Specter Wants to Prosecute Yoo and Other DOJ Lawyers for Memos → Washingtons Blog
Specter Wants to Prosecute Yoo and Other DOJ Lawyers for Memos - Washingtons Blog

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Specter Wants to Prosecute Yoo and Other DOJ Lawyers for Memos

Senator Arlen Specter is open to criminally prosecuting John Yoo and the other lawyers at the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) for writing the memos justifying unconstitutional action:

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) said he was opposed to any Truth Commission tasked with investigating Bush administration abuses, but that he could support criminal investigations into political appointees who authored the controversial OLC memos.


“I would not mind looking backward if there’s reason to do so. If we have evidence of torture – go after it. If there’s reason to believe that these Justice Department officials have knowingly given the president cover for practices they know not to be right or sound – go after them. Some of the [OLC] opinions are more than startling, they’re shocking. If [OLC counsel] did that knowingly…it sounds to me that it may fall within criminal conduct.

Specter said he supported the Justice Department pursuing an investigation into the writing of the memos.

Of course, Yoo and the other devil's advocates at the OLC did commit illegal acts which warrant prosecution. Indeed, they are war crimes under U.S. and international law. See this, this, this, and this.

But as any lawyer will tell you, it is the client which decides what to do, and then the lawyer simply tries to find a way to justify it. In most cases, the lawyers aren't the decision-makers, simply the lapdogs serving power. Clearly, Bush and Cheney decided on what they were going to do first, and then asked the OLC to provide cover for it.

Why just go after the devil's advocate, and not the devils themselves?


  1. Yes and as soon as they bring up Arlen's secret 30 year girlfriend, he gets right back in line.

    Of course these people are war criminals. Where is the ABA?? Why do these people still have the ability to practice "law"?

  2. Because they made it possible. If they had done their jobs and said it was illegal, we (hopefully) wouldn't have done it. You can argue that Cheney would have just cycled through people to get the memo he wanted, but that doesn't absolve Yoo and gang from providing aid and comfort to our enemies. Nor from committing malpractice. With respect to the ABA, they don't disbar people. You can find out where are admitted to the bar and file a complaint. Nothing will happen of course. The other remedy would be to sue them for malpractice, but the DOJ would have to do it, and they have so far shown themselves to be gutless cowards. By refusing to prosecute, they are just as guilty as those who are responsible for torturing. Committing torture, authorizing it, and providing a poorly written legal pretext for it is the same as betraying our country, betraying our soldiers, betraying our people, by the way.

    The other reason to go after them is because it is probably the only politically possible prosecutions.

    Third, it will send a warning to future ass kissing traitors that there first duty is to the constitution and to the law and not to say anything do anything career advancement.

    I don't except anything to happen anyway. Justice is dead. She has been absolutely killed off by generations of people who don't understand the meaning and force of the law. It is now just a tool to get a job done.


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