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Tag: interrogation tactics

Obama Pick for Office of Legal Counsel is Harsh Critic of Bush Admin. Interrogation Tactics

Dawn Johnsen/university photo

Dawn Johnsen/university photo

Obama is making some key legal appointments who are likely to reverse many substantial and controversial Bush policies. Here’s one of those people.

By ERIC LICHTBLAU
New York Times
WASHINGTON – When Dawn Johnsen read a newly disclosed Justice Department legal opinion last April that blessed the president’s broad power to authorize rough interrogation tactics, she was outraged.
The legal memorandum, she wrote in a blog entry, was “shockingly flawed,” the constitutional arguments were “bogus,” the broad reading of presidential authority “outlandish,” and the “horrific acts” it encouraged against prisoners were probably illegal.
“Where is the outrage, the public outcry?!” Ms. Johnsen, a constitutional law professor at Indiana University, demanded in the posting.
Now, Ms. Johnsen will have the chance to overturn some of the legal opinions she so harshly condemned. President-elect Barack Obama said this week that he would nominate her to lead the Office of Legal Counsel, the Justice Department office that produced a series of hotly debated legal opinions on presidential power in the war on terror. She led the office on an acting basis during the Clinton administration but, in academia, has become one of the office’s fiercest critics.
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