John Yoo is a professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. From 2001 to 2003, he served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department of President George W. Bush. Professor Yoo is the author, most recently, of Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush.
Yoo, who played a significant role in developing a legal justification for the Bush administration's policy in the War on Terror, reflects on the controversial legal and policy positions taken by the Bush administration on interrogating captured terrorists after 9/11.
Beginning with a discussion of the war powers of the executive branch, Yoo asserts, "Today's conflict over presidential power does not truly arise over whether the authorities in question exist, but whether now is the right time to exercise them," addressing the fundamental questions at the heart of the debate over "enhanced interrogation techniques."
As a strictly legal matter, does water boarding amount to torture, as the current Justice Department regards it? And are we safer because the Bush administration made use of enhanced interrogation?
Finally, Yoo challenges the wisdom of the Obama administration's decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a federal court in New York City.
Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he writes about business and politics, edits the Hoover Institution's quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest, and hosts Hoover's television program, "Uncommon Knowledge."
Robinson is also the author of three books: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life; It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP; and the best-selling business book Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA.
John Yoo is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. He served from 2001 to 2003 as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked on issues involving foreign affairs, national security, and the separation of powers.
He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and the Free University of Amsterdam, and in 2006 he held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of Trento, Italy.
A visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, he is the author of War by Other Means and The Powers of War and Peace.
John Yoo, a former official in the United States Department of Justice, argues that allowing terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed the opportunity to have a civilian trial presents a great threat to national security.
Civilian trials, he says, threaten to give terrorist groups dangerous insight into the workings of U.S. intelligence gathering.
George W. Bush.Eric Draper/White House Photo(born July 6, 1946, New Haven, Conn., U.S.) Governor of Texas (19952000) and 43rd president of the U.S. (200109). The eldest child of George Bush, the 41st president of the U.S. (198993), George W. Bush attended Yale University and Harvard Business School. After a decade in the oil business, he served as managing general partner of the Texas Rangers professional baseball franchise. In 1994 he was elected governor of Texas and won reelection by a landslide in 1998. As the candidate of the Republican Party in the presidential election of 2000, Bush won 500,000 fewer votes than Al Gore but gained the presidency when the U.S. Supreme Court halted a recount of votes in Florida, enabling him to secure a narrow majority in the electoral college (271266). In response to the September 11 attacks launched by Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network in 2001, Bush ordered a military campaign against Afghanistan that deposed the country's Taliban government, which had harboured bin Laden. The U.S. was later accused of mistreating captured Taliban fighters and suspected terrorists at a prison on the U.S. naval base at Gauntánamo Bay, Cuba. In March 2003 Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair led an invasion of Iraq that toppled the government of Saddam Hussein, whom they accused of concealing weapons of mass destruction; no such weapons were found (seeIraq War). In 2002 Congress passed the administration's controversial No Child Left Behind Act, which required regular tests of public school students. In 2004 Bush won reelection in a close contest over Democratic Senator John Kerry. Bush's later proposals to replace Social Security with private retirement savings accounts and to reform immigration laws attracted little support. The Bush administration developed significant foreign-aid programs, particularly for Africa, designed to serve its declared goal of promoting democracy abroad.
Principle of government under which separate branches are empowered to prevent actions by other branches and are induced to share power. Checks and balances are applied primarily in constitutional governments. They are of fundamental importance in tripartite governments, such as that of the U.S., that separate powers among legislative, executive, and judicial departments. Checks and balances, which modify the separation of powers, may operate under parliamentary systems through exercise of a parliament's prerogative to adopt a no-confidence vote against a government; the government, or cabinet, in turn, ordinarily may dissolve the parliament. In one-party political systems, informal checks and balances may operate when organs of an authoritarian or totalitarian regime compete for power. See alsoFederalist papers; judicial review; separation of powers.
@Ogbunwezeh, "What would be left of the human race, if we are to follow Machiavellian ethos to its logical conclusion?"
Gandhi has answered your question, an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind .
Clearly Mr. Yoo has no trust for his profession to act constitutionally.
Perhaps the Ninth Circuit's 3 judge panel opinion re: "under God" is evidence he is correct. The founding fathers, contrary to the Ninth Circuit's opinion on the Baptist's God being inserted by Congress into a pledge which the corporate "person" never recites, wrote,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."
Will the State be required to produce this God to refute the defense, "God made me do it"?
One must always be a bit deferential to those union (the Bar) members, they hang out with lawyers, judges and criminals. After all, they also are licensed by themselves to steal. It's a very low Bar, ya know.
Mr. John Yoo is a cold blooded Machiavellian. For him, the end justifies the means. What would be left of the human race, if we are to follow Machiavellian ethos to its logical conclusion? The answer is scary. I will give some historical examples of what would happen. We would elevate the dropping of Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the ontological level. Iran would be obliterated. Osama bin Laden would be canonized a saint. George Bush, Dick Cheney and Tony Blair instead of being docked like their kindred spirits, namely the Nazi war Criminals of Nuremberg for their war crimes; would be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize like another of their kindred spirit; Kissinger was, in a monumental affront to the victims of their atrocities.
Mr. Yoo’s circumlocutions here are symptomatic of an idea with a rotten core so indefensible that one has to invent euphemisms to sugar-coat the sepulchral rottenness of this senile advocacy of torture. What were American official and mainstream reactions, when the claims made the rounds that the Vietnamese were torturing downed American pilots, during the Vietnam War? There were outrage and invocation of the Geneva Convention on all fronts.
I believe in the principle: “let the cook be the first to taste his own pudding”. Let John Yoo be the first to taste water-boarding or other enhanced interrogation techniques. After that, let’s see if his psyche would be whole enough to advocate such inhumanity that is not fit for cattle, for his fellow men, no matter the ruse he contrives as justifications.
It is my hope that my comments are not dismissed as hyperbole, but Mr. Yoo is a monster. Well educated, conservative in appearance seemingly logical, he has many of the qualities we expect in the leaders we choose. Then he states that it is legitimate for the US government when under some unknown threat to draw from the toolbox of Pinochet, Stalin, and the Inquisition. This kind of thinking considers the tenants of the enlightenment to be polite nicety (like allowing children to believe in Santa). Mr. Yoo and his cynical brethren have no faith in our democracy or system of laws. If we allow them to have their way we will have no legitimate claim to societal superiority and in fact be no better than the so called "barbarians" we struggle against in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I agree wholeheartedly!!! Using euphemisms such as "enhanced interrogation" doesn't hide the fact that it is torture. Even the most barbaric governments never admit to using torture, they all use "enhanced interrogation" or some other euphemism. The use of "enhanced interrogation" puts the United States on the same level as those countries that also use torture.
Mr. Yoo's very tempting logic goes down the slippery slope of trust the government to do the "right thing". This type of logic has led to the internment of the Japanese immigrants during WWI and other abuses of power. Unless the government is constrained by the rule of law, innocent citizens can easily be abused. Mr. Yoo is destroying the very ideals that US represents and uses the same logic that dictators and totalitarian governments have used to control their citizens.