Don't Cry for John Yoo

Former Justice Department official John Yoo, author of our nation's most ill-conceived and damaging terror-law policies, wants your sympathy. He's being sued in civil court by former "dirty bomb" suspect Jose Padilla, who alleges that Yoo was behind his designation as an "enemy combatant" and the torture he endured while in military custody.

The suit, Yoo wrote Wednesday in a touchy-feely op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, is an example of how terrorists use law to wage war on Americans. "They use cases such as Padilla's to harass the men and women in our government, force the revelation of valuable intelligence and press novel theories that have failed at the ballot box and before the president and Congress," Yoo laments. "'Lawfare' has become another dimension of warfare."

This is an ironic position for the man who practically invented "lawfare" as a tool against terrorists. Yoo has written relentlessly about the need for the executive branch to push beyond heretofore recognized legal limits in pursuing terrorists. He has advocated in favor of expanded presidential power -- even greater than the great power the Bush administration has taken for itself since Sept. 11, 2001. And now he claims he is shocked -- shocked! -- that he is the subject of an aggressive, almost daring, lawsuit by one of his former targets.

Whether or not Padilla was tortured, and whether or not Yoo is responsible for that torture, Padilla's lawsuit has little chance to succeed. Government officials are almost always shielded from civil liability -- from having to pay out money -- for their conduct while in office unless that conduct is wildly beyond the scope of their duties. Alas, in the world in which we live, a Justice Department official who pushes for "waterboarding" and other forms of torture does not fit that bill. Padilla will lose, probably quickly, and with decent justification.

But that doesn't excuse Yoo's cynical attempt to accuse Padilla's lawyers of playing the same game that he invented. He writes in the op-ed that "Padilla is no innocent" and notes his conviction last summer on terror conspiracy charges. But the facts behind that conviction are shaky at best and, indeed, this month have been the subject of a contentious sentencing hearing.

The op-ed is itself a masterwork of strategy. It presents a kinder, gentler Yoo: a fellow who wants you, potential juror, to know that he "had the good fortune to grow up in the Philadelphia area, attend the Episcopal Academy for high school, and go off to Harvard for college and Yale for law school." He continues: "I studied and eventually taught war powers, a subject that always interested me because of Philadelphia's rich history with the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and my family's origins in South Korea, the scene of one of America's more recent conflicts." What's next? Oprah? The View? Dancing with the Stars?

This guy's bright ideas brought international scorn to the United States, begat Abu Ghraib, and have tied up Congress and the courts in terror law disputes for years (with no end in sight). Along with vice presidential aid David Addington, Yoo is primarily responsible for virtually all of the legal missteps and overreaches since the Twin Towers fell. And now he wants you to consider him a victim. Oh, and if, understandably, you aren't game to go down that road, he wants you to be on his side anyway, because he's fighting for people in government who aren't as fortunate as he is.

"My situation is better than most," writes Yoo, "since I am a lawyer with many lawyer friends (that is not the oxymoron it seems).... But what about the soldiers, agents and officers who have to respond to the next 9/11 or foreign threat? They will have to worry about personal liability, hiring lawyers.

"Would we have wanted President Abraham Lincoln to worry about his personal liability for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves (done on his sole authority as commander-in-chief)?"

I didn't know Abraham Lincoln. He wasn't a friend of mine. But John Yoo clearly is no Abraham Lincoln.

By Andrew Cohen |  January 18, 2008; 2:52 PM ET
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You're being too kind.

John Yoo is the perfect moral argument for abortion.

Posted by: Paolo di Lauro | January 18, 2008 05:44 PM

To which terrorists was Yoo referring as using the law?

The Brooks Brothers Brigade Terrorists?

Posted by: DC | January 18, 2008 07:50 PM

This attack on Yoo, and your piling on is shameful. Is it supposed to be an advance of human rights to punish a lawyer for giving legal advice? And don't say the suit will go nowhere. The point of this exercise is not to win, but to put him through the meat grinder. Lawyers have a common saying: "the process is the punishment." And his alma mater is very interested in putting him through as much process as possible.

Consider these lame lines:

"But that doesn't excuse Yoo's cynical attempt to accuse Padilla's lawyers of playing the same game that he invented."

So giving the president advice you don't agree with--and, by the way, it is a credible reading of relevant law--is the same as an unprecedented attack on the sacred right to be represented by counsel, or in the alternative, the ability of the government to enjoy the free exchange of ideas. For let's be clear about this, they are punishing him with process because he dared to think and say the wrong things. You know, because they care about liberty.

Or this line:

"But the facts behind that conviction are shaky at best..."

Thus invoking liberal lawyer rule #43: never admit anyone is ever guilty of anything even if they are found guilty. So basically you don't want anyone kept indefinitely as a detainee. And you refuse to acknowledge the validity of any conviction. So basically you just want the bad guys to run free, because you fear a government capable of stopping them more than the terrorists.

Some of the rest of us have figured out the freedom is not merely the absence of government force, but the presence of justice, which actually requires some government power. For instance, Salmon Rushdie's right to freedom of speech is only real to the extent the British agents keep him from being suicide bombed. A government incapable of protecting its people, is incapable of preserving freedom.

"This guy's bright ideas brought international scorn to the United States..."

Oh darn, you mean France doesn't like us anymore? All this fretting over what other nations that hate us think of us is simply pathetic. The international community didn't like Reagan, either, called him a warmonger, and so on. I could care less what they think now.

"begat Abu Ghraib"

Ah, the liberal canard where if you advise a person to do something legal, you are responsible for their illegal conduct, too. So because Yoo says that waterboarding, which is not torture, is not torture, then he is responsible for people doing things that are torture, or at least illegal treatment. I suppose if I tell a friend he can drive 55 mph on I-495, you will blame me if he goes 90. Or if I tell him he can shoot a man in self defense, I am responsible if he commits cold-blooded murder. If I point out that a man can legally have sex with another man, am I responsible if he has sex with a young boy? There is no limit to the vistas of silliness that open up when you claim that advocating legal behavior leads to illegal behavior.

"and have tied up Congress and the courts in terror law disputes for years (with no end in sight)."

Right, what he should have done was advocate the maximum kindness to terror suspects, which couldn't possibly be illegal, but also couldn't possibly have worked to obtain important information. Because the important thing is to avoid controversy not to, you know, get information and protect the country.

And I love this line.

"But John Yoo clearly is no Abraham Lincoln."

