I've always thought of John Yoo as the Executive Branch equivalent of Chris Crocker, the "Leave Britney alone!" guy. Chris, as you'll recall, got under a sheet with a video camera and weepily defended a celebrated nitwit whom he had never met, in the process becoming both a YouTube sensation, and a cautionary tale about the benefits of waterproof mascara.
John Yoo, on the other hand, became famous for writing the Bush Administration a "Please excuse George and Dick from the Hague today" note, and for defending the right of a (Republican) President to crush a child's testicles in the interest of national security, in the process proving he was even more cold-blooded and sociopathic than the people who actually committed the torture he enabled. (Some right wingers claim that waterboarding is not torture, because U.S. service personnel are or were given a brief exposure to it, and I will concede the validity of this argument as soon as Mr. Yoo agrees to splay pantless on the couch and permit a 4-year old with a meat tenderizer to play Whack-A-Mole with his scrotum for five minutes.)
2011 Miss Wingnut Pageant, advancing to the final round, before being disqualified amid accusations that he had violated his Evil Amateur status by going pro, accepting payment (in the form of a Justice Department salary) for declaring that a "president's war-making authority was so broad that he had the constitutional power to order a village to be 'massacred'" (hey they took away Jim Thorpe's gold medals for less).
But Yoo hasn't let this minor setback rattle him, and in the NY Post he weighs in on the controversial government assassination of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, criticizing the Obama Administration for not killing him enough.
Still confusing terror & crime by John Yoo
It's such a simple rule, you'd think even Obama could have figured it out by now: Terror is not a crime, it's a war, but war is not a crime, therefore there's no such thing as a war crime. Got it, overly inquisitive Spanish judges who make distinguished University of California professors uncomfortable when they contemplate visiting Europe or Canada or other self-righteous jurisdictions that criminalize trivial policy differences over testicle crushing?
In all fairness, previous administrations have confused crime and terror, the most famous example dating to 1934, when the J. Edgar Hoover labeled gangster John Dillinger "Enemy Combatant Number 1" and bombed the Biograph Theater in Chicago with radio-controlled aero-torpedos launched from an FBI Zeppelin.
We should be thankful that Obama officials have quietly put aside the arguments they made during the Bush years that any terrorist outside the Afghani battlefield was a criminal suspect who deserved his day in federal court.Oh, I am grateful, John; and relieved that current interpretation of Article II of the Constitution also allows the President to suspend the presumption of innocence for anyone caught making an illegal left turn by one of those traffic cams, many of which have now been equipped with Hellfire missiles for prompt rush hour adjudication.
I’d rather the Obama folks be hypocrites in favor of protecting national security than principled fools (which they are free to be in faculty lounges both before and after their time in government).Sounds like somebody's a bit miffed that the nerds gave him a low-key welcome back to UC Berkeley, even though he was swanning about in the cool letterman's jacket he'd earned serving as waterboardboy for the Varsity Torture Team.
But that former world-view of terrorism still infects its decisions, to the country’s detriment. According to the reports, the Obama administration believed that force could only be used against Awlaki because arrest was impractical and he posed an imminent threat to the United States. This is plainly wrong.Is there a fundamental difference between "American exceptionalism" and the "delusions of grandeur" experienced by most serial killers? Yes. The former is hamstrung by all kinds of pettifogging rules, regulations, and laws that prevent its host organism from achieving its ultimate potential as a Randian utopia, whereas the latter leads to a fully actualized Übermensch who realizes that every man is an island -- especially when everybody else in the room is dead and he's standing in a lake of blood.
It may make for good policy, especially toward US citizens who make the mistake of joining the enemy, but there is no legal reason why a nation at war must try to apprehend an enemy instead of shooting at him first.I feel the same way about about Christmas carolers, and those girls at the mall who try to spritz you with a sample of Axe Body Spray.
Think of the operation to kill Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto in World War II. He was well behind the lines, flying from one military base to another. He didn’t pose an “imminent” threat of attack on America at that moment. The United States didn’t need to ask whether it could have forced Yamamoto’s plane down first and captured him. It was allowed to kill him, just as it could kill any other member of the Japanese military, regardless of his threat.Wow, I thought I knew my World War II history, but I had no idea that Admiral Yamamoto was an American citizen. And that's the kind of shameful ignorance that almost guarantees that no President will ever ask me whose balls he can take after with a pair of pliers. But at least I'm savvy enough to steer clear of the hackneyed, unserious counter-argument that the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service bomber transporting Yamamoto was a military target which was shot down during a war we'd actually bothered to declare, because that's the kind of thing a namby-pamby untermensch would say.
Ever since the Civil War our national leaders and the Supreme Court have agreed that a citizen who joins the enemy must suffer the consequences of his belligerency, with the same status as that of an alien enemy.I guess that means we can look forward to statues of Osama Bin Laden, Taliban flags flying over statehouses, and a yearly observance of Al-Qaeda History Month. At least in the South.
Think of the incentives that the strange Obama hybrid rule creates. Our al Qaeda enemy will want to recruit American agents, who will benefit from criminal-justice rules that give them advantages in carrying out operations against us (like the right to remain silent, to Miranda and lawyers, to a speedy jury trial, etc.).Um...we killed the guy, Mr. Yoo. Without regard to nationality or creed, he and everyone in his immediate vicinity were pulped like a box of bulk-bought copies of Ben Shapiro books. How dead does he have to be? How much collateral damage will it take before you can finally achieve satisfaction, close the Abu Ghraib portfolio, and pull your pants back up?
Our troops and agents could well hesitate in the field, because they wouldn’t be able to tell in the heat of the moment whether an enemy is American or not.This is what happens when tough-talking nerds get a taste of power and think they're Conan the Barbarian.
"What is best in life?"
" To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to make them stop Super Gluing your stapler to the credenza."