A Democracy Without Accountability

HOLDERAlexWong:Getty

We've been waiting for months to see what's in the DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility but the Obama administration's point-blank refusal to investigate, let alone prosecute, the war crimes of its predecessors has stalled it for more than a year. We are now told by Newsweek that the establishment - surprise! - will let itself off:

While the probe is sharply critical of the legal reasoning used to justify waterboarding and other “enhanced” interrogation techniques, NEWSWEEK has learned that a senior Justice official who did the final review of the report softened an earlier OPR finding. Previously, the report concluded that two key authorsJay Bybee, now a federal appellate court judge, and John Yoo, now a law professorviolated their professional obligations as lawyers when they crafted a crucial 2002 memo approving the use of harsh tactics, say two Justice sources who asked for anonymity discussing an internal matter. But the reviewer, career veteran David Margolis, downgraded that assessment to say they showed “poor judgment,” say the sources. (Under department rules, poor judgment does not constitute professional misconduct.) The shift is significant: the original finding would have triggered a referral to state bar associations for potential disciplinary actionwhich, in Bybee’s case, could have led to an impeachment inquiry.

Just as the CIA will never allow its staffers to be held accountable for anything; just as the DHS and the intelligence services would never hold anyone in their ranks accountable for the undie-bomber plot; so the DOJ will never allow its past members be held accountable even for war crimes.

Some wonder why the public distrusts Washington. But over the last few years, the rank stench coming from its self-serving elites should be enough to disturb anyone with a sense of smell. 

(Photo: Eric Holder by Alex Wong/Getty.)

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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