Get it? Years ago, Lloyd Bentson hit Dan Quayle with that zinger, and are you are still reveling in that.

But that comment only makes me wonder how the modern left would have treated Lincoln, a hick from out west, who looked ugly and spoke with a homely accent, who did not win the popular vote, who put American citizens in jail without a trial and indeed suspended habeas corpus, not to mention waging war on half the country to vindicate his own election, and to confiscate the property (without just compensation), fixed elections, and was most decidedly a divider and not a uniter. Yep, clearly Yoo, and anyone else in the current administration, has no right to clam Lincoln's mantle.

You know, I found your blog searching for interesting information about legal matters. Instead I found a hack who only spouts the party line, however ludicrous and dangerous to our precious lives and freedom.

Posted by: Justin Walker | January 19, 2008 02:31 AM

Justin, use your surfing skills to look up the Bybee Memo and read it because if you had you would never of made the claim "by the way, it is a credible reading of relevant law-" The Bybee Memo goes against more Federal and International Laws than there is space to name here. BTW, that Memo was withdrawn for exactly that reason. Yoo not only deserves to be sued by Padilla, but by every American, and should suffer more than just a civil suit since his actions border on criminal behavior seen at the Hague.

Posted by: Smiley | January 19, 2008 02:58 AM

"Is it supposed to be an advance of human rights to punish a lawyer for giving legal advice?"

What bilge! What absolute piffle! As if it didn't matter what the advice was, or whether it conformed with the law in the slightest. You sir are an apologist for villains.

Posted by: fzdybel | January 19, 2008 04:31 AM

Yoo is a narcissist with a borderline personality who cannot relate to the obscene injustice that he has inflicted on people in his immoral quest for torturing --- not only terrorists but anyone who disagrees with his sadistic enjoyment of causing physical, mental, and emotional harm to another human being. Yoo was not elected to make laws or determine America's right to torture, nevertheless he took it upon himself to do so as a hired henchman of the executive branch and he will be forced to face his chagrin alone, as a mass murderer who committed pernicious crimes against humanity.

Of course, Yoo will attempt to deny the truth of his hideous soul --- with his soft voice and quite demeanor, but the proof belies his grounds for plausible deniability. Basically men like Yoo are pusillanimous prima donnas without a purpose or reason to exist beyond their own selfish needs, believing the world revolves around them. They are not here for the good of humankind, they're narcissistic elitists who think they're better than the masses. What kind of miasma flows from Yoo's pores to disregard his accountability for illegally writing laws that would allow our country to torture? --- God knows how many innocent women, children, and men he has terrorized to death through his barbarism.

For our own sake as well as Yoo's ability to evolve beyond his inhumanity, we must hold him accountable --- if not here then another way for committing brutal crimes against humanity and treason against America where torture had always been deemed as an act so severe and malignant that only the devil himself could commit it. Yoo is as guilty as he is evil.

Posted by: ldp | January 19, 2008 04:55 AM

Is Yoos pain of the same intensity as loss of a limb or major organ failure?
No?
Well then, no harm, no foul, baby.

Posted by: dijetlo | January 19, 2008 07:10 AM

As a lawyer myself, I am ashamed of Yoo, Addington and their ilk in this most lawless of presidential administrations. They are like the Nazi lawyers and jurists who did everything possible to cloak the human rights violations of Hitler's regime in a veneer of legality. Yoo's disgraceful torture memo should itself be viewed as a kind of war crime, an opinion so palpably contrary to law that it could never stand as the basis of a defense to torture. In this sense he's far more culpable than those operating under cover of it. I'd like to see HIM prosecuted for war crimes.

Posted by: Redhand | January 19, 2008 08:05 AM

Shame on Yoo!

Posted by: willandjansdad | January 19, 2008 08:32 AM

Sovereign Immunity apparently doesn't cover officials who are breaking the law, or attempting to break the law, in the performance of their duties. A lawyer couldn't give Governor Jindal the advice that, since graft in Louisiana is traditional, it would be OK for him to take millions of dollars in bribes.

This lawsuit, therefore, raises a nice legal question: was John Yoo's advice an attempt to counsel the White House that it was OK to break the law?

Here my understanding of the law is weak. Can Padilla's lawyers insist that a jury make the decision.

George's armor of Presidential Privilege is a very rusty mail shirt. as the links disintegrate, his posture becomes more and more exposed.

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | January 19, 2008 10:09 AM

"So because Yoo says that waterboarding, which is not torture, is not torture, then he is responsible for people doing things that are torture, or at least illegal treatment."

The problem is that your legal claim to that is John Yoo's opinion that waterboarding, which was clearly illegal before JY's opinion.

Your pettifoggery is particularly pullulating.

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | January 19, 2008 10:15 AM

It's lovely to see how well our freedom is appreciated here. Consider these responses:

"As if it didn't matter what the advice was, or whether it conformed with the law in the slightest. You sir are an apologist for villains"

"The Bybee Memo goes against more Federal and International Laws than there is space to name here."

"Yoo's disgraceful torture memo should itself be viewed as a kind of war crime, an opinion so palpably contrary to law..."

"This lawsuit, therefore, raises a nice legal question: was John Yoo's advice an attempt to counsel the White House that it was OK to break the law?"

"The problem is that your legal claim to that is John Yoo's opinion that waterboarding, which was clearly illegal before JY's opinion." (By the way, I am sure you can cite the statute, decision, constitutional provision, or (barf) international law that makes this clear, right? Right?)

First and foremost if you actually read the Bybee Memo, like say here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/documents/dojinterrogationmemo20020801.pdf you see in fact a respectable and reasonable reading of the law. There is nothing as flagrantly incompetent or illegal in the argument that imagined by the writers here.

The bigger canard in all of these arguments is that it doesn't discuss the possibility that a law (especially an international law) might be unconstitutional, or that what is considered constitutional might change, something the memo does in fact talk about.

For instance, suppose a lawyer advised Lawrence in Lawrence v. Texas that he should continue to engage in homosexuality, he is an evil man? Oh, except the Texas law he violated was unconstitutional, and even the constitutional decision, the supreme court said, was wrong, too. I am pretty sure you liberals liked that unlawful behavior, right?

All this represents is the latest version of the left's attitude of freedom for me and not for thee, all under the mission creep of "human rights" (meaning the human rights of people who want to kill innocents, and not the human rights of those innocents). You can look at what is happening to Mark Steyn or Ezra Levant (goggle them and the words "human rights commission" and get an education).

