The Banality Of Evil


From the OPR Report:

Based on the results of our investigation, we concluded that former Deputy AAG John Yoo committed intentional professional misconduct when he violated his duty to exercise independent legal judgment and render thorough, objective, and candid legal advice.

My italics. Here is the definition of these legal terms:

OPR finds professional misconduct when an attorney intentionally violates or acts in reckless disregard of a known, unambiguous obligation imposed by law, rule of professional conduct, or Department regulation or policy. In determining whether an attorney has engaged in professional misconduct, OPR uses the preponderance of the evidence standard to make factual findings.

An attorney intentionally violates an obligation or standard when the attorney (1) engages in conduct with the purpose of obtaining a result that the obligation or standard unambiguously prohibits; or (2) engages in conduct knowing its natural and probable consequence, and that consequence is a result that the obligation or standard unambiguously prohibits.

So, in plain English, the Justice Department's internal watchdog found that John Yoo intentionally decided not to provide independent legal judgment to the president on the question of what was legal with respect to interrogation, that he did so knowing that the law unambiguously prohibited what he said was legal, and did so with the purpose of providing a golden shield for war crimes. Whatever Margolis said, and however much the MSM refuses to provide the facts of this report, that means that Yoo is a war criminal who deliberately distorted the plain and unambiguous meaning of the law to enable war crimes. It means that under Geneva and the Nuremberg rules, he must some day be prosecuted, if not by this country then by another signatory to Geneva, or Geneva no longer has any force at all.

Notice, in Yoo's defense, that the DOJ investigators use the "preponderance of evidence" standard. But also notice something else the MSM hasn't reported. Much of the critical email evidence in Yoo's case - from the relevant period - had been destroyed:

After it became apparent, during the course of our review, that relevant documents were missing, we requested and were given direct access to the email and computer records of Yoo, Philbin, Bybee, and Goldsmith. However, we were told that most of Yoo's email records had been deleted and were not recoverable. Philbin's email records from July 2002 through August 5, 2002 - the time period in which the.Bybee.Memo was completed and the Classified Bybee Memo (discussed below) was created - had also been deleted and were reportedly not recoverable. Although we were initially advised that Goldsmith's records had been deleted, we were later told that they had been recovered and we were given access to them.

My italics. From the videotapes of the CIA waterboarding sessions to the last taped interrogation session of Jose Padilla to the surveiilance videos of the Gitmo "suicides" to the emails of Yoo (and Bybee, by the way): all of these critical pieces of evidence that would help clear up the true nature of what was done in the name of the American people were destroyed.

By the government.

(Photo: John Yoo by Melissa Golden/Getty.)