Reversals

Bush Lawyers Cleared

The Justice Department ruled Friday that lawyers who authorized CIA interrogators to use waterboarding are not guilty of professional misconduct, but did show “poor judgment,” after an internal investigation into the Bush administration’s counterterrorism policies. Though Obama has abolished the technique, the Justice Department was responsible for deciding if those who previously authorized such tactics would be punished. An initial review had concluded that the two former government lawyers, John Yoo and Jay Bybee, had committed professional misconduct, but the Justice Department’s associate deputy attorney general disagreed after re-examining the case. However, he was quick to note that “This decision should not be viewed as an endorsement of the legal work that underlies those memoranda.”