In a free society it should be out of the question to haul a lawyer into court for legal advice. And when the president is a democrat accused of doing something wrong after legal advice, I am sure all these liberal opinions will change. Because in the end it is the party at issue and not the principle.

Shakespeare once famously said "first, kill all lawyers." What people forget was that Shakespeare put these words in the mouth of a fascist determined to overthrow freedom. Even Shakespeare recognized that attorneys are vital to our freedom. To the extent that their behavior goes overboard it is much more a reflection of the clients than the lawyers.

Which raises another canard mentioned here:

"They are like the Nazi lawyers and jurists who did everything possible to cloak the human rights violations of Hitler's regime in a veneer of legality."

The author forgets two pertinent facts. First, the Nazis actually criminalized certain legal opinions, of which this action again Yoo is only a lesser example.

Second, it wasn't the lawyers who killed the jews and so on. It was the soldiers. So this represents the latest example of the pathology that we blame lawyers for their clients actually do.

What this suit is really about is how you much you just hate that Chimpy McHitlerburton in the White House and the overall fascist tendency to use our legal system to enforce liberal orthodoxy.

Posted by: Justin Walker | January 19, 2008 12:56 PM

"There is nothing as flagrantly incompetent or illegal in the argument that imagined by the writers here."

Sorry, but that is incorrect. Waterboarding is torture and a war crime.

Posted by: fzdybel | January 19, 2008 12:59 PM

Yoo is being sued for an incompetent opinion that caused grievous harm. It's a tort, dude. There is no question raised as to the legality of the act of giving the opinion. So that pretty well kicks your soapbox out from under you, yes?

Posted by: fzdybel | January 19, 2008 01:07 PM

My first impression the first time I heard John Yoo during an interview was "he was an extreme right wing neo-con wacko. As far as I am concerned he can be lined up with the rest of the neo-cons that have trashed our great country and shot.

Posted by: Joe | January 19, 2008 01:27 PM

When someone like Dr Martin Luther King decides to violate a law, say Alabama's anti Boycott law, on the principle that the law is wrong, he still violates the law. When the supreme Court decides that the law is unconstitutional, Dr King is still guilty of violating the law, and to get the violation off his record, he still needs some form of Executive Clemency. He did, after all, violate the law. The law he violated was sufficiently abhorrent that violating it, and doing his time in Birmingham Jail is worth it to overturn a bad law. Water Torture IS against the Geneva Conventions. It is against the UCMJ. It IS cruel and used to be, (for the U.S.) unusual punishment. John Yoo supposedly knew this. He was willing to argue that NOT being able to use water torture is some kind of abhorrent practice.

We understand that actual moral compass and Republican pragmatism regularly come into conflict, and moral compass never wins, but that doesn't make Republican Pragmatism moral.

Water Boarding and Water Torture are logical duals. the slight change in name did not change the nature of the crime. The water boarder is as criminal as the water torturer. Each believes that his personal ends justify his personal means.

Hint: The end cannot justify the means.

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | January 19, 2008 02:16 PM

fzdybel

"Waterboarding is torture and a war crime."

Well, with that well-reasoned and well-explained argument I am forced to admit you are right. (Yes, I am being sarcastic.)

"Yoo is being sued for an incompetent opinion that caused grievous harm. It's a tort, dude."

Actually, dude, it is not. And it has never been one before in American law, dude.

"There is no question raised as to the legality of the act of giving the opinion."

Actually that is what the suit is all about. Not acts, but words.

Joe

"As far as I am concerned he can be lined up with the rest of the neo-cons that have trashed our great country and shot."

Yeah, and what I really hate about them is their tendency toward fascism. (Yes, I am being sarcastic.)

ceflynline

"When the supreme Court decides that the law is unconstitutional, Dr King is still guilty of violating the law, and to get the violation off his record, he still needs some form of Executive Clemency."

Wrong. In the view of the Supreme Court, an unconstitutional law is no law at all. It is a purported law that violated the rules that govern lawmaking. For instance, suppose Nancy Pelosi claimed to pass a law with less than a majority vote? Or to override a presidential veto with less than the 2/3 votes needed to do that? We would say, whatever you claim to have done, you didn't pass a law. Well, just as the constitution puts on certain procedural requirements before a law is considered a law, likewise the constitution puts on substantive restraints on Congress and the states, too. So if Alabama puts in a "law" that is unconstitutional, its not a law at all.

"He was willing to argue that NOT being able to use water torture is some kind of abhorrent practice."

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed talked because of waterboarding and doing so stopped a number of operations from being carried. Was 9-11 an aberrant event? Would refusing to stop a similar attack be abhorrent? I would say yes, and yes.

"that doesn't make Republican Pragmatism moral."

Right. There is absolutely no moral considerations in saving the lives of innocent people. (Yes, I am being sarcastic.)

"The end cannot justify the means."

And a government so enfeebled that it cannot defend its citizens is not justified, either. It is illegitimate.

To all:

On the big picture, let me let Lincoln explain it to all of you:

"The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty, especially as the sheep is a black one."

George W. Bush has worked to drive the wolves from our throats for seven years, with the help of men like John Yoo. We expect the wolves to want a right to devour. I just didn't expect to see so much support among the sheep for the wolves' position.

Posted by: Justin Walker | January 19, 2008 03:08 PM

"Actually, dude, it is not. And it has never been one before in American law, dude."

Silly parrot, maintain all you like that a lawyer cannot commit a tort by giving a bad opinion. It avails you nothing.

Posted by: fzdybel | January 19, 2008 03:38 PM

And by the way, a tort need raise no question of legality whatsoever. Google it.

Posted by: fzdybel | January 19, 2008 03:45 PM

I don't need to debate with you here the one hundred years of settled law and precedent that makes waterboarding unequivocally a crime under U.S. law and international treaty. The jury will take that all in, no doubt. I hope that John Yoo enjoys the "process," as someone else put it, and I hope the damages are both punitive and exemplary.

Posted by: fzdybel | January 19, 2008 03:54 PM

"Justin doth protest too much, methihks" - Hamlet Act 3, Scene 2, 220-230

"The first thing we do is kill all of the Neocons." King Henry VI (Part 2) Act 4. Scene II

Posted by: | January 19, 2008 04:53 PM

"Silly parrot, maintain all you like that a lawyer cannot commit a tort by giving a bad opinion. It avails you nothing."

It can give your client a cause of action for malpractice, but padilla is not the client, dude.

