From Raw Story:
A liberal activist group has filed disciplinary complaints in four states and the District of Columbia calling for the disbarment of twelve lawyers they say are associated with the Bush administration’s position on torture.
The complaints — running more than 500 pages — enumerate in excruciating detail the case against key Bush officials that participated in defending “torture techniques” employed by the administration against alleged al Qaeda suspects.
The complaints are posted online at disbartorturelawyers.com.
The complaints were filed against former White House Legal Counsel attorneys John Yoo, Jay Bybee and Stephen Bradbury; former Attorney Generals Alberto Gonzales, John Ashcroft and Michael Mukasey; former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff; former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney David Addington, Alice Fisher, William Haynes II, Douglas Feith and Timothy Flanigan with the state bars in the District of Columbia, New York, California, Texas and Pennsylvania.
“The individually tailored complaints allege that the named attorneys violated the rules of professional responsibility by advocating torture, which is illegal under both United States and international law,” the activist group Velvet Revolution said in a release. “Specifically, the Geneva Convention, UN Convention Against Torture, the Eighth Amendment, the Army Field Manual and the United States Criminal Code against torture and war crimes all prohibit torture of detainees.
“The memos written and supported by these attorneys advocating torture have now been repudiated by the Department of Justice, the White House, the Department of Defense and other experts in the field,” they continued. “The recently released Senate and Red Cross reports on detainee treatment provide uncontroverted evidence that the torture techniques advocated by the attorneys were used on human beings over an extended period of time. ”
In addition, the group says that evidence surrounding the Bush administration’s legal wrangling shows the lawyers engaged in “moral turpitude.”
“We have asked the respective state bars to revoke the licenses of the foregoing attorneys for moral turpitude,” they write. “They failed to show ‘respect for and obedience to the law, and respect for the rights of others,’ and intentionally or recklessly failed to act competently, all in violation of legal Rules of Professional Conduct.”
The complaints seek disciplinary action and disbarment — the prohibition of allowing any of the aforementioned officials from practicing law.
Jay Bybee, who authored an infamous memo that laid out the techniques the Bush administration sanctioned, is now a judge in the District of Columbia. The complaint regarding the former White House Office of Legal Counsel attorney argues that Bybee’s involvement amounts to a “travesty of justice.”
“The [Office of Legal Counsel] memoranda offered the patina of legal sanction to the use of techniques such as waterboarding, hypothermia, stress positions, extensive sleep deprivation and confinement with stinging insects to exploit prisoner phobias,” the activists write. “The memos, by carefully defining parameters, clearly demonstrate that the authors of the memos were deeply engaged in the application of torture techniques, not merely giving abstract legal counsel.”
“Therefore, Velvet Revolution calls upon the Board on Professional Responsibility, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, to act immediately to disbar Mr. Bybee for conduct that is a travesty of justice and an affront to the rule of law and the standards of professional legal and ethical conduct,” they write.