John Yoo’s infamous 2003 memorandum from the Office of Legal Counsel at the US DOJ to the Pentagon has been declassified
. In it, Yoo argues that certain federal laws do not apply to military interrogators in the war on terror. The Washington Post
has divided it up into two parts:Part 1
and Part 2
I do not hold a degree from Harvard or Yale and I do not teach law at the University of California at Berkley. However, in my humble opinion, I think that Jack Goldsmith, who replaced Yoo, hit the nail on the head. This memo, along with its 2002 predecessor, stands out for “the unusual lack of care and sobriety in [the] legal analysis.” And this says nothing about the disastrous implications of these memoranda.
On that note, Scott Horton rightly questions the circumstances surrounding the “torture memoranda”
). It appears that the OLC served as a rubber-stamp for the political agenda of the White House, namely Dick Cheney, and Rumsfeld’s lawyer, William J. (“Jim”) Haynes II. But more importantly, the memoranda offset the pushback coming from the more sober minded military officials
(The New Yorkers
Aside from the deplorable issue of torture itself, the bizarre relationship between the OLC and the White House demonstrates for a second time that the Bush administration is willing to use and has used the US DOJ as a political instrument. The first instance, off the top of my mind, was the DOJ firing scandal
What happened to the rule of law?
N.B.: In speaking to Esquire
magazine, Yoo attempts to minimize the impact of his legal opinions (via TPM Muckraker
Labels: international law, Law, politics, USA