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John Yoo Torture

If you are trying to draw a moral equivalence between the Nazis and what the United States is trying to do in defending themselves against Al Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks, I fully reject that. Second, if you’re trying to equate the Bush Administration to Nazi officials who committed atrocities in the holocaust, I completely reject that too…I think to equate Nazi Germany to the Bush Administration is irresponsible.”

Glad John Yoo could get that off his chest. He may rebuff a comparison to the Nazis, but what stake has he claimed in the realm of moral arguments, the man who recently argued–in public–that no treaty prevents the President from ordering a suspect’s child to be tortured by crushing his testicles? (Revcom.us has the audio of the debate.) After hearing Yoo, watch this excerpt from the HBO movie, Conspiracy:

Did you notice how the Nazis parse the horror of genocide? Yoo likewise parses the horror of torture. Yoo puts himself in the “Nazi comparison” position not his critics. Yoo is the one who forged the argument that admits torture into the realm of what the President may permit others to do. Yoo embraced the techniques of slitting noses and ears, cutting out tongues, and dousing a prisoner in acid so long as there is no intent to maim (Torture Memo 30-31). Furthermore, misdemeanor assaults can be committed on prisoners because misdemeanor assaults committed by Americans outside the United States are not prosecutable.  The fact that Yoo carefully, thoughtfully enumerates all that might happen to a suspect in U.S. custody under certain specific conditions puts him right up there with the pen-pushing Gestapo Adolph Eichmann. Yoo differs only in degree not in kind. Where Eichmann is completely morally void, Yoo may claim a single sliver of moral dimension; Yoo advises against suffering “that is equivalent to the pain that would be associated with serious injury so severe that death, organ failure, or permanent damage resulting in a loss of significant body functions will likely result.” (He even breaks out a dictionary to come up with this definition{39}). Yoo is underwriter of the abuses at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

Soldier with dead body at Abu Ghraib

I’ve read only completely the first 31 pages of Yoo’s memo written on behalf of William J. Haynes II, former General Counsel of the Department of Defense. I have about 50 pages to go. I felt compelled however to address Yoo’s resistance to the Nazi comparison. Yoo may not be equal to Eichmann; however, he is the same kind of violator of human rights. Yoo argues to subvert the Geneva Conventions and perverts justice.

Updated.

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12 thoughts on “Nazi-Lite: the John Yoo Torture Memo

  1. He tries to back peddle and misconstrue what he said in an Esquire interview as he plays torture apologist and tries to divorce himself from Abu Ghraib… I’ll tackle that tomorrow.

  2. Pingback: John Yoo: Not Even Good at Being Authoritarian « Pine Belt Progressive

  3. I look forward to watching Yoo in front of Conyers’ committee.

    Hypothetically speaking, if a witness before a congressional committee is uncooperative and not forthcoming in testifying about any illegal activities on which he has knowledge, what would Mr. Yoo recommend the chairman of the committee do?

    Thanks, Melissa. I’ll look forward to your next installment.

  4. I’m going to have to do a week’s worth of happy stories to recover after reading this convoluted bastard. If you have the chance read the excerpts from the upcoming interview in Esquire with Yoo. He’s a big, fat liar…to put it in the common vernacular. He’s trying to say the 2003 memo had nothing to do with military in Iraq, but that’s not what the document says.

  5. Pingback: To the Pain, Yoo! « WriteChic Press

  6. Pingback: The Greenroom » Forum Archive » Enough With The “Nazi” Analogies

  7. It is a sad day when the only thing left that were not doing is the public execution of hostages. I’ve seen Yoo being interviewed. He is the slickest of dicks out there in the legalism he lives in. They have no clue about enflaming nationalism because of their ill advised actions. It will catch up to them someday. I’m not here to threaten anyone, not my style. So I’ll leave John a word to comfort him: Amritsar

    • Do you see that link above my last comment, Jerry? Michelle Malkin’s site didn’t like the comparison to Nazis. Little Johnny Yoo loathes the comparison.

      I absolutely stand by it. Genocide wasn’t the only SS venture. And behind institutionalized genocide and slavery, what’s worse than institutionalized torture? And what did Yoo think would happen after he made a formal argument that one could crush the testicles of a suspect’s child in order to obtain information? And what about the human psychological experimentation?

      It takes some twisted fucksticks to characterize the Geneva Conventions as “quaint.”

      I’d be amused that the DOJ judged Yoo and Bybee as stupid, but not guilty, IF their memos were not such a moral and legal abomination.

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