Skip to main content

Well, we all know that the Department of Justice has cleared the Bush Administration officials who authorized torture. Bad judgment is the judgment. It was the process that mattered, not the crimes against humanity. And had the Bush Administration decided simply to massacre an entire village, that too, apparently, would have been but a case of bad judgment. Because that, too, was given clearance by one of the same Bush officials. Had it happened, that apparently would have been excused with the same "Oops. Sorry. We'll try to think more clearly, next time."

Everything is excused when we're afraid and there's a sense of urgency. International law, domestic law, and basic humanity can be scared right out of us, and it's all perfectly legal, according to the now curiously named Department of Justice. We already know that it's legally okay for "detainees" to be tortured to death. And Jesselyn Radack has elucidated the surreal double standard that now makes it punishable to respect the law and excusable to violate it.

But there is good news. It comes from Senator Pat Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Commitee:

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to examine the Office of Professional Responsibility Report on the Office of Legal Counsel, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced today.  The report was released to Congress today.

The hearing will be held Friday, February 26, at 10:00 a.m.  Witnesses will be announced in the coming days, and the hearing will be webcast live online.

Needless to say, a one day hearing is not enough. But it could be a start. We need to watch. We need to listen. We need to do everything in our collective power to make sure that this hearing becomes a beginning, not a mere quick blip that is even more quickly forgotten.

Leahy:

The report from the Office of Professional Responsibility is a condemnation of the legal memoranda drafted by key architects of the Bush administration’s legal policy, including Jay Bybee and John Yoo, on the treatment of detainees.  The deeply flawed legal opinions proffered by these former OLC officials created a ‘golden shield’ that sought to protect from scrutiny and prosecution the Bush administration’s torture of detainees in U.S. custody.  In drafting and signing these unsound legal analyses, OLC attorneys sanctioned torture, contrary to our domestic anti-torture laws, our international treaty obligations and the fundamental values of this country.

I have serious concerns about the role each of these government lawyers played in the development of these policies.  I have said before that if the Judiciary Committee, and the Senate, knew of Judge Bybee’s role in creating these policies, he would have never been confirmed to a lifetime appointment to the federal bench.  The right thing to do would be for him to resign from this lifetime appointment.

As a United States Senator, as a former prosecutor, and as an American citizen, I am offended by the premeditated approach taken by former high-ranking officials in the Office of Legal Counsel in constructing the legal underpinnings of seriously flawed national security policies.

The Department of Justice has given this a pass. It sounds like Senator Leahy could have more in mind. Like maybe the beginnings of impeachment proceedings against Bybee. Maybe more. If we are to establish a sense of law and of basic human morality, we must demand no less. And much more.

