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. Mario

    Of course the libs want this to happen, something that happend a while ago and the libarads just can't let go...just like Piglosi and her affair with the CIA. What ever happend of just running this country instead of all this BS. Oh wait, the libs think that is how you ruin the country instead, they are doing a good job of that.

    May 18, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. Randolph Carter

    Relax, folks. This is the United States of America. The rich and powerful rarely get punished for anything. Sorry to say nothing is going to come of this. Have a nice day!

    May 18, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. Imarriedmy sister in Texas

    Please dont pick on my children,and dont look for their birth certificates.You can become anything in Texas without one.

    May 18, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. j

    I agree and I`m no bleeding heart liberal, but the Bush administration overstepped their constitutional duties by having the Justice Dept. accommodate them by pressuring a supposedly non-partisan branch of gov`t to do their bidding. YES , They should be disbarred

    May 18, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. David in Dallas

    Jean B said, These Far Left Liberal are haters of America, and should move to another Country for our safety and future.

    The founding fathers built the Constitution on a foundation of individual rights: the right to a speedy trial, to face your accuser, to have skilled defense, and to experience incarceration without torture. During the Revolutionary War they captured foreign enemy combatants, but they didn't torture them.

    The founding fathers understood that freedom from tyrany is what made America great. Liberals don't hate America. We love America and the ideals that make her great, and we don't want to see those noble ideals eroded in the name of convenience and fear.

    Bush, a businessman, depended on sound legal advice. Lawyers who advised him to violate the constitution and/or international treaties codified into American laws SHOULD be disbarred (at least).

    May 18, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. Moderate Democrat

    Jon in CA May 18th, 2009 12:53 pm ET
    ----------
    Nah man, I'm with you. I think we should saw off some peoples heads as well. Because it's the logical next step in this progression of 'enhanced interogation' techniques. Come on man, let's make it happen. Something to support, something to unite on.

    Sawing off heads will become the next patriotic thing to do. You know, because people got killed in our towers it justifies anything and everything, up to and including sacrificing our moral principals and code of honor that we so ignoranty have cherished for far too long! It's time to shed our morals and act like the terrorists. Because them darn ethics we have been proud of are useless! People with ethics are WUSSIES!

    May 18, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Melissa:
    Well put. Thank you.

    I cannot believe folks that say: "it's in the past, let it go". The harm that has been done to our country's leaders credibility cannot be measured. We said and proclaimed: "The USA does not torture". and all the while we were LYING to our citizens, and the rest of the world. We talk about not trusting the Koreans, the Middle-Easterners, the Russians. Well who the hell should trust us now? Why should anybody believe us? Because we're the almighty USA? Get a grip!
    Then we have the unmitigated gall to complain about President Obama having to go around the world cleaning up our tarnished image. Y'all better wake up and "recognize". We're not who we used to be. Our "stuff" is stinking to high heaven. We need to clean OUR HOUSE!

    May 18, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. David in Dallas

    Dave, the truth teller, said, Liberal pukes are hypocrits.... Idiots that elect the Pelossis, Kennedys, and Franks of the world over and over are nothing but simple-minded sheep. Come on Libs, call me something original. I feed on your hate….

    Dude, get therapy. Seriously.

    This is a blog for us to discuss and debate news. You shouldn't feel this much hate for people who disagree with your views.

    May 18, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. saftgek

    While appreciating the intent, it is difficulty for me to support the called-for action. It misses what should be the REAL targets – Messrs Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld.

    The stain of The Regime will remain forever – the damage is done. With that said, perhaps we can embrace a commencement of domestic and global healing if and when the aformentioned trio spend well-deserved time in a federal prison?

    Let's reset our sights at those who truly were the evil-doers. I don't need to repeat their names, do I?

    May 18, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. Idiot_Peolosi

    Sure go ahead, right after you prosecute Pelosi for lying and lock up Bill Clinton for lying under oath in a trial...........

    Dont' throw stones from glass houses.

    Or if you prefer, throw them. I love throing stones right back.

    May 18, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  11. proud army navy mom

    At first I was of the opinion that we should move forward.

