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'Torture Memo' Attorney John Yoo Attacks Senate Report

A former Bush administration attorney and author of the "torture memos" -- the documents crafted after 9/11 providing legal justification for harsh interrogation techniques -- is attacking the recent Senate report on CIA interrogation tactics as “a dispiriting, partisan attack on American intelligence agencies at a time when we need them more than ever.”

In a recent opinion piece, John Yoo, 47, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley defended his work in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel from 2001-2003. He writes that he "believed that the federal law prohibiting torture allowed the CIA to use interrogation methods that did not caught injury...because of the grave threat to the nation's security."

That belief, he continues, was based on his understanding that methods like waterboarding were used "in training thousands of [US] soldiers without harm," and that such techniques would only be employed only on terrorist leaders with actionable intelligence.

“I would want to know if [CIA officers] lied to me and other Bush administration officials, as the Feinstein report asserts,” Yoo wrote. “If it turned out that the facts on which I based my advice were wrong, I would be willing to change my opinion of the interrogation methods."

Yoo fought off calls for his disbarment and dismissal in 2009, after a Justice Department investigation sharply criticized him and Judge Jay Bybee of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.


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