Friday, January 30, 2009

John Yoo, torture cheerleader

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I think it's hilarious that one of the Bush Administration's leading proponents of torture -- in fact, the very guy, a DoJ official, who wrote the infamous memos that authorized the use of torture -- has come out against Obama's decision to close Gitmo and end the use of torture. That's right, John Yoo, in an op-ed yesterday in the WSJ, argues that "these actions... will also seriously handicap our intelligence agencies from preventing future terrorist attacks."

Really? The U.S. has to torture people to wage the war on terror? How utterly ridiculous -- and yet just more of the same from the people who waged such a flawed war, in the process trampling the Constitution and destroying America's moral credibility and standing around the world. What Yoo clearly wants is for America to be a nation that tortures. And it isn't just him. As Think Progress notes, he "makes it perfectly clear that Bush himself directly and explicitly ordered torture, including the waterboarding of at least three detainees." Yoo wrote the memos, but the decision to torture was made at the highest level.

It's a new day, though, and it is Obama, not Bush, who is making decisions at the highest level. And while a goon like Yoo can lament all he wants in the right-wing pages of the WSJ or in the right-wing corridors of the AEI that all you need is torture and more torture, America is already, just over a week into the Obama presidency, moving past the damage and degradation of the Bush years. At a time of renewal, of a return to America's core principles and of working again towards the realization of her most noble ideals, Yoo's cheerleading is exposed all the more for the barbarism that it is.


For more on Yoo's pro-torture cheerleading, see Larisa Alexandrovna, Stephen Webster at The Raw Story, and Brian Tamanaha at Balkinization.

See also my posts on the un-American constitutionalism of John Yoo, John Yoo's dangerous idiocy, and the crimes of Yoo.

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