May 18th, 2009
12:08 PM ET
6 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.

Full story

soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Biff Hedrickson

    You coalition members should craft a law barring women who have killed their babies from ever getting pregnant again. You are disgusting: you approve of killing American, helpless babies but want to give tea and cookies to our enemies. Are helpless American babies our enemies?

    May 18, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. BillH

    Disbarment would be appropriate, but that would require action by the legal community. Considering what passes for "legal ethics" in this country, I doubt they would ever find anything wrong with what was done. I've already seen other lawyers rushing to defend those who wrote the "torture memos." Nothing will be done unless Congress does something. And who runs Congress: lawyers. Sadly, this issue isn't going anywhere.

    May 18, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Shadysider

    They must be prosecuted. They brought dihonor to our courts and our country.

    May 18, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Michael

    Hey, Jean B, Jack Carlson, Jane JOnes, & Janet JOhnson. Why don't you just use your real name or at least the same one when you post numerous comments. It's quite obvious you are the same person. Try switching your writing style up a little instead of copying and pasting. It will make your points seem more valuable. Just trying to help

    May 18, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. gary

    To disbarr an attorney because some disagree with their decisions sounds ludicrous to me, but if the progressives keep occupied with futile endevors about the past they may not do as much harm for our future

    May 18, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. Daniel

    "I did not have sexual relations with that woman". "I was never breifed about waterboarding". Sound kind of the same don't they.

    Liberals are born liars, and ignorant enough to believe the lies of other liberals.

    May 18, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. Claudia in Houson

    They should all be disbarred. They operated under Bush's words of "you're either for me or against me". They were all yes men and Addington headed the bunch as Dick Cheney's attorney by passing the chain of command and firing anyone who disagreed. Disbarr them now and go to work on Bush and Cheney.

    May 18, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Ian Minneapolis, MN

    Anybody that was involved should be held accountable. Democrats and Republicans alike. NO ONE is above the law unless everyone is above the law.

    May 18, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. FactCheck

    They want to destroy the United States as much as the taliban.
    ----

    Too late... your fellow Republicans wing-nuts have already done far worse than anything any terrorist could do. I see that you are no educated enough to appreciate that fact.

    May 18, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. Julia Byrd- Hayden Idaho

    And bone head Boehner and Gingrich are decent human beings, ha, ha, ha, ha, These idiots support torture, and I trust the CIA about as much as I trust Hitler. Let's get back to the issue Bush/Cheny lied to start a war and now we have over four thousand dead Americans not to mention the innoncent people killed in Iraq.

    May 18, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  11. Julia Byrd- Hayden Idaho

    And bone head Boehner and Gingrich are decent human beings, ha, ha, ha, ha, These idiots support torture, and I trust the CIA about as much as I trust Hitler. Let's get back to the issue Bush/Cheny lied to start a war and now we have over four thousand dead Americans not to mention the innoncent people killed in Iraq. This IS NOT A DUPLICATE COMMENT

    May 18, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. Julia Byrd- Hayden Idaho

    And bone head Boehner and Gingrich are decent human beings, ha, ha, ha, ha, These idiots support torture, and I trust the CIA about as much as I trust Hitler. Let's get back to the issue Bush/Cheny lied to start a war and now we have over four thousand dead Americans not .

    May 18, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. Mari( maybe one of my comments will be posted)

    Attorneys who purposely break the LAWS of our Nation to suite a president or anyone else for that matter, should be ......... disbarred!

    How about Ashcroft, Gonzalez??

    Clinton was impeached by the "holier-than-thou-GOP" for lying about "that woman" ............. BUSH ALLOWED TORTURE!

    May 18, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  14. Dace Tucson

    They need to be in prison end of story they are war criminals. The law is totally clear. The administration set up the democrats in a trap that they have no sprung to take the issue away from the real criminals – bush/cheney. Then they get there hysterical base that can't have an original thought to fan the fires of there smoke and mirrors.

    May 18, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. r edwards

    Trying to do this is a joke. These people are idiots. We're at war. Don't they think that we should do whatever is necessary to get the necessary information out of the criminal's. Do they think for one instance that our people would get good treatment? No, they would not. They behead them in public and drag their dead bodies thru the streets. And don't think this is the first time these tactics have been used. We've used them before. Remember, this ain't our first rodeo. And the bleeding heart liberal's can go live with our enemies.

    May 18, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. RAG

    DISBARMENT?????

    How about life in solitary confinement at hard labor?

    May 18, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. Jeanne Lehuta

    It seems to me that any lawyer that shows such disrespect for our constitution and any treaties that we as a nation have signed deserves to be disbarred. Criminal charges should be considered too.

    May 18, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  18. Mabs

    Funny how this goes down ...The US justice department run by Pres. Obama said no to going after these people as far a breaking the law (from TIME Mag) and now special instrest goes after them when the speaker is in hot water. At this rate we will move forward when? I want health care, a realistic fereral budget, and an end to run away spending not more grandstanding.. and I want it NOW!!!

    May 18, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. JR

    Disbarment isn't enough, jail time is needed.

    May 18, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. J Wolfe

    Before our Country is totally destroyed from within we need the middle of both political parties to get together and bring this great nation back into control! We have lost to both the extreme right and left and if it is not brought back to what our for fathers set forth we are domed!

    May 18, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. Shibumi

    Bush may have proposed torture......but the Democraps voted for it.....twice!!!!!

    May 18, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. Big Al

    Please identify what law these individuals broke. I, for one, believe the left is playing "Chicken" with the security of this nation. I hope to God they do not lose.

    May 18, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  23. Karen - Missouri

    Lawyers can be bad and there's no way to sue them or make they pay for their gross mistakes or corruption. I say to go after them. Those lawyers knew it was torture but I'm sure Bush and Cheney put pressure on them, too, to see it all "Bush's way". And we all know Republicans in Congress don't think for themselves and they didn't object at all.

    As for Jean above, she or he sounds like the person who needs to move elsewhere. What a stupid remark.

    May 18, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. Jenn, Philadelphia

    Which group is this? The ones who protect NAMBLA (child molesters) or the group providing pro bono representation to the terrorists? Where were they when Bill Clinton committed perjury (legally proven, by the way)? He's still a licensed lawyer. I think it was Shakespeare who said "first kill all the lawyers". Maybe he was right.

    May 18, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  25. Grrrr-Awful-O

    Just to make sure that this is not a politicized process, and is really only in the interest of the American people, it needs to include all parties that were a part of the approval process, and that includes the legislative segment of our government who could have declared waterboarding and other IETs to be illegal: the United States Congress (both parties, no protection for anyone). Release all the records to the investigative team and prosecute everyone who was a part of approving and/or allowing this. Fair enough? I will be happy with that kind of process. But not a partisan witch hunt where new rules are created as we go along. Last time I looked we still believed in the rule of law didn't we? Didn't we?

    May 18, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7