Monday, January 09, 2006

OF BUSH, TORTURE, AND JOHN YOO

I got a heads-up from one of my readers, Bjoern at Silly Adventures, about an article that went along with my post MORE ON BUSH TORTURE. I went looking for it and found this from David Cole:

The New York Review of Books: What Bush Wants to Hear

Few lawyers have had more influence on President Bush's legal policies in the "war on terror" than John Yoo. This is a remarkable feat, because Yoo was not a cabinet official, not a White House lawyer, and not even a senior officer within the Justice Department. He was merely a mid-level attorney in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel with little supervisory authority and no power to enforce laws. Yet by all accounts, Yoo had a hand in virtually every major legal decision involving the US response to the attacks of September 11, and at every point, so far as we know, his advice was virtually always the same— the president can do whatever the president wants.

Yoo's most famous piece of advice was in an August 2002 memorandum stating that the president cannot constitutionally be barred from ordering torture in wartime—even though the United States has signed and ratified a treaty absolutely forbidding torture under all circumstances, and even though Congress has passed a law pursuant to that treaty, which without any exceptions prohibits torture. Yoo reasoned that because the Constitution makes the president the "Commander-in-Chief," no law can restrict the actions he may take in pursuit of war. On this reasoning, the president would be entitled by the Constitution to resort to genocide if he wished.


This is another one of those MUST READS, kids. Tells alot about what Bush and his cronies think they can get away with. Thanks for the heads-up, Bjoern.

1 comment:

Silly Adventures said...

You are welcome, Eddie. And thanx for posting the link from the NYRB here. They often run an excellent analysis of recent events. Always worth a look.