Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I don't read, I link posts instead

STILL haven't read the OPR documents -- hey, I've got my first-ever oral argument in the Fifth Circuit next week -- but NMC has decided to risk the inevitable food-fight in the comment thread and put up a fine post on the subject, with some good links. Check it out -- you know who you are.

... Anyone interested in the OPR memos should be checking Emptywheel's blog. This is particularly notable:
The most important ethical failure described in the OPR report pertains to how the Bybee One memo became a “Get Out of Jail Free” card.

On July 16, 2002, John Yoo went into a meeting at the White House having been told by Michael Chertoff that he couldn’t write a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. And Yoo had told his sidekick, Jennifer Koester, that they would not include sections on Commander-in-Chief power and potential defenses in torture prosecutions. Alberto Gonzales and (the OPR Report says) “possibly” David Addington and Tim Flanigan (who was then Associate White House Counsel) were at the meeting. Yoo left that meeting and--saying he had “a good idea about how we are going to do it now”--promptly started working on sections on Commander-in-Chief power and potential defenses in torture prosecutions--the sections that basically functioned as the “Get Out of Jail Free” card. When Patrick Philbin asked why he was putting those sections in the memo, Yoo explained, “They want it in there.”

All the evidence shows that someone at that meeting told Yoo not only how he could put the “Get Out of Jail Free” card back into the memo by including Commander-in-Chief ande defense sections, but that he should do so. And that shows that Yoo’s memo was not “advice,” but precisely what it appears to be: a “Get Out of Jail Free” card ordered up by the same guys who were ordering up the torture.

The trouble, however, is that OPR doesn’t know precisely what happened at that meeting.
Given the close matchup between what Yoo added, and what we know of David Addington's beliefs, I think the circumstantial evidence is highly persuasive. But that's just me.

No comments:

Post a Comment