Monday, February 22, 2010

John Yoo's little secret

Previously redacted, here is the original author of the "torture memo":
Jennifer K. Hardy (formerly Jennifer Koester)

Yes, that terrible concept of legalized torture was not the result of political masterminds, but a young inexperienced lawyer just 2 years out of school.

Koester, who was two years out of law school and around 28 years old at the time, was clearly a junior level attorney in the process. She appears to have had no authority to approve the final versions of the memos that went out from the department, and was tasked with working with Yoo on them in part because having just joined OLC, she "had some time available," according to the report. But she did take the lead in developing the first drafts of the memos, and briefed the White House on their contents. And it's perhaps surprising -- given the intense level of scrutiny that Yoo has rightly received for his role in producing the memos -- that Koester has until now remained almost entirely under the radar.

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