett, Associated Press Writer – 4 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Bush administration lawyers who approved harsh interrogation techniques of terror suspects should not face criminal charges, Justice Department investigators say in a draft report that recommends two of the three attorneys face possible professional sanctions.

The recommendations come after an Obama administration decision last month not to prosecute CIA interrogators who followed advice outlined in the memos.

That decision angered conservatives who accused President Barack Obama of selling out the CIA, and from liberals who thought he was being too forgiving of practices they — and Obama — call torture. The president's rhetoric, if not actual policy, shifted on the matter as the political fallout intensified.

Officials conducting the internal Justice Department inquiry into the lawyers who wrote those memos have recommended referring two of the three lawyers — John Yoo and Jay Bybee — to state bar associations for possible disciplinary action, according to a person familiar with the inquiry. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was not authorized to discuss the inquiry.

The person noted that the investigative report was still in draft form and subject to revisions. Attorney General Eric Holder also may make his own determination about what steps to take once the report has been finalized.

The inquiry has become a politically loaded guessing game, with some advocating criminal charges against the lawyers and others urging that the matter be dropped.

In a letter to two senators, the Justice Department said a key deadline in the inquiry expired Monday, signaling that most of the work on the matter was completed. The letter does not mention the possibility of criminal charges, nor does it name the lawyers under scrutiny.

The letter did not indicate what the findings of the final report would be. Bybee, Yoo and Steven Bradbury worked in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel and played key roles in crafting the legal justification for techniques critics call torture.

The memos were written as the Bush administration grappled with the fear and uncertainty following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Over the years that followed, lawyers re-examined and rewrote much of the legal advice.

Last month, the Obama administration released four of the long-secret memos about treatment of terror suspects in which lawyers authorized methods including waterboarding, throwing subjects against a wall and forced nudity.

In releasing the documents, President Barack Obama declared CIA interrogators who followed the memos would not be prosecuted. Obama left it to Holder to decide whether those who authorized or approved the methods should face charges.

When that inquiry neared completion last year, investigators recommended seeking professional sanctions against Bybee and Yoo, but not Bradbury, according to the person familiar with the matter. Those would come in the form of recommendations to state bar associations, where the most severe possible punishment is disbarment.

Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, called the decision not to seek criminal charges "inconceivable, given all that we know about the twisted logic of these memos."

Warren argued the only reason for such a decision "is to provide political cover for people inside the Obama White House so they don't have to pursue what needs to be done."

Bybee is now a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Yoo is a professor at the University of California-Berkeley. Bradbury returned to private practice when he left the government at the end of President George W. Bush's term in the White House.

Asked for comment, Yoo's lawyer, Miguel Estrada, said he signed an agreement with the Justice Department not to discuss the draft report. Lawyer Maureen Mahoney, who is representing Bybee, also declined to comment.

"The former employees have until May 4, 2009 to provide their comments on the draft report," states the letter from Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich to Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

Whitehouse has scheduled a hearing on the issue next week.

Now that the deadline has passed, there is little more for officials to do but make revisions to it based on the responses they've received, and decide how much, if any, of the findings should be made public.

How about that? The Justice Department decided to drop the whole thing.Too many skeletons in the closet I suppose.

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posted on May, 5 2009 @ 06:40 PM
Maybe because if they went after Bush, the fact that Pelosi knew what was going on and OK'd it would come out even more.

Maybe? Heck no....that is the only reason.

[edit on 5-5-2009 by RRconservative]

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 06:53 PM
reply to post by RRconservative
I think it all has to do with the fact that in the end both so-called parties watch each others backs.Besides the democrat base eats this up much like the republican base eats up succession.RR our entire system is an illusion and this vague talk about both subjects is simply used to maintain the lie.

posted on May, 5 2009 @ 11:50 PM
There is another option. Perhaps Obama dose not want to set a standard of bringing up the opposite party on criminal charges. It's almost like somebody said that they cover each other but it implies a different reason. The reason would be because they do not want the opposite party to do the same later on down the line.

Basically, if the Obama administrations brought up the Bush administration on criminal charges then when the republicans get into office they would be looking for reasons to return the favor.

However, the Obama administration most certainly does not wish to touch this topic with a 10ft pole because the Obama supporters would be the most likely to want charges upon the Bush administration.

posted on May, 6 2009 @ 01:26 AM
reply to post by Styki
Hum, that is another way to look at it,Styki but in the end I think this whole scandal was used to humor the democratic base they have to keep the cash coming in for the mid-term elections and telling the major contributors "hey,we tried now gimme my money."The republican's are doing much the same thing,it's all part of the show.


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