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Re: “John Yoo to Be Indicted Soon

Patrick, are you actually denying these two statements as facts- - ?
"the known facts of what John Yoo did -- authorizing torture in violation of US and international law"
"he was . . . enabling torture."

Are you saying that his legal opinion did not authorize torture, or are you saying that what his legal opinions authorized are not torture. The former is indisputably true - CIA officials relied on his opinions to conduct interrogations outline in his legal memo. The latter goes to the merits, and I could see your objection - though, if you are disputing that waterboarding is no torture, then (a) you don't fully understand why waterboarding is so effective - it is not simulated drowning, but rather controlled drowning which triggers an involuntary panic in the person it is used on; or (b) you are engaging in precisely the same intellectual dishonesty that John Yoo did by stretching the definition of a given code beyond recognizability.

But none of this is important. What is known as a fact is that at BEST, the legal status of waterboarding and other techniques used on terrorist subjects was UNSETTLED LAW. Maybe the Supreme Court will someday find that the use of such tactics is legal. But that question is still far from clear. John Yoo and others issued legal memorandum stating that it was legal to use these tactics on detainees. This is a factually incorrect assertion, because the law was (and is) so far from close to condoning those tactics. Thus, John Yoo lied in his memos, and he should have known that he was lying. For that, yes, he should be fired by Boalt.

Posted by Austin on 04/17/2009 at 5:53 PM

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