On December 1, Doug Cassel, director of Notre Dame Law School's Center for Civil and Human Rights, debated John Yoo, who, while at the Justice Department in 2002 and 2003, was the most influential adviser to George W. Bush on establishing his limitless powers as commander in chief in the war on terrorism. The December 25 New York Times noted that John Yoo's memoranda to the highest reaches of government "became the underlying justification for . . . the order to try accused terrorists [charged with no crime and imprisoned indefinitely] before military tribunals; the secret overseas jails operated by the Central Intelligence Agency . . . and the use of severe interrogation techniques."But of course, the abuses at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere had nothing to do with men like John Yoo arguing that crushing children's testicles is part of the President's war powers.
In Yoo's debate with Doug Cassel, the Notre Dame law professor asked: "If the president deems that he's got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person's child, there is no law that can stop him?"
John Yoo: "No treaty."
Doug Cassel: "Also no law by Congress—that is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo [while Yoo was a Justice Department attorney]."
John Yoo: "I think it depends on why the president thinks he needs to do that." (Emphasis added.)
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