The New York times citing sources in the Justice Department, is reporting the investigation into secret memoâ€™s written by D.O.J lawyers, during the Bush administration andÂ approving the use of torture, is unlikely to recommend Attorney General Eric Holder seek criminal prosecutions. It is suggested the individuals under review, be referred to their local bar association for any disciplinary action.
The report will be issued by the Office of Professional Responsibility, which is an internal ethics unit in the Justice Department. The draft conclusions of a 220-page are not final and have not been approved by the Attorney General. Officials report it is possible the final report could be revised, but they do not anticipate major changes in the findings or recommendations. The draft reportedly describes detailed e-mail between White House officials and lawyers from the Justice Department as well as officials at the White House and the CIA. Among questions under considerations, whether the secret memos reflect the lawyersâ€™ independent judgment of federal anti-torture statutes or were politically skewed, to justify what the administration proposed.
The central figures in the DOJ review are Federal Judge Jay S. Bybee, John Yoo and Steven G. Bradbury who were at the time, senior officials in the departmentâ€™s Office of Legal Counsel and principal authors of the torture memos. The top secret missives allowed C.I.A. officers to use harsh interrogation methods. The secret opinions also allowed these practices to be used repeatedly and in combination. Most legal scholars have remarked that in approving water-boarding the Justice Department lawyers failed to cite case law in which the United States government had actually defined the practices as torture and prosecuted American law enforcement officials and Japanese interrogators in World War II for using the very same procedure.
A letter made public on Monday, reports Justice Department officials have already advised two Democratic senators on the Judiciary committee, the individuals who wrote the opinions have until Sunday to submit written appeals to the reportâ€™s findings.
A video of John Yoo discussing President Bushâ€™s legal authority can be viewed here