Russia and the US are engaging in a little diplomatic war over alleged human-rights abuses, and one of the new casualties is former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo—the man who wrote the legal memos justifying harsh interrogation in the Bush administration. Yoo, former Cheney chief of staff David Addington, and two former Gitmo commanders were among 18 people blacklisted by Russia today as human-rights violators, reports RIA Novosti and AP. Moscow made the move one day after the US released a list of 18 Russians accused of human-rights violations.
The Treasury Department did so as stipulated by the new Magnitsky Act, named for the late Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, reports the Guardian. After accusing Russian officials of stealing $230 million in a tax-rebate scheme, Magnitsky got sent to prison, where he was reportedly beaten and denied medical treatment. He died within a year. Most of the Russians named by the US were relatively low-level figures that Magnitsky had accused of stealing. The US list has disappointed many in the Russian opposition, who expected it to include far more names and to reach in to Vladimir Putin's inner circle. (Moscow previously retaliated for the Magnitsky Act by banning Americans from adopting Russian kids.)