A draft version of the Justice Department's internal investigation of Bush Administration lawyers who wrote memos authorizing torture has concluded that at least two of them are guilty of significant misconduct, two sources with direct knowledge of the draft said.
The Associated Press reported tonight that the draft version of the report does not recommend criminal charges against lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee. But the sources said that the report lays out, in exquisite detail, a significant number of exchanges between the lawyers and the White House as several of the memos were being crafted. The report includes excerpts from internal memoranda and e-mail messages.
The AP reported that an early version of the draft recommended that the California State Bar Association seek the disbarment of Yoo, now a Berkeley law professor, and Bybee, an appellate judge. A Justice Department official said that the final decision had not been made.
It's a sad world when I am getting incredulously excited at the prospect of disbarment rather than prosecution, but I will very sincerely take what I can get.
Sullivan raises the stakes:
The reason this is vital is that it gets to the core of the question of good faith in authorizing the elaborate torture program that Bush and Cheney constructed as their central weapon in the war against Jihadist terrorism. If we can see that the memos were transparent attempts not to explicate the law in good faith to guide the executive branch - but were emanations of the executive branch to provide phony and flawed legal cover for already-decided illegal acts, then we have a conspiracy to commit war crimes.
That's what's at stake here.