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Summit Voice extra: Read the DOJ report on ‘torture memos’

A 2009 report on the Bush administration's so-called torture memos is widely available online and addresses some of the fundamental legal issues associated with authorizing extreme forms of interrogation by a democratic society. Have you read it?

Legal advisers committed ‘professional misconduct’ but the findings were downgraded later by other Justice Department officials

By Bob Berwyn

Have you ever wondered how the Bush administration made its legal determination that it was OK to torture suspected terrorists with “enhanced interrogation techniques” (waterboarding)?

Memos from the Bush administration show that two captured Qaeda operatives were subjected to waterboarding torture a total of 266 times.

A report from the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility has been available publicly for quite a while, but because it’s written in dense legalese, it’s not an easy document to read.

The report is posted in a Scribd.com window at the end of this story, or just click this link.

But in the end, the investigators concluded that two legal analysts who signed the so-called torture memos committed “professional misconduct … by failing to exercise independent legal judgment and render thorough, objective and candid legal advice.”

Those conclusions last month were downgraded to “poor judgment” by Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis in a 60-page memo to Attorney General Eric Holder.

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