NPR logo Report: Terror Memos Didn't Violate Legal Ethics


Report: Terror Memos Didn't Violate Legal Ethics

From The Report

Read the cover letter sent to the House Judiciary Committee by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility:

Bush administration lawyers did not violate legal ethics rules when they wrote memos authorizing harsh interrogations for terrorism detainees, the Justice Department said Friday, releasing the long-awaited results of its investigation into the memos.

The report focuses on three men who worked at Justice under President Bush: John Yoo, Jay Bybee and Steven Bradbury. All three worked in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, crafting the standards for interrogating high-value terrorism detainees.

According to the cover letter accompanying the report, the investigation originally found professional misconduct by Yoo and Bybee. But the career official in charge of overseeing the office of professional responsibility overruled that finding.

Now the report says the men "exercised poor judgment." That means the men will not face disbarment or criminal punishment.

The final report is hundreds of pages long and includes extensive e-mails between the Justice Department, the White House and the CIA.

As one congressional staffer said, "If the torture memos were the movie, this report is the making of."