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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Turley: 'God help us' if torture only gets a '9/11 commission'

The recent release of Bush administration torture memos has given rise to calls for prosecution of the Justice Department lawyers who wrote those memos. However, law professor Jonathan Turley believes that this may represent a deliberate attempt to draw attention away from George Bush, Dick Cheney, and the other high Bush administration officials who ordered the torture.

"That's the really strange thing," Turley told MSNBC's David Shuster on Tuesday. "In the last week or so, we've seen an effort to define a potential investigation in terms of the lawyers who wrote these memos. ... A war crime investigation does not look at the people who drove the trains -- they look at the people who told the trains to roll."

"George Bush and Vice President Cheney, the CIA director, the attorney general ... implemented, in full knowledge that it was a war crime, the torture program," Turley emphasized. "The effort to define it in terms of lawyers is something of a Beltway shift. That is, it's setting us up for failure." LinkHere

'The torture memo lawyer no one is mentioning'

The torture memos recently released by the Obama administration have focused interest on three of their authors: John Yoo, Jay Bybee, and Steven Bradbury. However, there's another lawyer involved in the creation of the torture memos whose name hasn't yet come into the discussion -- Timothy Flanigan.Flanigan did not work for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel like the others. He was a deputy to then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales in 2001-02, when he helped craft some of the earliest justifications for the use of waterboarding and other forms of tortureFlanigan's career is particularly intriguing because of the odd manner in which he left the White House at the end of 2002 and went to work as the general counsel for Tyco International, where he engaged in what appear to have been deeply corrupt dealings with Jack Abramoff. I wrote up much of that story here a couple of months ago.It was primarily the relationship with Abramoff that scuttled Flanigan's nomination in 2005 to serve as Deputy Attorney General under Alberto Gonzales -- but some extremely embarrassing information about his rule in the torture memos was brought forward at that time as well, particularly in a July 2005 letter from the ACLU to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate reveals 5 new 'torture memos'

New Senate report acknowledges existence of more secret docs.


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