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'Bush Six' Lawyers Await Their Spanish Inquisition

New York lawyer, law professor and American Lawyer contributor Scott Horton brings us an update on the Spanish case against former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and five other former Bush Administration officials over their role in the so-called "torture memo" authorizing the use of extreme interrogation techniques at Guantanamo. In an article published Monday night on The Daily Beast, Horton says "several reliable sources close to the investigation" claim Spanish prosecutors are going forward with their criminal investigation. The decision was expected on Tuesday, though there's no word from Madrid just yet.

The case against "The Bush Six" has so far divided opinion on American editorial pages, Horton writes, with:

some questioning sharply why the Obama administration is not conducting an investigation, which is implicitly the question raised by the Spanish prosecutors. Publications loyal to the Bush team argue that the Spanish investigation is an “intrusion” into American affairs, even when those affairs involve the torture of five Spaniards on Cuba.

It's too early to know yet whether the Americans under investigation -- who also include Federal Appeals Court Judge Jay Bybee, University of California law professor John Yoo, Chevron lawyer William J. Haynes II, Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff David Addington, and former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith -- have canceled vacation plans for Ibiza, and it's hard to say whether the case has affected them yet, at least a little bit. Last week in The Recorder, reporter Dan Levine's in-depth profile of Judge Bybee and his role in crafting the memos revealed a man who might not have been entirely comfortable with his former work, but who hasn't let it slow his current work as a 9th Circuit judge. Bybee signed off on the memos, which were actually authored by Yoo, but so far he's avoiding any finger-pointing. "'You can either stew about it and drown in bitterness, or move on and do the best you can. That's what Jay is trying to do,' said one longtime friend. 'Some people get over it and have a good life. Some people don't.'"

Perhaps by going after his lawyers instead of Bush himself, the Spanish court system will be able to accomplish what the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover could not.

Posted by Laurel Newby on April 14, 2009 at 06:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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