"And by the way, a tort need raise no question of legality whatsoever. Google it."

Google it? I went to law school. And it is a weirdly fascist thing to say that you can be held liable for wholly legal conduct. That is tautologically untrue.

"the one hundred years of settled law and precedent that makes waterboarding unequivocally a crime under U.S. law and international treaty."

Actually, it is neither settled under law or precedent, and international treaty is only binding so long as we choose to honor it. You really don't understand the basics of international relations, do you? I mean seriously, have you heard of anyone in The Hague being even vaguely interested in investigating the behavior of China or Saudi Arabia. International law is meaningless on this subject.

And, do you really want to talk about what used to be done 100 years ago? I thought usually on these types of things liberals want to pretend the constitution was alive and changed to meet the times?

"The jury will take that all in, no doubt."

It won't even get to a jury. Even the liberal-talking-points spewing author of this blog knows that it will get kicked long before trial. And if I was the judge I would invoke Rule 11, and sanction the attorneys involved for bringing such a specious and dangerous suit.

"I don't need to debate with you"

Yeah, indeed, you don't even really need to think about too much of what you say, either. All this really amounts to, then is "hooray for our side." Really if you are determined to be such a cheerleader, why not wear pom-poms, too? I mean why else open your mouth if you aren't going to argue from anything deeper than google and bare unsupported assertion?

Now, here is the no-spin truth of all this.

Waterboarding is near the line between torture and legal treatment. Some say it crosses the line, some say it doesn't. Reasonable minds can disagree. But with the laws using mushy terms like "severe" its really hard to argue that the law clearly says one thing or the other. And therefore it is equally hard to say that his advice is so unreasonable and clearly wrong to be actionable.

And that is just it. What you want to do is pretend it is unreasonable for anyone to disagree with you, to the point that you would like to see him punished financially for the sin of having a disagreement on the interpretation of an at-best mushy law. How delightfully fascist.

The question you should ask yourself is this. Which would you rather have our authorities do? Err on the side of being nice to terrorists, or err on the side of protecting us from them?

An while you are at it, you might ask why you hate a man so much for, at worst, being overly enthusiastic in protecting your life and those of your brothers, sisters, and children? Because gee maybe you might figure out that George W. Bush is not really Chimpy McHitlerburton, but just a guy trying to do his job. My God, you are eager to be brainwashed, aren't you?

Posted by: Justin Walker | January 19, 2008 06:50 PM

justin, you need to re-read the constitution.
any treaty to which the us is signatory (that is, which has been approved by the senate and signed by the president) has the force of law.
the geneva conventions are such treaties.
torture is illegal under the geneva conventions (even if specific means of torture are not enumerated).
therefore torture is illegal under us law.
the events (war crimes trials) which led in turn to the geneva conventions defined waterboarding as torture and a war crime.
ergo waterboarding is torture under us law, and for a lawyer, even one who works for the government, to advocate breaking settled law should, at the very least, get him disbarred if not prosecuted.
++++++++
and on the mlk issue visited above:
mlk knowingly violated the law, EXPECTING TO ENDURE THE CONSEQUENCES (jail) in order to prove a larger point. Is John Yoo (or any other of the legal cretins who enabled this outlaw administration) willing to do the same? Hah! as we know now from long and sad experience, accountability is an unknown concept among these people.

Posted by: harveykek | January 19, 2008 07:04 PM

"any treaty to which the us is signatory (that is, which has been approved by the senate and signed by the president) has the force of law."

Check it again. How do you cancel a treaty? I know, but you apparently don't.

"torture is illegal under the geneva conventions (even if specific means of torture are not enumerated)."

Which means that unless we are sure it is torture, its legality is questionable at best.

"to advocate breaking settled law"

Except it is not settled and if it was settled would be dubious constitutionally.

"mlk knowingly violated the law, EXPECTING TO ENDURE THE CONSEQUENCES (jail) in order to prove a larger point."

You don't think he also asked to be freed on the argument that it was unconstitutional to arrest him?

I find it interesting that you want to treat Yoo just like the segregationists treated MLK, that you are citing it as an example to be emulated. All for the crime of trying to protect us. How dare he? What the Bush administration should have done was chase women for 8 years like the Clintons did.

Posted by: Justin Walker | January 19, 2008 07:18 PM

justin, just who is the brain-washed here? Obviously you who has fallen under the bush-cheney spell where everything they do and say is legal because they do and say so.
I want you and all who say that waterboarding is not torture to place yourself in that postion. Let some professionals put you through the process and let's see if you still think it is not torutre.
I do not get your tortured logic.

Posted by: mike l | January 19, 2008 07:19 PM

Mike

"justin, just who is the brain-washed here? Obviously you who has fallen under the bush-cheney spell where everything they do and say is legal because they do and say so."

Clearly instead of seeing me, you see only your stereotype of me. Otherwise I wouldn't have written this above:

"Waterboarding is near the line between torture and legal treatment. Some say it crosses the line, some say it doesn't. Reasonable minds can disagree. But with the laws using mushy terms like "severe" its really hard to argue that the law clearly says one thing or the other. And therefore it is equally hard to say that his advice is so unreasonable and clearly wrong to be actionable.

"And that is just it. What you want to do is pretend it is unreasonable for anyone to disagree with you, to the point that you would like to see him punished financially for the sin of having a disagreement on the interpretation of an at-best mushy law. How delightfully fascist.

The issue ISN'T whether waterboarding is legal or not, or at least not directly. That issue is subordinate to the issue of whether a person who advises the President that it is legal should actually be held civilly liable for expressing an opinion. The happy fascists in this thread say yes. And if I am the only one to stand for the proposition that a lawyer should be free to give his client advice without fear that he will be held liable for his clients' behavior, or that we will not punish a man financially for having an opinion on that subject you don't agree with, then fine. It only shows me how fascist the left has become.

"I want you and all who say that waterboarding is not torture to place yourself in that postion"

Lol, so the logic is unless it is something you would want to subject yourself to, it is torture?

I wouldn't want to be locked in a prison cell. So by your logic I guess that is torture, too. I wouldn't want to live in Texas in the Summer without A/C, so I guess that is torture, too. I wouldn't want to be forced to listen to Barney music 24/7, so I guess that is torture too (who knew so many of American children are torture artists).

"I do not get your tortured logic."

