By Charles Pugsley Fincher, A Spin-Off of

The Washington Post and The New York Times are both carrying front-page stories today about a team of administration lawyers that concluded in memos that President Bush's executive power trumped torture laws. The laws in question were the 1994 anti-torture statute that forbade Americans from torturing overseas and the international Geneva Conventions.

I found the parts of the memos quoted in the stories to be petty in their outlook and devoid of the quality of judgment. They reminded me of when a huge law firm turns loose a team of bright, young associates on a legal issue. The results are clever and dripping with trickiness, but often the element of the spirit of the law or why are we doing this is missing. 06.08.04

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