One of the worst decisions the Obama administration has made (and that’s saying something) was to go after lawyers Bybee and Yoo, who did the research and made the recommendations that allowed waterboarding under certain circumscribed circumstances.
It appears, however, that the blow is about to be been softened:
Previously, the report concluded that two key authors—Jay Bybee, now a federal appellate court judge, and John Yoo, now a law professor—violated their professional obligations as lawyers when they crafted a crucial 2002 memo approving the use of harsh tactics, say two Justice sources who asked for anonymity discussing an internal matter. But the reviewer, career veteran David Margolis, downgraded that assessment to say they showed “poor judgment,” say the sources. (Under department rules, poor judgment does not constitute professional misconduct.) The shift is significant: the original finding would have triggered a referral to state bar associations for potential disciplinary action—which, in Bybee’s case, could have led to an impeachment inquiry.
When asked, the Justice Department denied that Margolis did this at the request of Holder. It is said that he acted on his own.
I wonder. If Margolis was in fact responding to directions from the higher-ups, my guess would be that at this point the Obama administration is afraid that Obama’s successor could do the same sort of thing to Holder and company, after the terrible judgment they have exhibited, both in the KSM decisions and the chaos at Justice revealed by the Christmas bomber hearings.