Bush administration torture architect John Yoo scribbles at the WSJ, horrified at the prospect of an executive order by President Obama requiring federal contractors disclose political contributions:
If a small businesswoman wants to sell paper clips to the Defense Department, Mr. Obama would force her to reveal contributions to groups such as Planned Parenthood or the National Rifle Association. These donations are obviously irrelevant to whether she made the most reliable bid at the lowest price. The only purpose of the executive order is to dangle the specter of retaliation (by losing her contracts) and harassment (from political opponents).
It would be comforting if this order had been some aberration produced from somewhere deep in the bowels of the federal bureaucracy. Unfortunately, it was not. This order represents the latest salvo in the Obama administration's war on the First Amendment rights of its political opponents.
Apparently, the unitary executive power begins on the other side of our borders. From among John Yoo's greatest hits:
Cassel: If the president deems that he's got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person's child, there is no law that can stop him?
Yoo: No treaty...
Cassel: Also no law by Congress -- that is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo...
Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.
That is, if it's a Republican president. And it's torture, not transparency.