John Yoo's Falsehoods

(Guest Post by Big Tent Democrat)

Back to the stage returns the utterly discredited John Yoo as he pens one of the most audaciously mendacious columns seen on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times this side of David Brooks. The man is truly shameless:

Thus the administration has gone to war to pre-empt foreign threats. It has data-mined communications in the United States to root out terrorism. It has detained terrorists without formal charges, interrogating some harshly. And it has formed military tribunals modeled on those of past wars, as when we tried and executed a group of Nazi saboteurs found in the United States.

The Administration has gone to war? Not even the Administration claims this. They rely on the Authorization to Use Force enacted by the Congress in September 2001. Harsh interrogation? Say the word Yoo. Torture. John Yoo is simply incorrigible. In a just world, he would be hooted off the stage of public affairs. In today's BushWorld, he writes Op-Eds in the New York Times. The man is a sick joke. More on the flip.

In Hamdi v Rumsfeld, the Court wrote:

[The Government's position] cannot be mandated by any reasonable view of the separation of powers, as this view only serves to condense power into a single branch of government. We have long since made clear that a state of war is not a blank check for the President when it comes to the rights of the Nation's citizens. Youngstown Steel and Tube, 343 U.S. at 587. Whatever power the United States Constitution envisions for the Executive in times of conflict with other Nations or enemy organizations, it most assuredly envisions a role for all three branches when individual liberties are at stake.

But John Yoo does not care what that Supreme Court says. He writes:

To his critics, Mr. Bush is a "King George" bent on an "imperial presidency." But the inescapable fact is that war shifts power to the branch most responsible for its waging: the executive. Harry Truman sent troops to fight in Korea without Congressional authority. George H. W. Bush did not have the consent of Congress when he invaded Panama to apprehend Manuel Noriega. Nor did Bill Clinton when he initiated NATO's air war over Kosovo.

Ah Kosovo. And what did John Yoo say about Kosovo?

President Clinton exercised the powers of the imperial presidency to the utmost in the area in which those powers are already at their height -- in our dealings with foreign nations. Unfortunately, the record of the administration has not been a happy one, in light of its costs to the Constitution and the American legal system. On a series of different international relations matters, such as war, international institutions, and treaties, President Clinton has accelerated the disturbing trends in foreign policy that undermine notions of democratic accountability and respect for the rule of law.

The man is not only an extremist, he is a charlatan. That he remains on the public stage is an indictment on our society.

As for the rest of Yoo's argument, I leave that to the rest of you. His disrespect for facts, law and the Constitution make him someone I will never engage. He is simply despicable and a blot on any institution that associates itself with him.

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    Re: John Yoo's Falsehoods (none / 0) (#1)
    by bad Jim on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 01:42:01 AM EST
    Yoo makes me ashamed of being a Berkeley alumnus. His inconsistency is moderately encouraging, though. Maybe he's only a cheerleading jerk, somebody who sold his soul for the sake of a bit of immediate approval, and not a thoroughly diseased authoritarian.

    Re: John Yoo's Falsehoods (none / 0) (#2)
    by roger on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 05:44:40 AM EST
    Boult hall is doing its students a diservice by letting this Yahoo teach them

    Re: John Yoo's Falsehoods (none / 0) (#3)
    by The Heretik on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 07:16:34 AM EST
    Shakespeare was right. First things first. Or something.

    Re: John Yoo's Falsehoods (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 09:58:11 AM EST
    Yoo was the madman who said that there was no law preventing the President from authorizing the torture of the children of a terrorism suspect. Including cruhing the testicals of said child. Yoo's place in this world is on trial at the Hague.

    Re: John Yoo's Falsehoods (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 12:03:00 PM EST
    Have there been any student protests at Boalt against this professor? If I were a student or alum I would certainly be leading a loud, consistent chorus against such an embarrassment to my school and its standing (e.g. "Hey isn't that where that nutcase Yoo teaches?")

