No Regrets

Bybee breaks his silence. Marcy Wheeler pounces:

Of course, Bybee has to claim a "good faith analysis of the law"--that's his only defense.

But if he's invoking the other lawyers in the Administration who agreed with the memo--undoubtedly including David Addington, John Yoo, Alberto Gonzales, Jim Haynes, and John Rizzo--that's not much of a defense. He's arguing, basically, that a set of lawyers called the "War Council" for the way they collaborated in private on institutionalizing torture, believe his (Yoo's) memos authorizing torture in spite of the the law and the bogus facts used in the memo was "legally correct." Most children, if you ask them if they like candy, will enthusiastically say they do, too.

And to suggest the stakes of this are important "no matter our opinion" is pretty disgusting, since it suggests Bybee still believes that issuing an opinion that forced the country to stick to proven methods at extracting the truth (rather than false information) would have been a sacrifice for our country. No, authorizing torture and ensuring we get false intelligence and sacrifice our moral standing in the world? That's significant. But insist that the government follow the law and in so doing, end up getting better intelligence quicker? Yeah, I guess that's significant, but only when you consider the disaster that Bybee could have averted.

I know John Yoo and Steven Bradbury are in trouble for their role in the torture memos. But this article makes it clear just how worried Bybee is--and how much trouble he believes he may be in.