June 27, 2004
Commander in Chief

So it's very hard to even think about keeping up with the political news, and of course there are a dozen very, very capable bloggers doing it for us. But this passage from todays' Washington Post story about the CIA and the torture memos stood out for its bluntness and for the great reporting behind them. I'm not sure which part is the most interesting, but the very last sentence is a likely candidate:

"Although the White House repudiated the memo Tuesday as the work of a small group of lawyers at the Justice Department, administration officials now confirm it was vetted by a larger number of officials, including lawyers at the National Security Council, the White House counsel's office and Vice President Cheney's office. ...

The legal opinion was signed by Jay S. Bybee, then head of the office and now a federal judge. The office consists mainly of political appointees and is considered the executive branch agencies' legal adviser. Memos signed by the head of the office are given the weight of a binding legal opinion. ...

In addition, Timothy E. Flanigan -- then deputy White House counsel -- discussed a draft of the document with lawyers at the Office of Legal Counsel before it was finalized, the officials said. David S. Addington, Cheney's counsel, also weighed in with remarks during at least one meeting he held with Justice lawyers involved with writing the opinion. He was particularly concerned, sources said, that the opinion include a clear-cut section on the president's authority."

Posted by dbrown at June 27, 2004 10:34 AM
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