May 18th, 2009
12:08 PM ET
5 years ago

Liberal groups seek disbarment of Bush lawyers over torture

Alberto Gonzales is among the former attorneys general named in the complaints.
Alberto Gonzales is among the former attorneys general named in the complaints.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A coalition of progressive groups sought Monday to have 12 Bush administration lawyers disbarred for their roles in crafting the legal rationale for so-called enhanced interrogation techniques that many view as torture.

"It is time to hold these lawyers accountable for violating their legal oath," Kevin Zeese, an attorney for the coalition, said in a written statement.

"Just as the bar would suspend an attorney who advised a police officer to torture and brutalize a detained immigrant or criminal defendant, the bar must suspend these attorneys for advocating and causing the torture of war detainees. The disciplinary boards that hear these complaints must act or they will be seen as complicit in the use of torture."

Zeese called disbarment "an important step toward the ultimate accountability of criminal prosecution."

The group registered formal complaints against David Addington, John Ashcroft, Stephen Bradbury, Jay Bybee, Michael Chertoff, Douglas Feith, Alice Fisher, Timothy Flanigan, Alberto Gonzales, William Haynes II, Michael Mukasey, and John Yoo.

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soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Mich

    It's in the past let it go. America in it's history has mistreated POW's wrong before in it's history.

    May 18, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. PortCityPisces

    gonzales, bush administration, ashcroft, yoo, chertoff, & others should be all prosecuted

    May 18, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Another bad liberal joke. They did nothing illegal. There is nothing like liberal revenge. Remember Ray Donavon. After he was acquitted he asked where he could get his reputation back. The libs did a number on him. But that is what is wrong with liberalism.

    May 18, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Grog in Ohio

    That's nice. But how 'bout some jail time for these monsters?

    May 18, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Obama 2.0

    The Liberals will get damaging blow back from this and will ultimatly understand why POTUS said "Move-On."

    May 18, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    They shoul dbe disbarred and have criminal charges brought up against them. It's very unethical for lawyers to be instructing the goverment on how to get around the law rather than abiding by it.

    May 18, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  7. Mississippi Mike

    I thought that liberals had never met a lawyer they didn't like. No wait, they've never met a law, regulation or tax they didn't like.

    May 18, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. Toole

    I think all Republicans owe the American people an apology for backing and rubber-stamping the Bush Administration these past eight years. Look where they have put us. . . we deserve an apology!

    May 18, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. Obama 2.0

    News flash for Liberals!!! I (the center) did not vote for Obama to be mired in the politics of the past and create greater rift in the nation. I voted for solutions and unity.

    May 18, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. Joe

    Is this "change you can believe in"? The dems promise to "look forward" sure was short lived. This petty politics was exactly what Obama said he would eliminate. Let's see if our President steps up and siliences this disgusting display of politics by the dems.

    May 18, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. Melissa

    Accountability must be had. That includes for things that happened 6 months ago under another government. Thats life.

    May 18, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. scott stodden

    I believe all these attorneys should be prosecuted but what alot of these political cronnies are forgetting is that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney authorized the use of interrogation techniques or torture and these two alone should be held accountable, this is why we can not and should not blame House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

    May 18, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. Jean B

    Hey, lets get ready to remove Obama for Treason for bombing Pakistan and killing cilivians. Let's take BO to court for all his lies while campaigning and now his flip flopping like a duck in water – he's kooky.
    These Far Left Liberal are haters of America, and should move to another Country for our safety and future.
    Jean B
    WI

    May 18, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. Eileen

    These "lawyers" should be investigated and disbarred if warranted. They've proved to be nothing but hacks with no respect for the rule of law. I think the right would peg these upstanding citizens as "activist lawyers". Investigate and act. .

    May 18, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Melissa

    Joe, yes this is change we can believe in. Government officials being held accountable for their illegal actions is change we can believe in. It never would have happened under the Republicans who are more concerned with protecting their crooks than they are with prosecuting them. Its a great change. Deal with it.

    May 18, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. Ray Ray

    Holy mackrel – how STUPID are these idiots calling for disbarment??

    You can NOT be disbarred for rending a legal OPINION!!!

    This flawed line of thinking would then allow criminal defense attorney's to be prosecuted... as they are defending a person charged with a crime!

    May 18, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. Jack Carlson

    Hey, let's take the Navy, Gov't and Pilot Assoc to court and suspend them for waterboarding during training? Why not....the kooks think it is torture. That's what these three Deps do for part of the survival training !
    Hey dumbos, get the facts first.
    Far Left Liberals are traitors.
    Jack Carlson
    WA

    May 18, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. lovable liberal

    What they did was far, far worse than what Bill Clinton did to lose his law license.

    May 18, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. Jane JOnes

    One sure can see why we had such a low intelligent electorate in 2008. They want USA to be brought down because they are so unhappy with their lot in life and only have time to complain and not move forward and engage in anything constructive.
    Jane J
    Colorado

    May 18, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Moderate Democrat

    Waterboarding Saves Lives!

    If we waterboard all criminals, it will stop all crime from ever happening. At least thats what those who support torture, like the Cheney family, tell us!

    Just think, if we waterboard our children they will be much better! We should include that in our Elementary schools as a form of acceptable punishment. Waterboard all the children that act up. This is the AMERICAN way! Let's get patriotic and torture just for the sake of torturing!

    May 18, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. Donny

    Let's see, killing unborn babies is ok, but torturing terrorists is wrong? Wake me up when it's over.

    May 18, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. Janet JOhnson

    Hey, who cares about the thousands of good decent Americans lives that were saved as a result of the interrogation – can anyone be that dumb?
    Move to a totalitarian gov't as that is where the far left loons belong.
    Janet J
    Nevada

    May 18, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. lovable liberal

    "It's in the past let it go." –Mich

    Furlough all criminals! They murdered, raped, and robbed in the past. Time to move on, and everything will fill with sweetness and light.

    Three Republican regimes of my lifetime have turned roundly criminal. It's long past time for them to do time. They've proven they're recidivists who can't be rehabilitated, even by old age.

    May 18, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. Moderate Democrat

    I love my country so much because we torture. Yay us! We torture we are so cool! Every time we torture someone, I put up my american flag with pride. Those darn WWII vets tried to put an end to it, those TRAITORS! Hitler is my hero, he tortured just like us!

    YAY USA, the torture capital of the free world!!

    May 18, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. Jimmy the Greek

    Janet Napolitano should add those calling for prosecution to the terrorist watch list!

    Seriously... you people are worse than the Russian Bolsheviks who ushered in communism.

    Your zeal to "prosecute" individuals who did not break any laws is quite scary. Bush-Derrangement Syndrom is alive and well.

    May 18, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
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