Nothing "tortured" about it. A lawyer shout not be held liable for his legal opinions, except maybe to the client and only under unusual circumstances. Read the actual memo and tell it is anything but an attempt to outlaw certain forbidden opinions. That is fascism.

But then, to paraphrase from South Park:

"'Isn't that fascism, Dad?'

"'No, because we don't call it fascism.'"

Posted by: Justin Walker | January 19, 2008 10:10 PM

School us, Justin.

If it's not malpractice (and I agree with that; Yoo had no duty to Padilla), it wouldn't be negligence, but if I were drafting this complaint (which I haven't seen), I'd allege an intentional tort. I'd allege that Yoo's opinion was so ridiculous that no reasonable attorney would have rendered it, except as part of an intentional effort to turn the government loose to torture and commit the tort of battery. The natural and reasonable consequences of that act would then be the torture of the plaintiff, who suffered injury and damages. So I don't really understand your position that a lawyer giving legal advice can never be found liable for a civil tort; seems to me that he or she could be liable if his advice were part of an intentional scheme to commit or cause the commission of a tort. This stands a chance of beating a motion to dismiss, maybe. Summary judgment would be tougher, so you might be right; it might never reach a jury. But you are awfully quick to dismiss the theory. Maybe I'm missing something. Lecture me; it has been a long time since torts class.

Seems like the defense would have to be that Padilla can't raise a genuine issue of material fact (in lay terms, a real dispute that a jury could actually decide) over whether Yoo intended to cause harm unlawfully, because Padilla can't piece together enough evidence in discovery that Yoo's advice really was part of an intentional scheme to harm, as legally incorrect or flat-out wrong as it might have been.

My money says this suit results in Yoo having to sit for the deposition before the case is over.

Posted by: ExAUSA | January 19, 2008 10:11 PM

Just caught your last post.

"A lawyer shout not be held liable for his legal opinions, except maybe to the client and only under unusual circumstances."

I'm looking for more from you, Justin. I'm aware of lawyers being held criminally liable for giving advice that aided and abetted a criminal conspiracy, and those convictions have withstood appellate challenge. I'm with you on the "unusual circumstances" part, and I'm suggesting that Yoo's advice gives room to allege some fairly unusual circumstances. But I'm betting that the legal standard is not "unusual circumstances." It's probably an act intended to cause unconsented offensive contact to another, with the act having caused the unconsented offensive contact, the plaintiff having been damaged.

But don't let me play the expert here. Perhaps you have your hornbook handy.

Posted by: ExAUSA | January 19, 2008 10:28 PM

John Yoo asks for our sympathy? Not a chance. He has, as the author rightly points out, done more damage to our country than a nest of spys or terrorists.
I grew up poor in the Phila. area,, and scraped and worked my way through college, and was given nothing. I sure would have liked to have had the schooling our country gave this guy.I would not have misused it as he did.
He will burn in hell for his smug arrogance.

Posted by: thopaine | January 20, 2008 09:13 AM

Justin Walker--you are off base. Woo was not "just" a lawyer.He created policy and took other neo-con's policies and dressed them in Harvardonian legal-speak.
Does the suit allege misuse of legal license?Make him answer. He used his legal education and license to blow up our constitution and way of life.
PS: Are you a lawyer,by chance? Most lawyers bristle at the idea of being themselves sued, but show no mercy to others-" it's just my job."

Posted by: thopaine | January 20, 2008 09:22 AM

I understand that the white house pays bloggers to respond and defend to articles like these. Does anyone believe Justin Walker's out-of-the gate claim that he just happened to be surfing and accidentally came across this article? Talk about protesting too much...

Posted by: thopiane | January 20, 2008 09:32 AM

Walker is right, John Yoo has done nothing wrong in issuing an unpopular opinion on a policy matter. Whoever posted above that Yoo can be held responsible b/c he crafted policy is wrong as well and doesn't understand the role of lawyers in the federal policy-making prcess. Lawyers don't make policy, they only offer legal advice and opinions regarding possible policy options. Even in the Justice Department, lawyers like Yoo serve an advisory role, the ultimate responsibility is on the bureacrats and professionals to craft policy.

On another note, the Third Geneva Convention, the Convention about prisoner treatment, clearly defines who is elegible for its protections. Also, the Constitution clearly states under what circumstances a citizen of the US may lose his/her citizenship. One case is joining the armed forces of an enemy or other country. Such an act results in an automatic forfeiture of citizenship. Jose Padilla did just that.

What amazes me is the dishonesty on the part of the left. The fact is that Jose Padilla took up arms against the US, thereby voiding his citizenship and all its pursuant rights. The left and its legal agents conveniently ignore this fact because it contradicts their belief that laws, usually the most friendly ones, cover everyone no matter what. The fact of the matter is that Jose Padilla also voided his Geneva conventions protections by joining an illegal combatant group. The Third Geneva Convention clearly outlines four requirements for legal combat ations and combatant groups.

If combatants are members of the official armed forces of states party or; 1) if they wear an insignia distinguishable at a distance during combat (i.e. a uniform); 2) if they fight in organized, defined units with a definite command structure; 3) if they conduct themselves according to the laws of war; and 4) if they seperate and distinguih themselves from the civilian population.

Al-Qaeda does none of these things and so its members, including Padilla, are not entitled to Geneva's legal protections. In sum, since Padilla joined a foreign military group, against the US, he has resigned his citizenship and its legal protections. Since he joined an illegal combatant organization, he has voided his Geneva Conventions protections. Therefore, it is not illegal to hold him indefinitely nor to interrogate him in such a way that may cause him harm, whether permanent or temporary. And it is certainly not illegal to advise policy-makers of these relevant cricumstances

Posted by: Archimedes | January 20, 2008 12:13 PM

Yoo faces bigger problems than Padilla's civil suit.

Torture is a war crime, which is also a federal crime. Torture itself is a separate federal crime. The use of governmental authority, following orders, and necessity are not defenses to a war crime.

Those who order or participate in the preparation of orders for war crimes to be carried out by others are criminally responsible.

Yoo faces no prospect of indictment by the Bush Administration. But a new President taking office on January 20, 2009 may well see it differently when the full detail of Bush Administration misconduct is disclosed.