    Re: John Yoo's Falsehoods (none / 0) (#6)
    by profmarcus on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 01:51:03 PM EST
    professor yoo... if this was any other presidential administration we were talking about with any other cadre of people at the top, you might at least have grounds for a hearing... but, in the context (a word your friend, dick cheney, is so fond of) of the moment, given the massive number of lies we've been told, the incredible abuses of power and money we've seen unfold, the tragic squandering of lives and resources, the staggering arrogance, the obtuseness, the unwillingness to engage in any kind of dialogue, the demonizing of critics, how can you in any conscience DARE to continue to defend these out-of-control criminals...? how DARE you lecture the american public via a national newspaper on how the country should be run...? how DARE you, professor yoo...? And, yes, I DO take it personally

    Re: John Yoo's Falsehoods (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Sep 17, 2006 at 05:25:39 PM EST
    i'm curious, how can the president of one country authorize NATO to do anything? Isn't that somebody else's job altogether? Like NATO? Or the UN/Security Council? I can't remember.... but if the US runs NATO, why doesn't Bush order them into Iraq??? Seems like we could use the help.

    Re: John Yoo's Falsehoods (none / 0) (#8)
    by dutchfox on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 01:19:10 AM EST
    uhm, Nato in Afganistan? Nato in Iraq? Since when are those two countries in Europe?

    Re: John Yoo's Falsehoods (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 01:19:10 AM EST
    If along with David Brooks, this is the "other side" on the NYT editorial page (toss in the likes of Ann Althouse), conservatives really should be annoyed.

    Re: John Yoo's Falsehoods (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 08:58:36 AM EST
    John Yoo's column should be a case study in every political science class, including his own, in how not to interpret the constitution and its balance of powers. First, start with a vague and undefinable concept of "balance." Claim that the Constitution grants the President obsolute power to overrule "bad" legislation or judicial decisions. Then try to explain how and when the Judiciary and Legislative branch can decide when the President if "overreaching." Extra credit for incorporating Marbury v. Madison. Second, explain the validity of the statement, "The changes of the 1970's occurred largely because we hand no serious national security threats to US soil" in the context of USSR and Cold War. Bonus points for using "Domino Theory" and nuclear missile gap. Third, explain why a politician elected by national voting is more superior to a congress of politicians elected locally across the nation. Failure to address the Constitutional provisions on the Legislative Branch, or references to the Constitution as "quaint and outdated in these troubling times" will result in no points given.Extra credit if you can name who is right behind the vice-president on the presidential succession list. Finally, address the following statement in terms of the intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq: "The president has better access to expertise from the unified executive branch-including its top secret data-than the more ad hoc information Congress develops through hearings and investigations." Extra extra credit for demonstrating the "Unified Executive" theory to budget balancing, hurricane response and energy policy.

    Re: John Yoo's Falsehoods (none / 0) (#11)
    by roger on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 11:55:11 AM EST
    Presumably, the Times editorial staff, which has opposed the Bush Administration on torture, gave Yoo a rope to hang himself for all to see, and he was obliging. What's more to the point politically is that were a law (or any) professor to support Al Qu'ada or, much better yet, openly support Iraqi military resistance to the U.S. and British invaders, perhaps even rightly justifying that position under international law, they would be pilloried and run out in short order. But let an Administration lawyer openly support torture, and they're given a job at a prestigious American university. Something about capitalism.

    Re: John Yoo's Falsehoods (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 03:14:52 PM EST
    I don't know about student protests, but I am a Boalt alumna, and Yoo's dangerous monarchical radicalism has completely alienated me from the institution. I stopped donating over Yoo, and Boalt will not see a dime from me until he is gone.

    Re: John Yoo's Falsehoods (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 06:23:42 PM EST
    Actually, it's kind of helpful to have Yoo say all this stuff right out in the open. At least he's being honest about what he believes, anticonstitutional and nutzoid though it is.

    Re: John Yoo's Falsehoods (none / 0) (#14)
    by Edger on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 12:21:52 AM EST
    He's getting fifteen minutes of fame as long as bush remains in power. Otherwise, and after that, and for the rest os his miserable life he's a nobody. His name might as well be john whoo?

    Re: John Yoo's Falsehoods (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 05:34:42 PM EST
    All this would be bad enough, but I don't see much in the papers about the Bush administration's SUCCESS with the illegal methods they employ. And I doubt they would be very close-mouthed about that subject so near to the elections.