Saturday, April 12, 2008
Yoo's on First?
by Ray McGovern
April 11, 2008
Is it because John Yoo, the former Justice Department's hired hand, is such an easy target? Is it because of the cheeky, in-your-face way in which Yoo argues that the president has the authority to have your eyes poked out and your sons' testicles crushed, because we are "at war" and he is commander-in-chief?
Or is it because our press is STILL reluctant to go after Yoo's guys – first and foremost his ultimate client – President George W. Bush? Oh, but that would be hard, you say.
Available on the Web, in its original format, is a 7 Feb. 2002 action memorandum that the president signed to implement the dubious advice he was getting from Yoo and those at Justice who hired Yoo – and from the vice president's office which guided Yoo.
Yoo did their dirty work (and now he takes the rap).
Weren't Yoo's co-conspirators careful to keep their fingerprints off the more blatantly offensive memoranda? Sure they were.
But there was one problem. Then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and then-CIA Director George Tenet could not get their people to torture folks without written, signed authorization by the president.
And we have a copy of that authorization? Yes, it's been available for years. You have to download it to believe it.
In his Feb. 7, 2002, memorandum, Bush wrote: "I determine that common Article 3 of Geneva does not apply to either al-Qaeda or Taliban detainees." (Common Article 3 bans "torture [and] outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.")
See the whole article