You should consider a column about this. The question is whether Congress followed the Nuremburg doctrine that there is no statute of limitations on war crimes when it enacted the statutes making war crimes and torture federal crimes

Posted by: Richard | January 20, 2008 01:30 PM

Yoo is not only "Mister Torture", his Yale Law degree didn't protect him from an abysmal knowledge of the crime of perjury. In a WSJ article (there is one almost daily by him), he referred to President Clinton"s "perjury". As any first year law student knows, perjury is the willful falsehood of a material fact under oath. Whether Clinton's having voluntary oral sex with an adult was "sexual relations", and conceding that it was, it was not material to the issue whether he had exposed himself many years earlier to an unwilling victim. The judge in the Jones case specifically so held and excluded testimony of his relationship with Lewinsky from being considered at the civil trial. Clinton may have been guilty of false swearing, but not as Yoo, has claimed, of perjury. There have been other references to Clinton having committed perjury in the Jones case in the WSJ but that sad excuse for a paper will not print a rebuttal or correction.

Posted by: Seabrook | January 20, 2008 02:23 PM

The best punishment for Yoo (who John Aschroft himself despised) is that NO decent law school will ever hire him again, and that amongst his own peers, he is shunned forever.

Perhaps he can teach Civics at a local community college. He does, after all, have to eat.

Posted by: Mary | January 20, 2008 03:06 PM

Could Yoo advocate child rape? Could Yoo advocate mass murder?

If it was just an argument, on how to do it and how to get away with it?

The brown shirts who defend this wad of snot that masquerades as a human being are worse than the monster himself.

PS the constitution provides for the suspension of Habeas Corpus in the event of invasion or INSURRECTION. See thats why its was legal for Lincoln (who ratified it with congress) and illegal for Bush, but I'm sure Justin Walker will make some south park reference to defend his brave torturin' heroes, while he himself is too much of a coward to enlist.


Posted by: feckless | January 20, 2008 03:13 PM

That there are apologists for Yoo on this forum is not surprising. That these "patriots" have the unmitigated gall to assert that waterboarding and other so-called enhanced techniques have kept Americans safe since September 2001 is disgusting.

Has anyone noticed how little proof, if any at all, these Yoo and Addington supporters have for this assertion? Less than Bush's own claim that a plot to bomb Los Angeles was thwarted in 2002. Dubya even got the building's name wrong. A former high ranking NSC official said this plot was a "what if" scenario. That terrorsi ring in Miami? A laughable farce. Don't take my word for it. Check out MSNBC's site:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16893899/

Too many neo-con apologists submit posts that are factually challenged. So, don't cry for John Yoo. Cry for our country, which for years has been run by people like John Yoo.

Posted by: CRix | January 20, 2008 03:24 PM

Someone here mentioned that Yoo was someone whom even John Ashcroft himself despised. You may have heard about the hospital incident. We are talking about right wing John Ashcroft. The guy who couldn't even tolerate the breast on the statue of Lady Justice. Can you even imagine how bad it must have been? It is chilling to think what America would look like today if it were not for the obstinacy of Ashcroft; Ashcroft is one villain who may be a hero.

According to the Washington Post's Geoffrey Stone,
Most illuminating about War by Other Means, however, are the arguments that unnerve rather than persuade. Yoo's defense of the administration's decisions about torture, surveillance, detention and due process will send a chill down the spine of anyone committed to living to a ripe old age. Yoo asserts that Bush administration officials acted in good faith, but his reasoning reveals that they frequently acted with bad judgment.

Did you know, for example, that the commander-in-chief has the unqualified authority to decide "who to detain and how to detain them"? that the president has the unqualified authority to use torture? that the president has the unqualified authority to decide who gets a heart attack? Talk about Orwellian.

This is an extreme, reckless and dangerous view. That it has shaped the policies of our government is nothing short of irresponsible. Even U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Richard A. Posner, no slouch when it comes to advocating the aggressive use of government power to combat terrorism, has charged that Yoo's "extravagant interpretation of presidential authority . . . confuses commanding the armed forces with exercising dictatorial control" of the sort exercised by "a Hitler or a Stalin."

In his own way, Yoo has done Americans a great service. Not only has he offered useful insights into the reasoning of the Bush administration, but he has exposed that reasoning to the harsh light of day. His conception of our Constitution -- and that of the Bush administration -- must be resoundingly repudiated by Congress, the courts and the American people.

One only has to look into the Comments section of the Washington Post online to find the consequences of this evil. The torture of Islamiacs, while unconscionable, is a red herring. The truth is what they were engaged in was the torture (and much more) of one of the leading business and political competitors of the Bush administration and its collaborators.

Wes Teel, the Gulf Coast Realist, won the Heart and Stroke Lottery January 1st.

John Yoo may have caused more harm to America than Osama bin Laden. It is coming time for the Bushies, one by one, to learn the meaning of American justice. (applause)

Posted by: Singing Senator | January 20, 2008 10:07 PM

This is a familiar refrain: Autocratic official doesn't give a damn about human rights until he is accused of a crime. Then he sings a different tune. That cell block must have some interesting bedfellows. Who knows, Mr. Yoo might even share a bunk w/ Mr. Pinochet.

Posted by: sys@hobbit | January 20, 2008 11:08 PM

I really don't care about Mr. Justin Walker. He has a perfect right to his idiot opinions, and it is virtually inconceivable that any amount of information will change them.

So can the rest of you just ignore him? Maybe the whole thing will exceed his limited attention span, and he will go away.

Posted by: Tim Connor | January 21, 2008 01:28 AM

The day is fast approaching when the average American will be destitute and know it. Perhaps people like Woo who are responsible for getting America to this pass are hoping that they will be able to slip away in the night to live sumptious lives in some foreign country? Perhaps, but my take is the bozos in the current administration haven't a clue as to the weight that is descending upon them.

Posted by: GaryLawrence | January 21, 2008 01:35 AM

Archimedes; You are mistaken. Lawyers are supposed not to make policy,true. But,Woo did.You tell me I do not understand the role(as it should be) of lawyers in the federal system. I do understand that role, and how Woo subverted it.You describe the world as it should be, not as it was under this crowd. Big difference.He is a dangerous idealogue,not a journey man attorney.

Once he crossed that line, he became fair game. Let him go to a deposition and tell us what and why he did what he did. If there is no cause of action, the suit will be dismissed.
The public has a right to know how America was led into the deep,deep morass it is in, by people like YOO...."just following orders,folks". right...
Dishonesty of the left? Your slip is showing. You are not a thoughtful commentator on the role of lawyers in the federal juduciary,rather a name-calling bigot. How about I call you a rigid, know nothing, right wing neo con nut job?
How does that help the argument.
Too bad, because you had some thoughts to offer until you slipped back into the mode of labeler and name caller.( the dastardly " LEFT" --run for cover!)That made you irrelevant to the discussion.

