It Had To Be Yoo

From Talking Points Memo:

The fact that John Yoo was the only Justice Department OLC [Office of Legal Counsel] official who was “read into” the surveillance program — even though he wasn’t the head of OLC at the time — has already been noted by others looking through the inspectors general report on the program released last week.

But one excerpt from the report is worth paying particular attention to, since it underlines the special role that Yoo came to play on the White House’s behalf.

Referring to Jay Bybee, who ran OLC at the time and therefore was Yoo’s supervisor, the report says:

    Bybee described Yoo as “articulate and brilliant” and said he had a “golden resume” and was “very well connected” with officials in the White House. Bybee said that from these connections, in addition to Yoo’s scholarship in the area of executive authority during wartime, it was not surprising that Yoo “became the White House’s guy” on national security matters.


Original DVD cover.

Still, that doesn’t mean it didn’t rankle Bybee that Yoo went behind his back.

…snip…

Where was the Attorney General here? The report states:

    The DOJ OIG was also unable to determine whether Attorney General Ashcroft was fully aware of the advice Yoo was providing directly to the White House about the PSP [President’s Surveillance Program].
    Deficiencies in Yoo’s memorandum identified by his successors in the Office of Legal Counsel and Office of the Deputy Attorney General later became critical to DOJ’s decision to reassess the legality of the program in 2003.

So there you have it. We pretty much knew this story already: the White House used Yoo as its hand-picked provider of a legal rationale for the program, going behind the back of Yoo’s supervisor and perhaps even of the Attorney General himself. But Yoo’s reasoning was so shoddy and designed to give the White House what it was looking for — just as occurred on torture — that it was later substantially reassessed by his more critical-minded successors at OLC.

And as a final note, the report offers evidence that, when DOJ later developed some spine and, thanks to concerns about the program’s legality, refused to sign off on the reauthorization that the White House was seeking, it was Dick Cheney who suggested simply ignoring DOJ.

15 Comments

Filed under Chimpy, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, humor, John Ashcroft, Justice Department, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Torture, Wordpress Political Blogs

15 responses to “It Had To Be Yoo

  1. Glad they used the smart guy to draw up the plans…lol Gee, maybe they should have asked the “Wise Latina”. She might have been able to give them some pointers and help them stay above the fray and kept them out of trouble…lol

    Just shows we really did have a bunch of idiots running the country and how badly they messed things up. Every day we find more that is going to have to be cleaned up. That’s basically what it amounts to. Now if we can just get Congress to get in there and clean it up and scrub it like it needs to be done.. not meaning any slight to the President.. but this needs to be Congress doing this…and fixing it so it can’t be done again.

    • the chimpy administration treated government like some kind of game, and they thought cheating was perfectly acceptable. i hope that congress has the stones to stand up to obama and fix this. i don’t care who’s president. allowing law-breaking by any of them is a dangerous precedent.

  2. Don’t forget John Addington, who was Cheney’s legal advisor.

  3. Mr. Ramblings has always referred to Cheney as a *snake*. I think he & Rove were the evil masterminds in the Bush administration, and Bush the puppet.
    Maybe they should put Cheney’s photo next to the definition of Lawless in the dictionary?

    • i think cheney was one of the masterminds, and rove was chimpy’s handler. i think there others behind the scenes who were pulling the strings. i think poppy and his friends had a hand in everything.

  4. but they would still rather investigate a BJ

  5. jeb

    I wonder if Yoo is familiar with the use of “tool” as in Yoo is such a tool. Saw him blabbering away on TV and it’s one of those moments where you have to concentrate real hard and tell yourself not to throw anything at the TV.

  6. As always, Yoo slay me, nonnie.
    Glenn Greenwald asked MSM tool Chuck Todd,
    “If a president can find, as a president always will be able to find, some low-level functionary in the Justice Department— a John Yoo— to write a memo authorizing whatever it is the president wants to do, and to say that it’s legal, then you think the president ought to be immune from prosecution whenever he breaks the law, as long as he has a permission slip from the Justice Department? I mean, that’s the argument that’s being made. Don’t you think that’s extremely dangerous?”

    (I won’t bore you with Todd’s non-answer.)
    But. No— not “dangerous”— criminally shallow-minded.

    • thank yoo…i mean you, mh! 🙂 i’m typing between power outages here. either the cable and the internets aren’t working, or the damned power goes out. this is getting old really quickly. i can’t wait for hurricane season! 😡

      i met chuck todd once and had a nice conversation with him. that was about 5 years ago, when he was still at c-span. he was very different back then, so i have to wonder how much of what he says now is said under orders from the bosses. we don’t have an independent press these days, and that’s even more dangerous than some low-level asshole at the justice department. not saying that the latter is not very dangerous, but an independent press would sniff someone like that out before he could do too much damage.

  7. KarenZipdrive

    Fuck Yoo! 😉

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