John Yoo

Obama turning to executive power to get what he wants

John Yoo quoted in McClatchy Newspapers, March 19, 2013

“I think President Obama has been as equally aggressive as President Bush, and, in fact, he has sometimes used the very same language to suggest that he would not obey congressional laws that intrude on his commander-in-chief power,” said Yoo…. “This is utterly hypocritical, both when compared to his campaign stances and the position of his supporters in Congress, who have suddenly discovered the virtues of silence.”

Why President Obama is losing the drone war

John Yoo quoted by POLITICO, March 8, 2013

“On the substance, I do happen to think Sen. Paul is incorrect,” said Yoo…. “I don’t often say this, but I think the attorney general has the right bottom line. Unfortunately, I think he gets there in the wrong way and he does it in sort of the most politically incompetent manner.”

Arrest raises issue of where to try terror suspects

John Yoo quoted in The Wall Street Journal, March 7, 2013 (registration required)

“It does and should reopen the debate about the proper place to try high-ranking Al-Qaeda members,” said John Yoo…. Mr. Yoo said if there is a rush to send suspects such as Mr. Abu Ghaith to civilian courts, it could inhibit the government’s ability to fully exploit any intelligence gathered through his capture. Also, a civilian trial could expose classified intelligence-gathering techniques to the U.S.’s enemies, Mr. Yoo said.

John Yoo to Rand Paul: leave Barack Obama alone on targeted killing!

John Yoo quoted in Mother Jones, March 7, 2013

“I think it’s right, if an American joins an enemy with which we are at war, he is, or she is, a valid target as an enemy combatant. That’s been the rule throughout our history,” Yoo said. “People in the Civil War were all American citizens, but the ones who took up arms were members of the enemy.”

Same-sex marriage needs voters’ stamp

John Yoo quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, March 6, 2013

“It would be a mistake for the Supreme Court to use this case to basically cut off the political process and impose its own view on a moral and political question that is very divisive.” The savvy conservative believes in states’ rights and voters’ right to choose their marriage laws.

Death by drone, and the sliding scale of presidential power

Daniel Farber and John Yoo cited in National Public Radio, It’s All Politics blog, February 8, 2013

In an interview, Farber said…. “Presidents, regardless of political party, or liberal versus conservative, they just don’t seem to have a lot of qualms about doing what they think is necessary for national security. So it doesn’t surprise me [that Obama has allowed Americans to be targeted in drone strikes overseas]. There have been very few exceptions.”

In his 2006 book, War by Other Means: An Insider’s Account of the War on Terror, Yoo argues that killings in the context of a war is what legitimizes the federal government’s actions: “When a nation goes to war, it seeks to defeat the enemy in order to prevent future harms on society inflicted by enemy attacks…. The military bombs a building when it estimates with varying degrees of certainty that enemy soldiers or munitions are there. It does not wait to attack until it has proof beyond a reasonable doubt or probably cause.”

Worse than waterboarding

John Yoo quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, February 6, 2013

“What’s the greater deprivation of liberties?” asked UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo, who wrote some of the Bush Justice Department legal opinions that authorized CIA use of enhanced interrogation techniques―waterboarding or incinerating?

Diminishing the presidency

John Yoo writes for Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2013

Every president should seek to leave the office stronger than when he found it. The Framers understood that the future’s challenges could not be anticipated, and so the executive’s powers should not be wasted for short-term political advantage. Mr. Obama holds the prospect of leaving a diminished presidency that will put his successors in a far worse position than the one he inherited.

Four years after Obama’s signature promise, Gitmo is still open

John Yoo quoted in The Washington Times, January 20, 2013

John Yoo, who as a top lawyer in the George W. Bush administration helped craft the legal framework for terrorism policies, said the U.S. will have a place to put detainees as long as it is fighting al Qaeda.
“Better to hold them in a highly secure facility, such as Gitmo, than mixing them in with the general population of a prison in the United States,” said Mr. Yoo.

Obama advisor who had decried ‘war on terror’ now defends drones

John Yoo quoted in Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2013

John C. Yoo, the Berkeley law professor who was the focus of ire in the Bush era for the so-called torture memo that justified harsh interrogations, said he found much to like these days. “I don’t want to speak specifically about Koh’s record,” Yoo said. “There is no doubt that on issues ranging from drones to military commissions to Guantanamo Bay, Obama and his legal advisors performed a 180-degree turnaround once in office.”