Monday, March 15, 2010

Yoo Besmirches Legacy of Jefferson

By Ray McGovern
March 15, 2010

Initially I was shocked at the thought of the University of Virginia welcoming former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo to the “Academical Village” founded by Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, which denounced tyrannical acts by King George III, including ones that fell far short of waterboarding.

Read on.


Bill from Saginaw said...

Pray tell, what would Jefferson, Madison, Mason, Patrick Henry, Ben Franklin, and the other Virginian and non-Virginian founder/drafters of our Constitution and its Bill of Rights have thought about using civilian spies to take part in targeted assassinations?

Was there ever a moment while the delegated powers were being divvied out to the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the new federal government - perhaps a moment after the formal session had adjourned for the day and these gentlemen/scholar elites were kicking back in a pub somewhere - that one of the gentlemen at the table asked "What about the right to murder? Which branch of government should have the power entrusted to it to draw up the hit lists and send forth our nation's assassins?"

I doubt any such conversation ever took place among the drafters of our constitution's checks and balances. Killing one's political rivals at home or abroad by stealth in the dead of night was the behavior of tyrants, you see.

Examining the legal basis for the CIA's black ops forays into premeditated homicide in the Age of the Predator Drone is just as important as comparing John Yoo's pretentious psuedo-scholarship on torture and indefinite detention without trial with the Bill of Rights' guarantees about cruel and unusual punishment and the due process of law.

Bill from Saginaw

Helen F said...

Thank you, Ray McGovern, for the outstanding piece, "Yoo Besmirches Legacy of Jefferson". It isn't always easy to admit that those who preach terrible things have the rights to do so and I find it very hard indeed to imagine John Yoo speaking to the University. But he has those rights and I hope with all my heart that he will be aware of where he is and will pick his words carefully. Well done; I salute you!

pdferris1 said...

Saddam Hussein was convicted and hanged for ordering the gassing a village of Kurds in Halabja. The chemical components were sold to him by the United States. Maybe he would still be walking this earth if he had John Yoo to defend him. After all if the President of the United States can legally destroy a village why cannot the President of Iraq do the same.

Morton Kurzweil said...

Yoo Hoo?