The Obama Justice Department will not charge the Bush Administration lawyers responsible for memos authorizing torture of prisoners but suggest instead the memo writers should face sanctions from their respective legal organizations.
The decision continues the White House’s reluctance to punish the previous administration for abuses of human rights and civil liberties.
Justice Department investigators say Bush administration lawyers who approved harsh interrogation techniques of terror suspects should not face criminal charges, according to a draft report that also recommends two of the three attorneys face possible professional sanctions.
The Obama administration decided last month to make public legal memos authorizing the use of harsh interrogation methods but not to prosecute CIA interrogators who followed the advice outlined in the memos.
That decision angered conservatives who accused President Barack Obama of selling out the CIA, and from liberals who thought he was being too forgiving of practices they – and Obama – call torture. The president’s rhetoric, if not actual policy, shifted on the matter as the political fallout intensified.