In testimony for yesterday’s House Judiciary hearing, John Yoo said copies of the 2002 “Bybee” memo were given to the Justice Department’s Criminal Division for review.
I’d be curious to hear what the career professionals in the DOJ’s criminal division had to say about this memo.It’s hard to believe they would approve of an interpretation of a law that it would make it virtually impossible under any circumstance to prosecute violators. (Background on Bybee memo here.)
According to Yoo:
We also sent drafts of the opinion to the deputy attorney general’s office and to the criminal division for their views and comments. (emphasis added)
So where were the career prosecutors in the criminal division? Were they cowed into silence by their boss at the time, Michael Chertoff? Did they even see the memo? If they did, didn’t t this memo violate every professional instinct?Until someone breaks the silence, we’ll never know.