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  Follow the Leader: In Defense of John Yoo
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Follow the Leader: In Defense of John Yoo

by Chris Floyd
Tuesday, 08 April 2008

John Yoo is not to "blame" for these torture memos. And neither is Mr. Addington or Mr. Feith or Mr. Gonzale. They ALL wrote those memos at the request and direction of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.
John Yoo has been getting a bit a guff in the liberal media recently for some legal memoranda he wrote a while back defending the president's right -- and duty -- to protect the American people from terrorism. This criticism is as short-sighted as it is pernicious -- and we are here today to defend this good and faithful public servant against the unwarranted calumnies that have besmirched his name.

Fortunately for the security of our Republic, the far left's attempt to turn Yoo's patriotic labors into yet another persnickety"moral outrage," a la Abu Ghraib or My Lai or Wounded Knee, hasn't really taken off. The usual suspects -- Washington Post, New York Times -- have put out a few stories, usually buried, quoting a few so-called legal "experts" wringing their hands -- while sitting comfortably on the backsides that President Bush and Vice President Cheney have kept safe for them all these years -- about Yoo's allegedly "unconcionable document."

And of course, some of the radical far left socialist "bloggers" like Scott Horton -- who used to work with the "father of the Commie A-bomb," Andrei Sakharov (need we say more about Horton's pinkish tint?) -- have been throwing the usual BDS hissy fits about how Yoo's memoranda constitute part of a "joint criminal enterprise" on the part of the Bush Administration, whose members, says Comrade Horton, had to know that "these memoranda would result in serious harm, including assault, torture and death, to protected persons in the custody of the United States."

[Hey Scott – enough with the Atticus Finch act already! This ain't good old Tom Robinson you're sticking up for here -- it's worthless scum who hate our freedoms and want to kill us all. Let's see what you say about the "rule of law" when some Islamofascist is killing your wife and breeding 15 more Islamocommies with your enslaved daughter, eh? You'll be sorry you tied our interrogator's hands then, won't you? You'll be wishing we'd had a bit more of the eye-gouging and acid-throwing and waterboarding and strappado and beating nearly to the point of death or organ failure -- and crushing the testicles of children -- that Yoo has stoutly defended as the president's prerogative, won't you?]

In fact, some extremist terror-symp America-hating moonbats have even gone so far as to say that the Bush Administration memoranda and directives on enhanced interrogation literally constitute a form of perverse pornography, lingering in great, obsessive detail over the specific methods of pain and humiliation that can -- and should -- be inflicted upon a captive. This "pornography of power," say the fifth columnists, is characterized not only by its fascination with violent, punishing contact with human flesh (preferably naked), but also -- perhaps chiefly -- by its maniacal insistence that the captives be rendered completely helpless, without the slightest shred of legal cover or due process to shield them from interrogators -- and their well-informed superiors -- who have been absolved in advance of any culpability for their actions.

All of this remarkable outpouring of traitorous filth is being laid directly at John Yoo's door. Indeed, General Secretary Horton and the rest of the pinkblogger Politburo are demanding that Yoo -- now a rightly honored professor of law at one of the nation's most respected educational establishments -- be disbarred for his alleged "complicity" in this "criminal conspiracy"; a conspiracy which according to Commissar Horton includes such other outstanding defenders of America's freedom as Doug Feith, Stephen Cambone, Steven Bradbury, Michael Chertoff, Alice Fisher, Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, I. Lewis Libby, Jay Bybee, Jim Haynes, Richard B. Cheney, John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld, William Boykin, and Major General Geoffrey Miller, among others.

Well, I call BS on these bat-brains. John Yoo is not to "blame" for these torture memos. And neither is Mr. Addington or  Mr. Feith or Mr. Gonzales or any of the other honorable, hard-working public officials caught up in the far left's mile-wide net of "conspiracy." John Yoo served at the pleasure of George W. Bush: the President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces, and the Chief Executive of our Republic. John Yoo wrote those memos at the request and direction of the White House and the Pentagon. Even Comrade Horton himself makes this crystal clear:

According to the official narrative, the Bush Administration turned to the Justice Department for legal guidance on what could be done to give interrogators the latitude they were demanding in dealing with prisoners taken in the war on terror. However, not a single element of the official narrative is entirely true. The interrogators were not "pushing for broader authority." Indeed, the pushing was all coming out of the White House (from Vice President Cheney, to be specific), and the intelligence professionals were actually pushing back. Moreover, torture was being used almost from the start of the "war on terror." Special operations units operating under the authority of Dr. Stephen Cambone, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, had been authorized to use torture techniques from the opening of the war, and they used them with gusto.

