Salon.com - Greenwald: John Yoo's war crimes.
As Jane Mayer reported two years ago in The New Yorker -- in which she quoted former Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora as saying that "the memo espoused an extreme and virtually unlimited theory of the extent of the President's Commander-in-Chief authority" -- it was precisely Yoo's torture-justifying theories, ultimately endorsed by Donald Rumsfeld, that were communicated to Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the commander of both Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib at the time of the most severe detainee abuses (the ones that are known).This Imperial President is UnAmerican. The next President will determine if this above the law abuse of power stands.
It is not, of course, news that the Bush administration adopted (and still embraces) legal theories which vest the President with literally unlimited power, including the power to break our laws.
For the release of the memo we have to thank the ACLU - protecting American liberties and the Constitution, from Houston to Washington.
I have never seen any better example of the tortured logic and justification offered by those who approve of these heinous acts than that given by the former South African who said that only the United States was strong and moral enough to commit gross immorality(!?) and made a comment on this blog that "forgive me for thinking that it's just dandy to use torture against people who want to fly airliners into our buildings." I am sure there are many other authoritarians and eye-for-an-eye fundamentalists who have also fallen far from any real sense of morality.
In addition to authorizing torture, the long legal memo from Yoo argued for sweeping Executive Branch powers to bypass the Bill of Rights in other matters involving wire-tapping and illegal search and seizure.
I still blame Ford. He taught Presidents they were above the law by pardoning Nixon.
Tags: ACLU, torture, John Yoo, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Unitary Executive, rule of law, Imperial President, dictatorship