John Yoo: Shameless

A further reason for torture prosecutions is so that John Yoo is forced out of polite society. He can take his misleading and inaccurate op-eds with him.

The CIA must now conduct interrogations according to the rules of the Army Field Manual, which prohibits coercive techniques, threats and promises, and the good-cop bad-cop routines used in police stations throughout America. Mr. Obama has also ordered that al Qaeda leaders are to be protected from “outrages on personal dignity” and “humiliating and degrading treatment” in accord with the Geneva Conventions. His new order amounts to requiring — on penalty of prosecution — that CIA interrogators be polite. Coercive measures are unwisely banned with no exceptions, regardless of the danger confronting the country.

Of course, he’ll have to excuse me if I decide to listen to retired generals instead.

[President Obama] noted that he would be criticized if the United States faced another terrorist attack. Yet, he said he was convinced that a clear anti-torture policy would make us safer. General Paul Kern – a four-star General who co-led an investigation into abuses at Abu Ghraib – told the President that our group of Generals and Admirals was there to support him precisely because humane interrogation tactics will put us in a stronger position to achieve our national security objectives [emphasis added].

If we ‘look forward’, without first looking back, then people like John Yoo will be around for the next Republican administration, and work their way back into positions of authority. Just like those implicated in Iran-Contra found new places in the George W. Bush administration. One of the reasons we punish criminals is to prevent and deter them from committing future crimes.


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Published in: on January 29, 2009 at 8:07 am  Comments (2)  
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  1. This guy Yoo will probably not be prosecuted, but in my opinion if anyone within the Bush Administration should be, “it is Yoo.”

    The reason I feel he won’t be prosecuted is outlined this article by Politico:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/18063.html

    But if you want to see the snake (Yoo) in action, in front of the House of Representatives hearing on torture, take a peek at this video on YouTube:

    Enough said!

    • Well, I think that a willingness to defend him in a civil suit can be distinguished from a willingness to prosecute him. I also don’t care as much about seeing him prosecuted. I think there are some legitimate questions as to whether his actions fell within the scope of his obligations as counsel to the executive branch: advising the commission of a criminal action vs. advising on the legality of a proposed action.

      That said, I’d rather see other officials prosecuted under a command responsibility theory, which is the greater issue. A repudiation of Yoo’s legal theories will not necessarily require his prosecution. A repudiation of the actions taken, however, will require prosecution of those who authorized them.


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