April 3, 2008

John Yoo, the Thomas Aquinas of Torture

The depravity and criminality of this Administration baffles the mind. Every time I think they've hit rock bottom, it couldn't possible get any worse, someone hauls out the jackhammer and keeps digging.

John Yoo, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department, is emerging as an integral element to the legal justifications of the extra-Constitutional (read: illegal) activities of that Administration. Yoo is the author of one of the most infamous legal memos of the new century, which claims that the President's executive authority in determining whether to employ military force, along with the extent and manner in which that force will be used, in response to the "In'ernational War on Terra'," is unaffected by any resolutions or authorizations Congress passes. In other words, as long as the Preznit really wants to do something, say detain and torture hundreds of foreign nationals without legal oversight, it is all good. This apparently includes crushing the testicles of detainee's children, for Christ's sake.

I'll let that sink in.

But our boy Yoo isn't done. The ACLU has won a suit against the Pentagon over a Freedom of Information Act request, and a legal memo describing the underpinnings for Bush's policies regarding detainee treatment and interrogation. Mentioned in the footnote on page 8 is another memo, written by Yoo for disgraced former AG Alberto Gonzales, titled "Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the United States." Apparently, this memo makes the terrifying and outrageous claim that "our Office recently concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations." This memo remains classified unfortunately, so we cannot wittiness the twisted contortions the Constitution and human decency are put through to justify this. But if this is the assumption Bush operated under for the 16 months after September 11, 2001, that means that for that stretch of time, the 4th Amendment was effectively voided at Dubya's say-so.

So this 4th Amendment thing. Thats the one that protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, right? Keeps the government out of your business and what not.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Pretty important, huh? Not to the criminals in charge of our government. According to the legal blasphemy Yoo has spawned, this basic protection of the privacy of American Citizens can be waived at George W. Bush's whim. Sleep tight.

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