Cross-posted at DailyKOS
Memos written at the request of high-ranking government officials by Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo on August 1, 2002 (also signed by Jay Bybee, now a federal judge) and March 14, 2003, assured the Bush administration that
. . . . the Department of Justice would not enforce the U.S. criminal laws against torture, assault, maiming and stalking, in the detention and interrogation of enemy combatants.”
Of course, we know that the purpose of Yoo’s memos were simply established as a means of legal clearance for all that ensued thereafter.
Daniel Levin, Acting Assistant Attorney General Office of Legal Counsel (December 30, 2004)
. . . . specifically rejects Yoo’s definition of torture, and admits that a defandant’s motives to protect national security will not shield him from a torture prosecution. The rescission of the August 2002 memo constitutes an admission by the Justice Department that the legal reasoning in that memo was wrong. But for 22 months, the [sic] it was in effect, which sanctioned and led to the torture of prisoners in U.S. custody.”
Note: all quoted material above from Marjorie Cohn, President National Lawyers Guild.