This is John Yoo, Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice, during the George W. Bush administration *not* answering the question asked by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Could former President George W. Bush have ordered to have someone buried alive?
"Edward Snowden should go to jail, as quickly and for as long as possible. This is a leak case that should be difficult for even Eric Holder to bungle. Snowden has already confessed in public to the crime of leaking classified information. He has said in public how he did it, that he did it with intent, and that he knowingly harmed our national security. Holder will finally find a leaker that he can prosecute. But given the Holder Justice Department’s record on the other leak cases, who wants to take a bet that Snowden gets a generous plea bargain or even walks?"
Unreal, isn't it? The same guy who was given immunity for his role in the use of torture of detainees of the U.S. is calling for an American citizen to be jailed "quickly," and for "as long as possible."
"A three-judge panel decided that Jose Padilla, an American citizen who was declared an enemy combatant and subjected to “harsh interrogation,” is not entitled to argue in court for $1 in symbolic damages from John Yoo, the Bush administration lawyer who cooked up legal justifications for prisoner abuse.
In a 35-page opinion, the judges state that “Although it has been clearly established for decades that torture of an American citizen violates the Constitution, and we assume without deciding that Padilla’s alleged treatment rose to the level of torture, that such treatment was torture was not clearly established in 2001-03.” Mr. Yoo is therefore entitled to immunity.
In English: If Mr. Padilla’s telling the truth, he was tortured, and that’s obviously unconstitutional. That’s been “clearly established” by Supreme Court ruling. But in the early aughts, the definition of torture wasn’t obvious—hadn’t been “clearly established” by the Court. So Mr. Yoo’s off the hook."
And the passage from the Court's decision describing the treatment of Jose Padilla:
"Padilla alleged that he was subjected to prolonged isolation; deprivation of light; exposure to prolonged periods of light and darkness, including being “periodically subjected to absolute light or darkness for periods in excess of twenty- four hours”; extreme variations in temperature; sleep adjustment; threats of severe physical abuse; death threats; administration of psychotropic drugs; shackling and manacling for hours at a time; use of “stress” positions; noxious fumes that caused pain to eyes and nose; loud noises; withholding of any mattress, pillow, sheet or blanket; forced grooming; suspensions of showers; removal of religious items; constant surveillance; incommunicado detention, including denial of all contact with family and legal counsel for a 21-month period; interference with religious observance; and denial of medical care for “serious and potentially life-threatening ailments, including chest pain and difficulty breathing, as well as for treatment of the chronic, extreme pain caused by being forced to endure stress positions.”'
So, the Ninth Circuit decided that what was obviously torture and therefore illegal wasn’t technically illegal because the Supreme Court hadn’t said so. This is how John Yoo was given immunity and why we have to endure his endless spouting off his version of what the law *cough* should be for everybody else.
By the time Jose Padilla was convicted, a forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Angela Hegarty, had this to say about his mental state after years of torture:
"Well, during my time with him, some of his reasoning seemed somewhat impaired, some of his thinking seemed impaired, his memory certainly, his ability to pay attention seemed very impaired. I developed a differential diagnosis from this: severe anxiety. Post-traumatic stress disorder can do that. But also, we know from really basic neuroscience studies that extreme isolation for prolonged periods of time — and I’m talking, you know, the studies are on maybe days or weeks, and he had extreme isolation for years — really do, in fact, impair higher brain function. And I recommended that we get some neuropsychological testing. And, unfortunately, he wasn’t able to fully cooperate with that. However, the testing we did do was consistent with brain damage, yes."
Jose Padilla, an American citizen from Brooklyn, New York after being convicted with scant "evidence" of any actual crime will remain in a maximum security prison in Colorado until at least 2021.
John Yoo will no doubt remain a pompous, self-righteous blowhard for many years to come.