In the summer of 2004, the now famous "Bybee Memorandum" was leaked to the press. The memorandum, entitled Standards of Conduct for Interrogation Under 18 U.S.C. §§ 2340-234oA, was signed by Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee but written by John C. Yoo, a lawyer at the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) whose legal advice is now regarded as having facilitated the George W. Bush Administration's broad exercise of executive power in the war on terrorism. The memorandum's release, followed by the disclosure of other OLC opinions relating to questions about executive power, quickly sparked widespread debate not only about the wisdom and morality of the Administration's policy, but also about the role of the OLC and its lawyers within the executive branch.

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