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OPR report on Yoo/Bybee

by on October 23, 2010

Too little, too late. My apologies, I began this as a draft and never finished commenting on all the incriminating comments in this article on Yoo and Bybee.

On page 2 (page 2 being page number just below redacted title):

“Because the acts inflicting torture are extreme, there is sufficient range of acts that though they might constitute cruel, degrading, or inhuman treatment or punishment fail to rise to the level of torture.”
In response: Constitution, Amendment VIII, “…nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
Now, do the recipients of torture at various black sites fall under the auspices of Amendment VIII.  I don’t know.  There is no definition in the constitution for who can, or cannot, receive cruel and unusual punishments; it can be assumed by the way it is written that nobody – citizen or non-citizen – can receive cruel and unusual punishment.  Or, maybe that law applies only to the president, and everyone else is subject to excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishment if it seems like a good idea?  There is no definition in the constitution for who can, or cannot, receive excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishment.


I’d also wanted to comment on …

Page 8:.
The Combined Techniques Memo concluded that the combined effects of those EITs (Enhanced Interrogation Techniques) would not render a prisoner unusually susceptible to severe physical or mental pain or suffering and thus would not violate the torture statute.

the New York Times reported that President Bush had signed an executive order allowing the CIA to use interrogation techniques not authorized for use by the United States military,· and that the Department of Justice had determined that those techniques did not violate the Geneva Conventions.

page 11:

Based on the results of our investigation, we concluded that former Deputy AAG John Yoocommitted intentional professional misconduct when he violated his duty to exercise independent legal judgment and render thorough, objective, and candid legal advice.

We concluded that former AAG Jay Bybee committed professional misconduct when he acted in reckless disregard ofhis duty to exercise independent legal judgment and render thorough, objective, and candid legal advice….

page 19:

Poor judgment differs from professional misconduct in that an attorney may act inappropriately and thus exhibit poor judgment even though he or she may not have violated or acted in reckless disregard of a clear obligation or standard.

page 25:

We thus determined that Department attorneys considering the possible abrogation or derogation of a jus cogens norm such as the prohibition against torture must be held to the highest standards of professional conduct.

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