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John Yoo, examining the hand that wrote the Torture MemoIn these uncertain times, it is comforting to know some things never change.  Like John Yoo, who you may remember as the author of the Torture Memos during the Bush Administration! Has he had a change of heart about helping the American government justify its use of torture on detainees captured in the course of the War on Terror? Has he finally decided that in fact, it would be illegal to crush a child’s testicles in order to get his father to talk? No, he has not. He has, in fact, turned his attention to more pressing matters, like Obama’s refusal to deport teenagers who came to this country as undocumented children. Do you even KNOW about Hitler? Or Stalin? Because if you do your research, you’ll find that this is the first step along a short path towards authoritarianism, and thank God John Yoo, Torture Memo author, is here to warn us.

From Esquire, quoting John Yoo:

As a Justice Department lawyer in the Bush administration, I took the view that the White House could refuse to carry out an unconstitutional law that infringed on the president’s commander-in-chief authority to manage war and defend the national security. I agree that our immigration system demands fundamental reform, particularly in how it treats those brought here as infants. But the president cannot refuse to enforce a law simply because he disagrees with it.

So when the president BREAKS a law — and a hundred years of precedent, give or take — because he disagrees with it, that’s one thing. But when he refuses to ENFORCE a law, well, that’s another matter entirely.

But wait, there’s more! (Still John Yoo here, still via Esquire):

There is a world of difference between putting aside laws that interfere with an executive response to an attack on the country, as in Sept. 11, 2001, and ignoring laws to appeal to a constituency vital to re-election.

“Putting aside laws that interfere with an executive response” is a fancy phrase for “ignoring or breaking laws that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney deem inconvenient.” And we guess we finally agree with John Yoo for once: there IS a “world of difference” between justifying torture — including, and we’ll just say it again, crushing a child’s nutsack to get his dad to talk — and refusing to deport undocumented immigrants brought to this country as infants or toddlers.

[Esquire]

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