Interested in wholly vexing your mind, body, and spirit? Then you need to read John Yoo’s recently released 2003 Torture Memo. There’s a reason you find news John Yoo Torture Memobanners flashing “Tortured Logic” in companion with stories on the Department of Justice document. The reasoning attempted by Yoo aims to fit U.S. law to the desires of the administration rather than apprise the administration of U.S. law. Besides massaging the executive ego and dressing the President in a Saran wrap Armani, Yoo treats the law like an insurance adjuster approaches an accident. Both keep in their forethought, how do I best serve my boss rather than how do I best serve. This isn’t the first time Bush people are found doing an end around logic. Remember the British memo that said of the Bush administration: “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” to invade Iraq. The Raw Story quotes a victim of the DOJ, “…the federal government and prosecutors…attempted to make his conduct fit into some criminal statute. This is not how our system of justice is supposed to operate.” Disgraced former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was accused of subverting the Constitution for the Bush Administration like a tax attorney dodges liabilities on a client’s tax filing.

Yoo is of the same ilk. Bush’s, Cheney’s, Rice’s, Rumsfeld’s, and Tenet’s desire that torture be implemented at the pleasure of the President, that torture fall under a omnipotent Commander-in-Chief that Congress and the Rule of Law may not interfere with because the execution of war is done at the the sole discretion of the President.

Read Yoo’s assertions in quotes:

…International Law is not federal law and the President is free to override it at his discretion” (2).

The Eighth Amendment which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment does not apply to prisoners in the War on Terror because it “applies solely to those persons whom criminal sanctions have been imposed” or those convicted of a crime (10).

“We do not believe that Congress enacted general criminal provisions such as prohibitions against assault, maiming, interstate stalking, and torture pursuant to any express authority that would allow it to infringe of the President’s constitutional control over the operation of the Armed Forces in wartime” (13). So in Yoo’s world, laws against torture, maiming, etc. cannot impede on President Bush’s commanding a war.

And Yoo gives members of the Armed Forces license to commit any crime that is punishable by a maximum of less than 1 year in prison (26). That is because these crimes generally constitute misdemeanors and are not prosecutable outside the United States (20).

Yoo points CIA and the military to what he sees as loopholes. If President Bush wants a prisoner beat up for information, that’s okay because beating someone up is a misdemeanor and not enforceable outside the U.S. Furthermore, to stop President Bush’s command to beat a prisoner up impedes on Commander-in-Chief authority.

The Torture memos are meant to serve as the legal institutionalizing of torture by the United States under Bush. They mean to undermine the authority of those that recognize torture as an atrocity and the experts who concluded torture does not work. They mean and did set Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Tenet et al. above the Rule of Law.

I’ve included the tribunal judgement excerpt from Judgement at Nuremberg:

…under a national crisis, ordinary men and even able and extraordinary men can delude themselves into the commission of crimes so vast and heinous that they beggar the imagination.

A country isn’t a rock. It’s an extension of oneself. It’s what it stands for. It’s what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult.

The worst of human crimes must be genocide and slavery. Institutionalized torture cannot be far behind the two worst crimes.

Sign a petition to impeach Bush and Cheney for institutionalizing torture in America.

Attorney and Blogger, E.M., walks you through filing a grievance against John Yoo in Pennsylvania and D.C.


19 thoughts on “John Yoo Buggers the Constitution

  1. Well done and thanks for this cogent post. I am going to link V&V readers to this post and the petition, if that’s okay by you. I know it’s an “old” question, but I remain stunned that we should have to ask it: WHERE is the outrage?

  2. mdking,

    Thanks for the link to The Grievance Project and for the addition to your blogroll. I’m adding your site to my roll as well.

    As far as the outrage Suzanne mentions and the TV coverage, the outrage is in the blogosphere which is also where the only coverage seems to be.

    Thanks to everyone who takes the time check out TGP. I’d appreciate any thoughts, critiques, suggestions, etc., to improve the site.


  3. mdking,

    I was looking for your e-mail so I could ‘cc’ you on my e-mail of my post to Prof. Yoo. It should be up now along with a general post about ethics violations. If he replies, he’ll be the first.


  4. I read it at LiA. The inclusion of the photo is an important element of this package. And the Nuremberg clip is very effective, also.

  5. Are we suffering from “outrage fatigue”?

    The media is to busy covering “Bittergate”, and Lindsey Lohan, and Brittany Spears to report on the important stuff.

  6. Redeye, manufactured issues and non-news news don’t help, but frankly I don’t think Americans were prepared to deal with a turn toward the unthinkable i.e. Americans committing torture. It’s so out of the realm of normal life.

  7. mdking why is it so out of the realm of normal life? With all due respect, Americans have ALWAYS committed torture and backed governments that tortured their own people even giving them the “handbook” so to speak of torture by training their officials. You do know that after the WWII, the US government was more interested in getting its hands on the documents and research of the Japanese torturers (who tortured Chinese people in ways unimaginable to an ordinary person) than punishing those responsible.

    The attitude of closing one’s eyes or remaining ignorant is what most Americans suffer from, and maybe it’s hard to do that in this age when information technology is so advanced, though censorship still persists in the US, and that’s what’s caused US citizens to realize that their country is the foremost in the torturers and not the “torturees” as they like to think after watching a Hollywood flick.

  8. All due respect ain’t much, is it, Urooj? If you want to make that absurd generalizations about Americans, you’re on the wrong blog.

    Under Bush for the first time in American history, the U.S. has an official policy of torture. I’m going to voice my objections to such a policy along with the throng of other Americans.

  9. Americans are paying for his policies now. And you must know it’s ridiculous to suggest Americans (all of them?!) are bastards. Bush and Cheney…you’ll get no argument here. Americans across the board…you must not know any.

  10. i threw up a little in my mouth when i read this…

    John Yoo should be sacrificed Aztec-style to the United Nations, as an apology to the rest of the planet. What an awful and awfully stupid man. Within legal circles he is recognized as a fringe-case, whose very standing with the Bar is questionable.

    This man enabled the torture of hundreds of prisoners. How many more Congressional Committees do we need to remind us that torture has yet to generate ANY new information of ANY substantial strategic or tactical value.

    God friggin damm it.

    I can’t believe we didn’t impeach Bush.

    One Hope, One Love,
    –Reverend Manny and the Twilight Empire

  11. He’s horrible. Reading the document you see he sacrificed his intellect Aztec-style on the altar of Bush-Cheney (Pinky and the Brain go turbo-evil) power lust.

  12. Pingback: ♪♪ Down with OPR? Yeah, You Are. ♪♪ « WriteChic Press

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