Originally posted to Laurence Lewis on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 08:59 AM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, grytpype, kimo, Kimberley, Mary, Paolo, Thumb, JekyllnHyde, paradox, Superskepticalman, Angie in WA State, DeminNewJ, chrississippi, tmo, dwellscho, Chi, Phoenix Woman, baked potato, murphy, SarahLee, teacherken, El Zmuenga, Detlef, abarefootboy, GreenSooner, Joan McCarter, Gooserock, madmsf, mattman, emal, PeterHug, RunawayRose, Avila, tommurphy, crone, tacet, liz, meg, LEP, Troutfishing, mslat27, eeff, TX Unmuzzled, polecat, azale, frisco, shpilk, mataliandy, exNYinTX, Heart of the Rockies, catnip, Gustogirl, TheMomCat, bronte17, Zinman, TracieLynn, Doc Allen, understandinglife, rhp, whenwego, Janie, srkp23, CoolOnion, peace voter, chuckvw, PBnJ, pedrito, someRaven, Larry Bailey, dchill, Nate Roberts, Iberian, enough already, Cedwyn, mullsinco, psnyder, danthrax, Dallasdoc, American Zapatista, Miss Jones, businessdem, pat bunny, gmb, alivingston, defluxion10, Catte Nappe, AbsurdEyes, chillindame, puffin6092, Timbuk3, lcrp, porsupah, Pohjola, inclusiveheart, Anne from Vermont, econlibVA, Curt Matlock, Kitsap River, WisVoter, Hillbilly Dem, KayCeSF, lyvwyr101, vacantlook, Schwede, Daddy Bartholomew, eztempo, Sybil Liberty, murrayewv, Gowrie Gal, Julie Gulden, nailbender, greenskeeper, joanneleon, Los Diablo, chumley, ExStr8, Tarindel, marina, radarlady, 3goldens, NoMoreLies, jfdunphy, v2aggie2, socks, leckavrea, Cook, OpherGopher, Paul Goodman, Philoguy, KnotIookin, panicbean, dewtx, Brooke In Seattle, david78209, YucatanMan, EJP in Maine, reflectionsv37, ratzo, owlbear1, GUGA, cfk, LNK, indiemcemopants, Frank Palmer, CarolynC967, jimstaro, where4art, LABobsterofAnaheim, Gordon20024, Burned, Overseas, lotlizard, gerardbellavita, jane123, Sandino, Savvy813, shiobhan, Cory Bantic, Rogneid, bookwoman, peacestpete, JanL, JanF, Alan Arizona, Land of Enchantment, terjeanderson, kathny, jay23, noweasels, Jim R, ThatSinger, Jim P, begone, Mother Mags, Denny in Seattle, third Party please, sheisjazz, hlee1169, BachFan, danmac, MissInformation, Nightprowlkitty, Orinoco, mcronan, Numinous, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, myboo, Kingsmeg, ferallike, BlueInARedState, Yellow Canary, cookseytalbott, seefleur, Dvalkure, smokeymonkey, buhdydharma, cliffradz, greenearth, blueoasis, goodasgold, bren, triv33, MJ via Chicago, global citizen, erratic, 4Freedom, gpoutney, gooderservice, paul2port, Terminus, bleeding heart, Preston S, ZombyWoof, onionjim, 5x5, Cenobyte, profh, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, means are the ends, una, Dreaming of Better Days, kurt, chapel hill guy, PhilW, crystal eyes, kurious, blueintheface, bdorland, AllanTBG, markthshark, Little, andrewj54, Aaa T Tudeattack, Joelarama, ammasdarling, bigchin, One Pissed Off Liberal, J Royce, DorothyT, goheelsgodems, dotsright, Ann Galloway, Loudoun County Dem, Cottagerose, california keefer, Dartagnan, ColoTim, gloriana, NovatoBon, EdSF, moosely2006, yoduuuh do or do not, Outrider, Foxwizard, DvCM, Nespolo, yowsta, noofsh, Jimdotz, lurks a lot, DWG, nookular, aliasalias, gatorbot, artisan, getlost, jedennis, jnhobbs, millwood, yella dawg, Rumarhazzit, JML9999, eyesoars, Predictor, vet, Terra Mystica, sand805, jgilhousen, gzodik, Clio2, ScottyUrb, zerone, Johnny Nucleo, OleHippieChick, Foundmyvoice, Thomas Twinnings, ajr111240, Mother of Zeus, Akonitum, VL Baker, monkeybrainpolitics, pkohan, Lujane, geomoo, rubine, mnguy66, Seamus D, temptxan, petulans, Notreadytobenice, o the umanity, luckylizard, Parthenia, Abe Frohman, DixieDishrag, BYw, allie123, priceman, dmhlt 66, Mike Taylor, revelwoodie, statsone, ZhenRen, maggiejean, Sun dog, 1BQ, J M F, emboyo, snackdoodle, greengemini, bsmechanic, RustyCannon, mudgod, hharmon, jennylind, IndySlip, JesseCW, zackamac, mississippi boatrat, DefendOurConstitution, Daily Activist, virginwoolf, dRefractor, followyourbliss, asym, papahaha, Shelley99, blueocean, CityLightsLover, ArthurPoet, Emalene, catilinus, Larsstephens, Just Bob, rb137, p gorden lippy, Obamican08, jethrock, SeattleTammy, TheWesternSun, Garfnobl, RJP9999, puffmeister, DavidHeart, Lady Libertine, ItsSimpleSimon, dlemex, DrFitz, David L, sharonsz, Jaimas, WattleBreakfast, plays in dirt, Publius2008, washunate, Betty Pinson, MsGrin, cocinero, quityurkidding, alamacTHC, Dems in 08, Actbriniel, Jonze, slice, Colorado is the Shiznit, heart of a quince, I love OCD, StateofEuphoria, OldGrammy, BlueJessamine, FarWestGirl, Situational Lefty, PedalingPete, marleycat, hikerbiker, KVoimakas, tardis10, lizard people, MRA NY, primarydoc, dmw97, pensivelady, PhilJD, poliwrangler, cailloux, debit, daveusf, rsneick, just another vortex, zenox, thejoshuablog, MichaelNY, allergywoman, DawnN, Tentwenty, Patric Juillet, ridemybike, isabelle hayes, cwsmoke, NancyWilling, delmardougster, mojada

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site