Publication Title

Lewis and Clark Law Review


torture memos

Document Type



On August 1, 2002, then Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee signed for President Bush a memorandum of law concluding that some torture was not necessarily illegal if the President ordered it. This Essay examines how Bybee could arrive at a conclusion that is fundamentally at odds with both our national moral spirit and our law. In doing so, it cautions American lawyers to recognize the difference between what is "legal" and what is "arguably legal, " and to be aware of their own extra-legal biases when interpreting the law.



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