Torture is a serious crime, not “poor judgment”

The ICJ today deplored the decision of the US Justice Department to clear the legal architects of the US torture policy from any professional misconduct.

The decision by Associate Deputy Attorney General (ADAG) David Margolis reversed the July 2009 findings of the Office of Professional Conduct (OPR) that Bush administration legal advisers John Yoo and Jay Bybee had engaged in professional misconduct by giving advice which approved as lawful the program of “enhanced interrogation”. This program consisted in clear acts of torture and ill treatment.

The OPR had been poised to refer Yoo and Bybee, who is presently a US federal judge, for disciplinary action by the state regulatory authorities. The ADAG report, while affirming that the legal advisers had exercised ‘poor judgement’, determined that they had not breached rules of misconduct because it could not be established that they had intended to give misleading advise.

USA-torture serious crime-press release-2010 (full text, PDF)

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