Posted by: thopaine | January 21, 2008 08:51 AM

The problems for the nation, as a result of Mr. Yoo's lawyering on the terror question include: 1) we, as common citizens, don't know where we stand vis a vis habeas corpus, as a result of the Padilla case; 2) we, as common citizens, are being forced to plea bargain amongst ourselves as to whether our government does or does not torture, thanks to Mr. Yoo's legal theories; and, 3) we, as common citizens, are looking at a president who appears to be using the "divine right of kings" defense to shield himself and his subordinates from any further scrutiny into the various questions that relate to the way military forces have been used since 2003, at how terror suspects have been treated (or tortured) under the law, and at how Americans in this country may have been spied upon under unconstitutional rules and techniques (including "workarounds" on warrants) and which appear to give telecom companies amnesty for contract work in said spying on Americans.

Thank you, Mr. Yoo.

Posted by: dirigo | January 21, 2008 09:06 AM

It's very nice that Mr. Yoo, like any government lawyer, can rely on the "you can't sue Caesar" rule for any civil challenges that may come along.

However, aren't we well beyond that when it comes to Mr. Yoo's lawyering on questions relating to habeas corpus (flowing from the Padilla case); torture (Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and "extraordinary rendition); and the various supplemental opinions, largely flowing through the White House Office of Legal Counsel (illegal wiretaps on Americans residing in this country, telecom contracts and amnesty)?

How is a common citizen supposed to know now how or whether habeas corpus is or isn't working these days?

How is a common citizen supposed to understand whether the government tortures or not, since the question is being lawyered to death?

How is a common citizen supposed to evaluate a president who seems to claim powers nearly equivalent to those claimed Charles I of England in the 1640s - rule by the divine right of a king?

How can Mr. Yoo help us today with some of these questions from us common folk?

Posted by: dirigo | January 21, 2008 10:01 AM

Recent Frontonline documentary revealed that the staff of the Justice Department had a nickname for Yoo. He was "Mr. Yes." His sole objective was to ingratiate himself with the White House.

Posted by: Clay | January 21, 2008 02:12 PM

The legal parrying and thrusting is interesting, probably even more so for lawyers, but it ignores the real consequences of actions of people like John Yoo. Ignoring consequences appears to be a Bush Administration hallmark.

It's fine to say you don't care about what the rest of the world thinks, but many other nations, as well as Americans, take guidance from offical American policy. When that policy is counter to human rights ideals we claim to espouse, it gives license to others to devalue these ideals as well.

On the issue of waterboarding as torture, the legal argument is meaningless if the process (waterboarding) is useless. Many of the claims made of attacks prevented and lives saved as a result of our interrogation techniques have not held up to scrutiny. On other claims we're left taking the administration's word for it, since they provide no evidence but their own assurances. KSM is supposed to have claimed (after interrogation) to have been a primary participant in almost three dozen terrorist acts - claims that have been shown to have been false because other evidence implicated others, because he could not have occupied all the times and places at the same time and because his own statements were contradictory.

This administration has a well established reputation for placing more weight than is warranted on evidence from sources of incredibly questionable repute. 'Curveball' springs to mind.

President Bush hastens to tell us that we can't possibly believe what terrorists or madmen say (Saddam must have been lying) and then turn around and base military actions on the words of the same sorts of people, as though torture is a means for divining truth, rather than whatever a sufferer thinks the torturer wants to hear.

It's hard to see how history looks favorably on this era. A nation's character is much like an individual's: it reveals itself when it is under stress. It is well and good to breeze around telling other nations how to treat people when we are doing well - it is telling how quickly we abandon those principles when we feel threatened.

Posted by: Scott E | January 21, 2008 03:51 PM

John Yoo and his bosses and accomplices have done this country great harm. It is difficult not to wish him ill.

Posted by: frodot | January 21, 2008 04:30 PM

Comments on the two following quotations attributed to Yoo.

"They use cases such as Padilla's to harass the men and women in our government, force the revelation of valuable intelligence and press novel theories that have failed at the ballot box and before the president and Congress," Yoo laments. "'Lawfare' has become another dimension of warfare."

"But what about the soldiers, agents and officers who have to respond to the next 9/11 or foreign threat? They will have to worry about personal liability, hiring lawyers."

Comment 1 -- Yoo's idea of "lawfare" forcing soldiers to hire lawyers for acts taken responding to the next "9/11" is wrong on the most basic level. No such person has to hire a lawyer. Government lawyers will defend them. Padilla's suit is going nowhere and Yoo knows it. If he does't he is a truly lousy lawyer. If Yoo has hired a lawyer it is only because he wants his lawyers to file grandstanding papers while the real government lawyers get the case dismissed.

Second, it is interesting that Yoo is analogizing himself to a first responder, and suggesting that "terrorists" using "lawfare" to force him to reveal his legal theories supporting torture are somehow gaining an advantage in the war on terror. Yoo is just indulging an inflated view of his own importance by imagining that Osama bin Laden is sitting by the campfire saying "if only I can get access to Yoo's legal research, then I can defeat the Americans!" What self-important blowhard Yoo is.

On the merits of Yoo's torture memos, Yoo's own (former?) friend and colleague Jack goldsmith criticized and essentially withdrew official support for Yoo's legal reasoning supporting torture. Yoo's work helps Osama bin Laden because it shows we are just as willing to terrorize as they are, so we're down on their level. Yoo's "cure" for terrorism is worse than the disease.

Posted by: Texas Attorney | January 21, 2008 05:03 PM

Johnny, you will get your day in Court - unlike those in Guantanamo Bay who are called the worst of the worst by George the Village Idiot.

My bet is that you will find a way to escape responsibility for your contribution to the shredding of constitutionalism.

I do not feel sorry for you. I hope that the trial exposes you and makes the events behind the horror story that you authored transparent.

Boo Hoo Johnny Yoo(
(forgive me I just could help myself)

Posted by: Robert James | January 21, 2008 08:19 PM

Thanks for the chuckle, Walker. After the lengthy paragraphs of point by point legal discussion and defense of all the things pro-Bush, you finally get to the worn out old Bush-loyalist line, "You all are just Bush-haters!".
After all the effort at eloquence it's still right out of the trailer park, "Not a chance in hell THIS government has done ANYthing wrong because you're just a buncha' libruls!"
What a pitiful and desperate defense, just because they're Republicans.

