unbossed.com: David Margolis... argues that “a finding of misconduct depends on application of a known, unambiguous obligation or standard to the attorney’s conduct. I am unpersuaded that OPR has identified such a standard.”.... The memos generated by Yoo and Bybee are rife with gross inaccuracies and demonstrable falsehoods. Is it not a known and unambiguously accepted standard that attorneys are obligated to be honest and scrupulous in their representations of law and jurisprudence? At a minimum?
To cite but one example... John Yoo falsified what the UN Convention against Torture says in his memo from April 28, 2003. In that memo, Yoo claimed that[:]
the [Torture] Convention permits the use of [cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment] in exigent circumstances, such as a national emergency or war.
Yoo’s memo added no qualifications, no evidence, no citation, and no argument to justify that statement. The statement is absolutely false.... Yoo lied in order to provide the Bush administration with a back-door justification (“national emergency”) for torture where none exists legally...
unbossed.com » Another Bush administration legal fiction: Article 2 of the [UN] Convention [against Torture] states explicitly that there are no circumstances that may be used to justify torture:
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
It is true that the Convention does not repeat the Article 2 statement when it later discusses "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment". However that discussion (in Article 16) is extremely brief and to the point: that governments should prevent 'cruel etc. treatment' as they do torture and should give its victims the same legal recourse as victims of torture. There is no implication whatsoever in the Convention that "exigent circumstances" permit the use of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.
- Each State Party shall undertake to prevent in any territory under its jurisdiction other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture as defined in article 1, when such acts are committed by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. In particular, the obligations contained in articles 10, 11, 12 and 13 shall apply with the substitution for references to torture or references to other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
- The provisions of this Convention are without prejudice to the provisions of any other international instrument or national law which prohibit cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment or which relate to extradition or expulsion.