Skip to main content

View Diary: Newsweek: Yoo said Bush could order civilian massacres! (299 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  An old story for Yoo? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've been intrigued by John Yoo’s motivation to passionately argue against the grain of the Constitution on executive power. Both Bybee and Bradbury seem to have deferred to Yoo's fierce determination and sureness in his belief in presidential power despite an absence of logical reasoning. What's underneath?

    In his Aug 2009 Esquire interview Yoo talked about his parents who "saw the United States as saving their country, and I agree with them," he said. "It did save their country." It is unclear whether his parents were themselves "saved" by Truman's usurped unilateral action of invading Korea but the event nonetheless left Yoo with a deeply positive emotional impression of sweeping presidential power.

    Perhaps it's a reach but I can't help but wonder if in emotional gratitude Yoo transferred this pre-emptive (skipping the Constitution) power pattern to Bush under the pretense of "logic." Thus not only has Mr. Yoo no legal reasoning for his torture memos, far worse his "thinking" is infantile and unconscious -- and certainly extra-constitutional.

    Not only are Yoo’s memos justifying torture illogical, incomplete and wrong -- as they appear to be on the surface -- this explains one possible reason why: because they are based ultimately not on reason but primitive emotion. It is to say that the view linking Yoo’s torture memos to Truman’s unfettered presidency is consistent with Yoo’s not being open-minded to the possibility of any other way of looking at presidential power. It is consistent with his being "a hardened ideologue" who was utterly dependable to his presidential superiors (Bush-Cheney) because, if this conjecture is correct, he was moved by a deeply emotional childhood memory and always will be. He is not providing genuine "reasoning" underneath his rationalizations of unfettered executive power. He has a permanent emotional bias and thus should have been required to recuse himself from all legal decisions related to presidential authority.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site