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The Justice Department is finally closing the book on its investigation in the Bush Administration lawyers who wrote the so called torture members memos to John you.
And to harsh interrogation methods like waterboarding which some call torture John Hughes says he feels vindicated by the outcome unfortunately for you -- by -- though.
The matter may not be completely close the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee senator Patrick Leahy.
Is threatening to hold hearings to examine the latest justice report.
And now joining us is John you from the University of California at Berkeley where he now.
Is a law professor job that alone is a little ironic here here it is certainly hear yours and surrounded by your fiercest critics.
Well I tell people sometimes I feel like west Berlin during the Cold War around by authoritarian -- -- -- Communist.
But still someone's got to do it all right.
Do you think that this was an exonerate should because some people say it falls short of an exonerate him yes it it.
Clears you to a certain extent so that you don't have to worry about getting disbarred.
But do you go as far as calling it an -- I think if you read mr.
Margolis is opinion in this Margolis is the senior.
Civil servant in just a part he's just for the audience -- the deputy attorney general.
He is a career Justice Department official is that he's he's not -- one of these political appointees and he's the one who issued the opinion go ahead.
Right it's been there for forty years and he basically said.
You know I reject all of these claims of that were violation of professional ethics and in fact.
In his opinion he spends almost 90% of it attacking criticizing.
The work of this internal ethics office which I'm afraid.
holder and president.
Let it run wild since I love it just again explain to the viewers who may not know that was sort of the internal affairs department.
That first recommended much harsher treatment and and in fact somebody -- -- you getting disbarred.
Exactly and it was investigation was started under the Bush Administration.
But at the very end of the administration the attorney general -- time Michael Mukasey.
Basically said that the report was flawed and investigations should be dropped.
This office then slow rolled the whole thing until -- Obama took office holder letter run wild.
And it was only this one career civil servant who has said this is enough that this investigation.
It is deeply biased and flawed and had to be and it all right John take us back.
To that moment when the memo was created how was the memo under what circumstances was this memo created.
-- the most important thing that mr.
Focused on the -- you have to put yourself back into the position of people like me.
Who had to confront the hardest the most terrible questions of government lawyer would ever have to face we're just attacked.
Nine elevenths is just a few months afterwards.
The CIA captures Abu zubaydah that's -- time to third.
Highest ranking al-Qaeda leader someone who in his head has.
Information about plans to attack the United States and right after that we capture the number four and five leaders about -- including Khalid Sheikh Mohamed who.
Actually invented the idea of an island -- these are people who are trained to resist normal interrogation.
You know good cop bad cop routines like the time we see on TV you're not gonna work on these guys well frankly what is -- we see on TV John forgive me but some of that stuff is actually.
One got some people adjust as one -- law that stuff so it's not only the water -- but again.
It just for those who don't know -- Sheikh Mohammed admits by the way to having be headed did Danny Pearl from the Wall Street Journal.
He admits to having done some of the most awful crimes committed in the history of mankind.
And he may have had information about pending attacks.
Almost certainly they did and with the CIA said was.
Look we're not going to give these guys Miranda warnings the -- they can remain silent to give them a lawyer and we're not returning back to September 10.
Days are right so if you don't want to violate that you'll forgive me for her for doing -- -- -- apparently came out with a memos.
We know basically what they said waterboarding sleep deprivation.
Other methods like this that did not necessarily cause internal injuries.
But did you ever think when you were creating these memos that they would be reviewed.
And possibly be used against you somehow.
We knew no matter what line we drew the line to say this is what torture is don't cross it we knew no matter where -- -- that it was going to be controversial.
And people would be angry but I never thought that there would be this kind of witch hunt witch hunt launched.
By people future administrations because -- had -- -- dispute with -- -- The best policy to protect the country but you must've realized that to put this -- there's a lot of a lot of winking and nodding that goes on that has gone on not only.
Dealing with national security issues but you mentioned police departments -- -- frankly you know you you catch somebody.
Who has has kidnapped a child and and they're not being clear about where the trial is your -- -- that somebody's gonna lose it to forget beaten up in some way.
But it was always with a wink and and I've never written down on paper did you consider that.
No I I really didn't I think one thing about this -- -- if you look at all the documents are released over the weekend.
Is how careful the CIA in the White House and the Justice Department were to stay within the law and to make sure that we never had those situations where some interrogator -- over the line.
Not to let anyone who might have been statistic are brutal.
For its own -- into interrogation rooms.
We really tried to make sure.
That we follow the rules and that's why they came to the Justice Department in the first place right okay well you you still could be hounded by the way by state.
The California state bar of -- is is is known as pretty liberal they're probably against a lot of what you say in the memo do you expect that to be coming down the line or do you think you you're through the worst of it.
Well luckily I'm actually not a member of the California bar a member of the great state of Pennsylvania is -- and this is another example of how -- you know these these investigators are confident.
Is they actually missed the time period within which they had to file any kinds of charges so in Pennsylvania looks like that time periods over and they can't.
Bring -- complaint.
But there's always going to be crazy people out there or people on the far left fringes -- -- -- various lawsuits.
And so on -- and the more I'm worried not about me I'm worried about.
The men and women who -- in the field.
In the army united way -- -- it is obviously everything you say far left you know you're describing -- the attorney general of the United States you would call Eric Holder far left.
While I -- idea I am glad that mr.
-- -- put a stop to it and I don't expect.
holder no matter -- clear beliefs and is clear partisan views to.
Trying to overrule him that would -- -- got to impress judges are you are calling Eric Holder member of the far left.
Oh no I'm not calling him a member of the far left he's definitely.
A member of the left and he's a member of the Democrat -- and he's he's the one who thinks what you did is is is is it.
If not directly criminal at least cause for you being disbarred.
I I don't think though that he is so.
On the left hand side left wing of the the spectrum that he would actually destroyed the institution's rules of the Justice Department to get his way that he did and I I I would hate to be proved wrong.
And we've seen this administration and other areas I think go way too far.
But I would hope that for the cause of impartial administration of justice in our country that they would not.
Do anything like that John you good to see John thanks for coming in appreciate it.
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