This story has been around for a little while now, but I had to play the audio clip of this exchange.
As Arthur states very clearly in his excellent piece on torture: "..it's hardly surprising, because of the kind of men who were central to the administration's original decision to embrace torture as a legitimate weapon in its intentionally impossible-to-define "War on Terror. One of those men was John Yoo."
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.
Yoo actually fielded the question like someone asked him what flavor of ice cream he prefers. I was so stunned listening to his response to the question, (much in the same manner Jeffrey Dahmer might respond to an interviewer) I had to ask around to see if this was a valid Q&A.
Andrew Sullivan was equally shocked at this exchange. "Just keep slicing the salami until you're torturing innocent children. And we deposed Saddam for what again?" (Here also)
ReddHedd analyses Yoo for us:
"Yoo defends his legal interpretations by saying you can't judge him or his scholarship based on the results of his legal advice, but merely on the validity of his legal interpretation of black letter law. Unfortunately for Mr. Yoo, he fails on multiple counts. Not the least of which because he failed to follow the cardinal rule of lawyering: present all sides of the issue, not just the ones your client wants to hear -- because it is the bad news that can be the most important thing in decision-making in any enterprise....read on"