Bybee Demonstrates His Bad Faith

I found this non-quote from "Justice" Bybee very informative:

Judge Bybee said he was issuing a statement following reports that he had regrets over his role in the memorandums, including an article in The Washington Post on Saturday to that effect. Given the widespread criticism of the memorandums, he said he would have done some things differently, like clarifying and sharpening the analysis of some of his answers to help the public better understand the basis for his conclusions.
Umm, dude! Weren't the memos already aimed at non-legal minds? Wasn't the entire point of the memos supposed to be to brief the non-lawyers in the Bush administration about the relevant legal issues?

By admitting that he wished he'd 'clarified and sharpened the analysis of some of his answers' to help those without a legal background to 'better understand the basis for his conclusions' (and boy do I wish the Senile Gray Lady had bothered to include his actual quote on that subject, rather than their interpretation of his words) he's essentially saying that when he was asked to write the memos the conclusions were all that mattered, not the route he took to get there. For a lawyer (much less a judge!) to imply that a legal argument was not important, and only the end result really mattered, is mind-boggling to me. Imagine if, for instance, SCOTUS operated in the same way, issuing only their votes on cases or half-assing their way through their opinions...

He's as much as admitting that he was writing for a specific target audience, and that target audience didn't care what the legal issues actually were just so long as they got the answer they wanted to hear. (Compare the fate of the OLC memos, for instance, with Philip Zelikow's dissenting memo, which did not supply an answer anyone wanted to hear, and which someone attempted to flush down the memory hole.)

It's also sad to me that his only apparent regret is that the memos weren't written to provide more of an opportunity for damage control after their release. His concern is what the public thinks about memos the public wasn't supposed to ever see. Not how his supposed "good faith" legal opinion was used to justify some very bad things.

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