Saturday, February 20, 2010

Apparently, I can now engage in armed bank robbery at will

All I have to do is consult a lawyer first. If that lawyer gives me bad legal advice which causes me to commit all manner of sordid and horrible crimes, I'm covered, since "lawyers can make really really crazy arguments and still avoid professional sanction" and they can have honest disagreements on difficult matters of legal judgment without violating ethical standards.

Margolis' last point is especially important, since the former Vice-President of the United States is now going around the country telling people that he supports waterboarding and actively sought to use it when he was in office. Put differently, there is at least one member of the previous Administration walking around that is an admitted war criminal, although, to be sure, confessing to the elements of a war crime on television apparently does not, at least in this country, lead to any serious danger that one will actually be prosecuted for such crimes.

Whether or not the DOJ refers Yoo and Bybee for professional discipline, no one should think that either man behaved according to the high standards we should expect of government attorneys. They, and the government officials who worked with them, shamed this nation. They dragged America's reputation in the dirt. They severely damaged our good name in the eyes of the world. They undermined the values this country stands for and that the legal profession should stand for. Nothing the DOJ does now--or fails to do--will change that.

Now, who wants a bag of money? But Clinton got a blowjob and that's all that matters.


Vigilis said...

The primary reason American Trial Lawyers oppose waterboarding is based upon the adverse impact its widespread use would have on their law practices.

Imagine if the OPR had decided waterboarding was a permissable form of truth extraction, rather than another a vile method of torture. Since it does no lasting harm, defendants including corrupt officials and well-heeled politicians (many of whom, of course, might themselves be lawyers) would be made to confess crimes, implicate others and share secrets such as Islamist clientelle.

Some day, we might have then looked forward to waterboarding of boardroom execs like ENRON's.

miguel said...

'They dragged America's reputation in the dirt.' What does it mean? Hmmm...

Themav1977 said...

Why prosecute someone that has a policy difference?

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