By Patrick
The always insightful Scott Horton on the recently released Yoo memo:

When Yoo Two was declassified and released, we see that not a single word of the document was blacked out or excised. And indeed, there was no basis whatsoever for the classification to start with.

So why has a legal policy statement been classified and withheld for five years? The answer to that question is now clear. The memorandum would have produced reactions of ridicule and outrage from throughout the professional communityas indeed it has. The author and the classifier knew that. They used classification as a political tool to keep something which is a quintessential public document out of the reach of the public.[...]

We now know that there are at least six memoranda crafted by OLC that discuss the torture issue; we do not know the details on the more recent of them. But for analytical purposes it is important to group them together and to view the undisclosed subsequent memoranda as the progeny of Yoo Prime and Yoo Two. Attorney General Mukasey insists that those who received these memoranda were entitled to rely on them, and they cannot be prosecuted. In other words, Mukasey is saying that the OLC can legitimately be used as a printing press to issue get-out-of-jail free cards to be distributed at will.

The more we learn about the factual circumstances in which these memoranda were crafted, the purposes for which they were sought, and the way they were used, the more outrageous that contention sounds.

The rest of his analysis is here.