David Shuster and Harper's Scott Horton break down John Yoo's poorly written op-ed at the Wall Street Journal, defending his part in allowing the Bush administration to spy on millions of Americans under the guise of keeping us safe from terrorists.
From The Anonymous Liberal--John Yoo: Still Lying:
In this morning's Wall Street Journal, John Yoo has an op-ed defending himself from the malpractice charges set forth in the recent Inspecter General's report. As with the opinions themselves, the op-ed is deeply disingenuous and misstates the law repeatedly.
Not surprisingly, Yoo begins the op-ed with a collosal straw man. He points out how important it is to intercept al Qaeda communications and writes: "Evidently, none of the inspectors general of the five leading national security agencies would approve." Of course, the issue is not whether intercepting communications is a good idea, but whether the program violated the law. Yoo was not a policy maker. He was a lawyer. His job was to state what the law was, not what it should be.
Last week, the Inspectors General of five separate intelligence agencies released a congressionally-mandated report on the Bush administration’s post-9/11 surveillance programs. The report focuses much of its criticism on John Yoo, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel, who wrote “legal memos undergirding the policy.”
In the Wall Street Journal today, Yoo responded to the report, claiming that the inspectors general are ignoring history and are simply “responding to the media-stoked politics of recrimination.” But in his attack on the report, Yoo neither responded to the specific criticisms of his legal reasoning nor mentioned that he refused to cooperate with the investigation.
Instead, Yoo persisted in pushing the flaws in his legal argument, such as the claim that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act did not take war into consideration.
Scott Horton has more at The Daily Beast--Torture Prosecution Turnaround?:
The attorney general is leaning toward appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Bush-era torture policy, sources tell Scott Horton. Inside the logic driving Eric Holder’s possible conversion.