Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

January 31, 2009

John Yoo Continues to Defend Torture

by Stephen Gordon

Barack Obama may have once again banned torture as U.S. policy, but Bush torture apologist John Yoo is once again defending the egregious practice.  From the WSJ:

In issuing these executive orders, Mr. Obama is returning America to the failed law enforcement approach to fighting terrorism that prevailed before Sept. 11, 2001. He’s also drying up the most valuable sources of intelligence on al Qaeda, which, according to CIA Director Michael Hayden, has come largely out of the tough interrogation of high-level operatives during the early years of the war.

Yoo’s attempt at legitimizing this barbaric practice also challenges what is probably the most libertarian statement President Obama has made to date:

It is naïve to say, as Mr. Obama did in his inaugural speech, that we can “reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.”

While it’s obvious that Yoo is attempting to set up the framework for a legal defense for Bush administration interrogation policies, it’s also important to remember that Yoo also finds no reason for why we shouldn’t crush “the testicles of the person’s child” in order to extract information.

As late as a year ago, I would have never predicted there would be any serious legal action taken against senior Bush officials for acts of torture committed by Americans.  It’s now beginning to appear more and more likely that this will become a major legal issue in the not-to-distant future.

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