In another article, the Commie nuke-enabler quotes British crypto-Muslim Phillipe Sand's article in Vanity Fair with further details:

The real story, pieced together from many hours of interviews with most of the people involved in the decisions about interrogation, goes something like this: The Geneva decision was not a case of following the logic of the law but rather was designed to give effect to a prior decision to take the gloves off and allow coercive interrogation; it deliberately created a legal black hole into which the detainees were meant to fall. The new interrogation techniques did not arise spontaneously from the field but came about as a direct result of intense pressure and input from Rumsfeld's office. The Yoo-Bybee Memo was not simply some theoretical document, an academic exercise in blue-sky hypothesizing, but rather played a crucial role in giving those at the top the confidence to put pressure on those at the bottom. And the practices employed at Guantnamo led to abuses at Abu Ghraib.

The fingerprints of the most senior lawyers in the administration were all over the design and implementation of the abusive interrogation policies. Addington, Bybee, Gonzales, Haynes, and Yoo became, in effect, a torture team of lawyers, freeing the administration from the constraints of all international rules prohibiting abuse.

Hah! To paraphrase their great hero, Vladimir Lenin, if you give the Pinko Taliban enough rope, they will always hang themselves. The evidence laid out in their own propaganda rags clearly shows that the enhanced interrogation techniques -- which, as we all know, are the only things standing between us and the horde of super-potent overbreeding Muslims who have already taken over Europe -- were laid out at the direct order of those at the very top level of our freely elected democratic (small D, thank God!) government. John Yoo always was -- and always will be -- nothing but the faithful factotum of those who hold the power in our system.

So let's quit kicking John Yoo around, all right? He was only following orders. He did what he was told. He carried out the arbitrary will of our Leader, without question, without hestitation, without any quibbling over the rule of law. And isn't that the American way?

If you have some kind of problem with the President of the United States being able to order his flunkies to throw acid on a naked, chained-up captive -- who might have been sold into custody by a bounty hunter or rounded up in a random sweep or denounced by a business rival or snatched off a city street for having the wrong name, the wrong religion, the wrong skin; if for some reason it bothers your delicate liberal sensibilities that the President of the United States claims the power to hold any person on earth for as long as he likes, on no evidence or charges at all, and then slit the captive's ear or piss down his throat -- or grind the testicles of prisoner's five-year-old child under a bootheel; if you're such a big girl's blouse that you get all wiggly at the thought of the President of the United States claiming the arbitrary, unchecked power to kill any person on earth that he -- or his designated agents -- declares an "enemy combatant" or even a "suspected terrorist" -- then don't blame John C. Yoo. For God's sake, have the balls to put the responsibility squarely where it belongs: on the President of the United States, George Walker Bush, and the Vice President of the United States, Richard Bruce Cheney. Have the guts to demand their impeachment, now -- yes, now, right in the middle of a presidential election campaign, right in the middle of their last year in office -- for the capital crime (by U.S. law) of torture.

If you believe that what the Bush Administration has done is torture, then you have no other choice. And any elected officials in the national government -- including Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- who do not call for the immediate impeachment of Bush and Cheney on these charges, and the subsequent prosecution of their myriad minions who carried out their orders, are implicity condoning these crimes and acting as willing accomplices for them.

But as we see, no Democratic leaders are calling for impeachment; in fact, time and again, they specifically and adamantly rule it out. What's more, they are not even launching any formal, full-scale, high-profile investigations of the "torture memos" and the entire apparatus of enhanced interrogation, indefinite imprisonment and rendition that the leftist jihadis liken to the gulag -- even though they control both houses of Congress and could make life a living hell for the Bush Administration and John McCain, the loyal little lapdog who hopes to follow in the Leader's footsteps. But it is obvious that, deep down, the Democratic leaders agree with the President's actions and policies; they recognize the deep wisdom behind the aggression in the name of liberty in Iraq, the surveillance in the name of freedom at home, and the torture in the name of civilization that the Leader has made a hallmark of our enlightened age.

How then do they differ from the honorable John Yoo? They too are countenancing, assisting and following the arbitrary will of the Leader. They too look at the murder of a million innocent civilians in Iraq and refuse to treat it as a crime. They too look at the torture of helpless, uncharged, unprotected captives and refuse to treat it as a crime. Oh, they may preen and posture, they may lay some hot and heavy rhetoric on the rubes out there; but they DO nothing. And these are crimes which they actually have the power to investigate and prosecute.

Where then is the actual moral difference between these progressive paragons and John Yoo? He is simply more honest about his bootlicking servility to abitrary, brutal – and avowedly, unashamedly unconstitutional -- power, that's all. He has the courage of his lawless convictions. What do those Democratic leaders who claim allegiance to the rule of law and the Constitution of the United States have? The cowardice of their ambitions.

photo of Chris FloydChris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at

This column is republished here with the permission of the author.

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This story was published on April 8, 2008.


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