Posted by: SamBrown | January 22, 2008 08:51 AM

"All for the crime of trying to protect us. How dare he (Yoo)?" - Justin W. 01/19/08, 7:19 pm post

The logic behind that sounds all too much like the Army Officer in Vietnam who said, "The village had to be destroyed to save it."


Sam you nailed it with Justin W. It's still about the Clintons with him - "What the Bush administration should have done was chase women for 8 years like the Clintons did." - Justin W. 01/19/08, 7:19 pm post

Very sad when yuou think about it. Just think what's going to happen to his fragile psyche 364 days from now when he hears Chief Justice Roberts say "Madam President!"

Posted by: DC | January 22, 2008 12:08 PM

I thought that a lawyer who advised the client to violate the law was just as culpable.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | January 22, 2008 02:02 PM

Mr. Yoo's slapdash opinions have caused great damage to the standing of the United States around the world. He should never work for the U.S. Government again. We ARE better than the terrorists, but only if we hold on to the basic values passed down in the Bill of Rights and in the international agreements Mr. Yoo so casually set aside.

Posted by: Karl Shipps | January 22, 2008 08:23 PM

Please join me in calling for the ouster of this villain from the staff at Berkeley...the last thing we need is any lawyers with his bias! It is a shameful travesty that this person was given any credibility in making our nation one that torturers routinely those given some bogus classification that makes them legally non-persons, a person who gave a "green" light to the grasping hands of those Fascists, George and Dick, a man that was instrumental in crafting the greatest constitutional ideological evisceration in out history! This man is a traitor and should join George and his fellow travelers in the docks at the Hague!

Posted by: Chaotician | January 22, 2008 11:51 PM

Walker -- One thing I have to hand to you -- "Chimpy McHitlerburton" is truly priceless, an exaggeration that tells the story well.

Chaotician -- don't run Yoo out of boalt. It will just enhance his sense of victimized self-importance. Also, an erroneous theory like his, systematically worked out, often advances the cause of truth more clearly than reasoning from valid premises. If you take a class from him though, don't listen when he says he can give an "A" to a well reasoned argument against his position. Shovel King George right back at him.

Posted by: Texas Attorney | January 23, 2008 11:24 AM

Re: calling the Bybee memo "...a respectable and reasonable reading of the law."
Respectable and reasonable to those among us who believe torture to be a reasonable instrument and are looking for the fig leaf to hide it from the public and the legal shield to sanction it and protect its executors.
What's the word for a lawyer who uses his skills to substantiate the letter of the law while destroying its spirit?
A disgusting miscreant's advice to a disgusting and immoral administration is what I call this memo and its author.

Posted by: hasapiko | January 23, 2008 01:31 PM

"..put him through the meat grinder."

Yes, please do.

Posted by: James Bowen | January 23, 2008 02:09 PM

Men such as Mr. Walker should start their own page and exhault thier own importance to anyone who will listen. Big words aside, his philosphy is totally self serving and has nothing to do with what most American's believe to be right. People have an instinct as to what is right and wrong. We the US decided torture was illegal and ourselves honored that in the international treaties. We believed in being intelligent about what torture actually brought to the table and chose NOT to use it as it didn't work (not to mention how immoral it was and is.) Mr. Woo used "international" vs "national" interests to expand power. To hell with torture, it was about power! Period.
If Mr. Woo wanted to go against international law he certainly chose the right time to do so. It was all the rage. Cowboy stuff. "If you are not with us, you are against us." I believe that by standing alone, Mr. Bush's impulsive rush to war needed a change in the law. Enter Mr. Woo. (Not a great excuse for the huge power grab and presidential powers debate that would follow.) Let's also not forget Mr. Cheney's belief that Nixon destroyed the power of the presidency and his need to restore it...9/11 was a "God Send". The whole affair was set up to expand such power from the ecomony on down. By using the Republican philosophy of less gov except when it came to protection allowed him to pander to a greater base. Timely, I think not. Contrived, most likely. Purely Repulican, no, just a means to an end.
Mr. Woo's "law" may have won a temp. battle but is seriously loosing the war as seen in his blantant whining in the op-ed.
Again, "poor Mr. Woo." He helped damage our standing in the world and did so without OUR permission. (Just write new laws and use our name in executing them. WHAT?????! no wonder there is so much hate spewed his way on this blog.) Wrong is wrong.
People have measured our success on just such international laws. We were very intrumental in writing those said laws. Doing the right thing is what most American's are proudest of. Our national idenity has been threatened and believe me, I know of no one who believes torture is a means of protection. No intelligent person, anyway. Don't mess with us! Don't mess up who we are by clouding the issues based on a security that does not work. It's self serving crap!
So Mr. Walker went to law school. Congrats. "The more you know the more you know nothing." Talk your self blue in the face and you can believe in anything. I do not hate lawyers, quite the opposit. I am quite smart enough to make up my own mind as to what is right or wrong and certainly do not need blow hards more interested in their own importance to educate me. Expanding the great office at the expense of our national idenity was NOT in Mr. Woo's job description. Changing America's philosophy needs a debate, not a signing statement! The president and vice president used a national tragedy for more importance and power. More than shame needs to be visited to them, a trial and public hanging for treason and graft would be the most expediant way towards real change.
Mr. Woo, Mr. Addington, Mr. Cheney, Mr. Bush, Mr. Rumsfeld, Ms. Condi Rice and Mr. Tenent have broken not just international and national laws they have broken the laws of MANKIND! The whole administration is an example of pathetic incompetence. They have set the stage for a debate on who we are and what we stand for. They are the poster children of what NOT TO DO.
They will not win this arguement based on legal jargin alone for their whole premise is wrong and most people do the right thing in the end. Yes, in the end the law will hold the final answer and one can only pray that those Mr. Bush placed on the supreme court actually listen to the people of this land they share and not just base their opinions on whom they owe the most. That would be a tragedy and further expand this administrations mistakes.
Change is great if it is change in the right direction. Mr. Woo and a number of "great legal minds" have set us back decades.

Posted by: Nancy C | January 23, 2008 05:36 PM

doesn't Yoo's position at the time of the writing of the memos mean that he was acting in an official capacity and can't that mean DOJ lawyers have to represent him? and if not, wouldn't he have liability insurance like so many govt officials that would pay for his defense?

Posted by: Fed Lawyers to take Case? | January 24, 2008 03:37 PM

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