Did the White House Dictate the Torture Memos? | Harper's Magazine

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Did the White House Dictate the Torture Memos?


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.

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