Wednesday, October 04, 2006

From the mind of John Yoo

"The military proceedings to determine if you're an enemy combatant usually don't require as much proof. You know, the point of the war is not to collect evidence and solve crimes. It's to fight and defeat the enemy. So I think this sort of flexible process reflects the demands and the nature of warfare." John Yoo, on NPR Oct. 3.

John Yoo is a scary guy. Christopher Shea, writing in The Boston Globe, Oct. 23, 2005 "IN JOHN YOO'S world, President Bush didn't need to ask Congress for permission to invade Iraq. And if the special forces captured a terrorist suspect who might know of an upcoming attack on the New York subway, Bush could order him placed on a torture rack-regardless of treaties the US has signed or whether Congress had passed laws banning torture." According to wikipedia's entry, Woo contributed to the PATRIOT Act and wrote controversial memos in which he advocated the possible legality of torture and that enemy combatants could be denied protection under the Geneva Convention as a means of diminishing legal challenges regarding war crimes.

Yoo is a brilliant man. His book, The Powers of War and Peace : The Constitution and Foreign Affairs after 9/11, has been critically acclaimed, and likened to Machiavelli's The Prince. He argues that Presidential war powers are above the law. In December, 2005 debate with Human Rights Activist Doug Cassel, Yoo advocated torture of children:

Cassel: If the President deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?
Yoo: No treaty.
Cassel: Also no law by Congress. That is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo.
Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.

Why would the President think it okay to torture children? Why would the President think it appropriate to torture anyone? Yoo is articulate, he's intelligent, and he's cold around the heart. Without any discernable soul.

Over the last two weeks in Chicago, I entered into conversations with like minded friends, some of whom attempted to compare this war to Viet Nam. There are such incredible differences I cannot begin to list them all.

Viet Nam, which I think of as Johnson's hubris, was such a different climate. Johnson, had it not been for his obsession with winning the war, would go down in history as a champion of civil rights, of education, of domestic policies that were good policies. But he had this fatal flaw, and it destroyed him and ripped us apart. Those of us in colleges across the country took to the streets, we protested in any way we could to get us out of Viet Nam. At the forefront of those protests were the students of University of California, Berkeley. Oh, wait a minute. That's where John Yoo teaches.

We are in a state of apathy that has ripped the soul from our nation. I want it back.

15 comments:

Frederick said...

There is one simularity between Iraq and Vietnam...both lost by a Republican President.

Helen Wheels said...

Woo is cold, indeed.... Oy. Great post, and it would be great to see you do a post on the similarities of the two wars.

DivaJood said...

Fred, we lost in Viet Nam because it had nothing to do with us. We lost the minute we went in.

Helen, there is no way I could do that - I don't remember most of the 1960s.

betmo said...

thanks diva- i linked to this. john yoo is one of the scariest people on the planet. the fact that he gets input that drives policies- very scary.

karena said...

What amazes me is how hard the Universities work to oust the truth speakers. Jaun Cole's jeapordy (though I cannot remeber what it is) Ward Churchill, as egged on gleefully by billy oreilly, the fellow at Wisconsin, is that Juan Cole, it is all getting so confusing, the liberal or truth speaking professors get canned or villified, the Yoos get the red carpet. Feith is now at Georgetown, a freaking neo-con teaching at Georgetown? This is so well thought out, so well planned. Destroy public education, indoctrinate the poor kids to become cannon fodder by not teaching science, passing laws that allow them to be strip searched, bugger young kids and make them think it is the way to the elite system, indoctrinate the rich kids with this neo-con bullshit, take over the media, take over the courts at all levels. Bush had the balls to say he wanted to get into politics to change culture, to get culture away from what he witnessed in college, war protestors, free sex, all that horrid stuff. He had no master plan, but the puppet masters did, and the bubbas fell for Bushba, and with the Diebold machines cranking, and perpetual war and martial law, they will change culture, and they have changed culture, and it will take years, if ever, to get this country back.

Tina said...

John Yoo also said this on NPR's Morning Edition: "Habeas corpus proceedings... do impose a cost, it's not free."
Who knew that scrapping habeas corpus could just be so damn cost effective, too? That is more evidence of that lovable, warm and fuzzy fiscal conservatism.

Anonymous said...

found my way here via betmo. According to Yoo's logic - Rice, Bush, Cheney and all who knew about and dismissed information about an impending attack presented by Tenent in July, and those who dismissed the PDB "BinLaden Determined to Attack in the U.S." should immediately be taken into custody and tortured.

moonlitetwine said...

Wait a minute! What the ef???

A few dotted lines are missing. Compare The Prince, a book about finding oneself, being compared with governmental torture or a book espousing to governmental torture?

Let me guess....

A journey toward self-enlightenment is similar to a journey toward taking others to the very brink of eternity.

hmm....

The Fat Lady Sings said...

I have found Yoo to be one of the scariest individuals on the planet. He's even more frightening than Milosevic or Amin - because he doesn't look like a heartless bully. Frankly – he looks like your typical computer geek. Clinical - detached. I saw him interviewed once and I immediately flashed back on that opening scene from The Manchurian Candidate (the real one - not that ridiculous re-make). Brainwashing and murder done with cold precision. Robotic - not a trace of humanity left. That’s how I see Yoo. He’s’ more dangerous than the lot of ‘em put together.

Human said...

Peace to you and Yours.

While there is no question in my mind that Mr. Yoo advocates Torture, there is some question whether he actually said that.

When this account 1st was put out I did some research on it and could not find any confirming source.

One can find my research here - "Confirmed".
I inntended to pursue it more, however, after picking up my son from his 1st day at daycare I came home to find my mother dead.

I sure would like to see if it can be confirmed. Audio can easily be faked.

Peace.

pissed off patricia said...

Even more dangerous is someone who would turn to Yoo for advice.

DivaJood said...

Betmo, thanks! He's quite dangerous.

Karena, absolutely right, it is well-planned. Destroy education. Example: the firing of Sydney McGee for taking kids to an art museum. WTF?

Tina, well, there we go! Get rid of Habeus Corpus and save valuable tax dollars. I feel SO much better now.

EAPREZ, I like your reasoning. It works for me. Put Shrubya on the waterboard right now!

Moonlitewine, stunning, isn't it? Just what is going on here? Brave New World, 1984, Harrison Begeron, all these prophetic stories coming true.

TFLS, right. He looks like a computer nerd. Harmless. Only that look makes him more dangerous.

Human, I did find several sources, but right. Audio can be faked.

POP, well, Shrubya and company think Yoo is the go-to guy.

Helen Wheels said...

What the hell?? You found your mother dead?? What happened? Am I missing something?

and here I thought Dr. Strangelove/Kissinger was the go to guy....

DivaJood said...

Helen, I haven't found my mother in years, she died in 1984 (really.)

Dr. Strangelove, indeed! That's good. Do you know of the pianist, Wanda Lendowski? Well, if Wanda Lendowski married Howard Hughes, and then divorced him, and then married Henry "Strangelove" Kissinger, she'd be Wanda Hughes Kissinger now.

Human said...

Diva - I would sure like to see the sources. I found a bunch too. They all led to one person and nothing was corrobarated. Just because it was repeated, does not make source. I'm not busting your chops, I'd really like to confirm it.

Peace.