Q: What will stop the next Republican President from torturing whomever he wants?
Maureen E. Mahoney, an attorney for Bybee, called the Justice Department action a “vindication.”
“No public servant should have to endure the type of relentless, misinformed attacks that have been directed at Judge Bybee,” Mahoney said. “We can only hope that the department’s decision will establish once and for all that dedicated public officials may have honest disagreements on difficult matters of legal judgment without violating ethical standards.”
The bit about maybe prosecuting torturers who stepped over Yoo and Bybee’s “limits” strikes me as especially precious. Message to President Pawlenty: make sure you order the DOJ to pre-authorize any torture that you might want to use later. Then you’re covered.
In its final report, the OPR said it had tried unsuccessfully to access Yoo’s e-mail messages during his time at the Justice Department, and was told that “most of Yoo’s e-mail records had been deleted and were not recoverable.”
The e-mail messages of a colleague in the office “had also been deleted and were reportedly not recoverable” for the period between July 2002 and Aug. 5, 2002, when the most important memo was completed.
Ain’t nothing in DC that will have a shorter half-life than a potentially incriminating email. Expect a cottage industry in deniable computer “failures” to crop up overnight, assuming that it hasn’t done already.