Not surprisingly, Yoo begins the op-ed with a collosal straw man. He points out how important it is to intercept al Qaeda communications and writes: "Evidently, none of the inspectors general of the five leading national security agencies would approve." Of course, the issue is not whether intercepting communications is a good idea, but whether the program violated the law. Yoo was not a policy maker. He was a lawyer. His job was to state what the law was, not what it should be.
Yoo is not even trying to make honest arguments here. He would be laughed out of court if he ever made any of these claims before an actual judge. But for some reason he continues to be given valuable op-ed space (and a professorship at Berkeley!) to make these completely disingenuous and unsupportable claims.
Ignorance = need for lawlessness, says Yoo...Yep, that’s John Yoo’s latest argument —since we didn’t know what al Qaeda would do after 9/11 we had to break the law to find out!
Saying that FDR did the same thing or that every administration has ignored a law is like my kid telling me not to discipline them for cheating on a test because Johnny cheated, too. Nor did the government in Hamilton’s time have the technological capabilities that it has today.
But while civil libertarians and liberals seem to love to hate Yoo and point the finger at him, the spotlight needs to remain on the men who handpicked him, used him for their own purposes, and who ignored the rule of law.
and Scott Horton was on Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night with fill-in host David Schuster to discuss Yoo's latest defense: