Monday, February 09, 2009

John Yoo Speaking at U of Iowa on Thursday

John Yoo, the lawyer who wrote the 2003 memo authorizing torture by the United States, is speaking at the University of Iowa on Thursday.

The speech will be held at the Boyd Law Building at 11:30 on Thursday and is private gathering with Yoo and UI Law faculty. There has been no disclosure by the University on the how much Yoo is being paid to speak.

The memo written by Yoo narrowly defined torture to only include pain inflicted that could cause serious injury or death. That means waterboarding, long-term stress positions, denial of sleep, slipping needles underneath fingernails, electric shocks, and more don't count as torture.

Yoo even claimed it is legal to crush a child's testicles if the President thinks he needs to do that.


Ben said...

As someone who authored what is argueable the most important statement of executive power in the past decade, I don't begrudge the Univerity of Iowa Law faculty for wanting to bring the man in, carefully consider his arguments, and then trash him for as long as he's willing to stay in the room. Just for the sake of argument, I'm going to (sort of) take John Yoo's side in this...

The whole "crush children's testicles for fun and profit" asspect to his argument is really the absurd example of what is actually a fairly serious legal debate on the extent of executive authority during war time. Yoo takes an absolutist position that there is literally -nothing- a President can't do as commander and chief to protect the country. This is a -legal- argument. It shouldn't, and I don't believe was intended to be, a ethical stamp of approval. Yoo said the President has the power, not that he should use it.

Anonymous said...

the problem is the idea that the president can do anything he wants as commander in chief is challenged by things like any international treaty we've signed such as geneva and the convention against torture. article xi of the constitution says that we have to uphold international treaties that we sign.

so the unitary executive theory of yoos and cheneys can kiss off. the fact that yoo believes what he does is scary.