Thursday, February 12, 2009

The theory of Unitary Executive and Yoo

John Yoo, the lawyer who wrote the 2003 memo authorizing torture by the United States. is speaking today at the University of Iowa to faculty of the College of Law. However, torture is just the tip of the ice berg. Yoo believes in a radical legal theory on presidential power called

Yoo was working as the deputy assisatant general in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel in 2001. After the 9/11 attacks, Yoo published a memo that said the president's power is unlimited on matters related to terrorism and national security.

From How Would a Patriot Act by Glenn Greenwald (page 40)...

The bulk of the memo was devoted to an analysis of the president's powers to direct the movement of the armed forces as part of foreign wars. But Yoo contended that the president's powers were not confined only to the battlefields or wars; he emphatically argued that the president has the power to make any decisions with regard to all matters relating to defense of the country and that neither Congress, nor the courts, nor any longstanding laws can restrict or limit those decisions in any way.
Out of this theory of Unitary executive, came the disregard of the FISA law and domestic wiretapping, ignoring the Geneva Conventions and torture, and holding prisoners in legal limbo without a trial.

This should concern every American, regardless of political leanings. Now that there is a Democrat in the oval office, Yoo's radical theory is precedent.

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