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So, what, exactly, did President Bush mean when he told Larry King
I got legal opinions that said whatever we’re going to do is legal.
It may well have been the most revealing passage of the interview. It tells us how Bush viewed those Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinions. I decided what I was going to do, it suggests, and then I told OLC to give me opinions saying it was legal.
And perhaps the Department of Justice’s internal probe establishes that this is what happened. Mike Isikoff:
Not only would this obliterate the OLC opinions as a legal defense for the torture team, it would actually mean that the OLC opinions themselves constitute further evidence of a criminal conspiracy—meaning that the memo writers joined in on the joint enterprise to introduce torture. If that were the case it would be a felony, and grounds for the disbarment of the two lawyers involved, and the impeachment of the one who subsequently became a judge.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Estimated total calories members of Congress burned giving Bush’s 2002 State of the Union standing ovations:
A fertility scientist named Panayiotis Zavos announced that he had created human-cow embryos that were theoretically viable, but denied that he planned to allow such a hybrid to be implanted in a woman’s womb. “We are not trying to create monsters,” he said.
A statistician determined that the five most common first names among New York City taxi drivers are Md, Mohammad, Mohammed, Muhammad, and Mohamed.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”