Is Justice Closing In On Yoo?

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YOOMandelNgan:AFP:Getty

Important news here. AP just ran a story:
"When you bring a case like this you can't stop to make political judgments as to how it might affect bilateral relations between countries," he told the AP." It's too important for that." Boye noted that the case was brought not against interrogators who might have committed crimes but by the lawyers and other high-placed officials who gave cover for their actions.

"Our case is a denunciation of lawyers, by lawyers, because we don't believe our profession should be used to help commit such barbarities," he said. Another lawyer with detailed knowledge of the case told the AP that Garzon's decision to consider the charges was "a significant first step." The lawyer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

The case may well be strengthened by the DOJ's own internal review of the Yoo and Bybee and Bradbury "legal" opinions, which were transparently abuses of the law to allow Cheney to get on with torturing. Britain is also investigating allegations of torture against Binyam Mohammed, as Greenwald explains here. The Brits seem to have some kind of idea that the West is governned by something called the rule of law - a state of affairs suspended for seven years under Bush and Cheney. The US can hardly complain. Washington invoked the same right to prosecute foreign leaders for torture last year:

This year for the first time, the United States used a law that allows for the prosecution in the United States of torture in other countries. On Jan. 10, a Miami court sentenced Chuckie Taylor, the son of the former Liberian president, to 97 years in a federal prison for torture, even though the crimes were committed in Liberia. Last October, when the Miami court handed down the conviction, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey applauded the ruling and said: “This is the first case in the United States to charge an individual with criminal torture. I hope this case will serve as a model to future prosecutions of this type.”

Me too. E.D. Kain:

The question is, at what point do symbolic gestures metamophosize into real action? At what point does ad hoc justice take shape and become real justice? When will this gain momentum? These investigations and proceedings should be happening in the United States. Maybe someday they will be.

The lawyers are the beginning. Bush and Cheney are - and must be - the ultimate targets. They belong in jail. And there are no statutes of limitations on war crimes.

(Photo: John Yoo, by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty.)

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