    Then Cheney got in our faces everyday bragging about torturing. The bush Administration used our troops as terminators for their illegal torture program.

    Each one of them need to be indicted, convicted and jailed for the high crimes of war and treason. For now, disabarring the lawyers will do.

    May 18, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. Troy

    Bush lined his pockets with these "devoted" attorneys. Now it's time for Karma! Slam-dunk em!

    May 18, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. J.P.

    If THIS comes to pass, good luck getting ANYONE to volunteer for these positions.

    The end result: the executive branch suffers as anyone with a brain will reply to any offer to serve the president, "Uh, no thanks, I'd rather get a colonoscopy with a chainsaw. But thanks for offering."

    You cannot criminalize political differences.

    May 18, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. Dino

    Right-wing scum baga! Every member of Bushs' cabinet should be thrown in jail for breaking the law; lying and getting us into a war, torture, crimes against humanity. Obama needs to go after these slugs. The Hell with bipartisonship. The right wing lunatic fringe has already demonstrated it doesn't care about that. The left is suppose to have all the power now. So, let's destory them all.

    I hate you freaking right-wing racists killers!!

    May 18, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Jayden,FL

    Yep sounds good to me!.... everyone in the Bush Admin should be tried and put in Jail

    May 18, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. Bob in Pa

    As my hero BB would say: "What a bunch of maroons !"

    May 18, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Proud Member..Party of No

    We have certainly become a feminized nation. Waterboarding a terrorist for 40 seconds at a time with a doctor standing nearby isn't torture. And as frightening as it may be to you dumbocrats, placing a harmless caterpillar into a prison cell isn't torture either.

    You dumbocrats might want to ask your muslim terrorist friends what torture really is.

    May 18, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. mike

    Dave –

    We feed on your frustration – the whining and stamping of feet from the likes of you, Hannity, Limbaugh, and the rest are delicious!

    May 18, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. Joe in Austin

    It wasn't just the leaders, it was the willing followers that caused the holocaust.

    May 18, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Gotta love all the arm-chair tough guys who support torture with rhetoric similar to the garbled nonsense they heard from the combatants right before the fight on UFC. The reality is, they're the ones who are most scared. If they had any b@llz whatsoever, they'd be willing to stand up for everything we believe in as a nation and society even when the going gets rough. It's called principles, stupid.

    If you're truly a patriot, you don't believe our foundational belief system comes with the caveat "but only when it's convenient."

    May 18, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. anderson n carolina

    The Cheney's aren't fooling anybody with their wirlwind explanations on TV. Old Dickie is out to muddy the waters so no one will investigate him and Bush! I find it rather telling that there was no torture done after 2004...after all Cheney says it was to keep us safe! What changed the last 5 years? Release everything and let the American people judge what they took this country to in the name of their idiology

    May 18, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    @ Ray Ray, who said "You can NOT be disbarred for rending a legal OPINION!!! "

    You certainly can if it was in bad faith and part of a plan to cover up and make it look like the torture was legal.

    May 18, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. Elmer

    I hope Pelosi and every one of those in Congress who knew (and there are a whole bunch of 'em) and let it happen for the last 6 years are tossed aside as well. Actually, if it was illegal they should be prosecuted more vigorously than the lawyers who provided professional judgement but could not decide to actually execute it. Pelosi and her slimy band of country wreckers could have stopped it cold but instread looked the other way.

    May 18, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  24. change has arrived

    the bush administration tortured people, pelosie and others knew it and didn't object, they all need to be punished, our SOILDERS were tortured with water boarding in vetenam, we were outraged, why are these people not being held accountable for their torturing of these human beings. AMERICA DOES NOT TORTURE, pelosie should RESIGN.

    May 18, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  25. southerncousin

    Why is the lunatic left calling for the disbarrment & trial of those who clearly did not break any laws? I can see if they disagree, but to call for the disbarrment and prison does not make sense. Never heard that from a conservative, but for some reason the lefties are in to this type of thing, must bring back memories of the good old Stalin days for them.

    May 18, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
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