Yoo & Obama’s Justice

OMG I can’t believe I missed this!  John Yoo still can’t shut up about his huge desire to place people outside the reach of the rule of law.  You’d think he’d be trying to keep a low profile these days.  But no …

The CIA must now conduct interrogations according to the rules of the Army Field Manual, which prohibits coercive techniques, threats and promises, and the good-cop bad-cop routines used in police stations throughout America. Mr. Obama has also ordered that al Qaeda leaders are to be protected from “outrages on personal dignity” and “humiliating and degrading treatment” in accord with the Geneva Conventions. His new order amounts to requiring — on penalty of prosecution — that CIA interrogators be polite. Coercive measures are unwisely banned with no exceptions, regardless of the danger confronting the country.

Eliminating the Bush system will mean that we will get no more information from captured al Qaeda terrorists. Every prisoner will have the right to a lawyer (which they will surely demand), the right to remain silent, and the right to a speedy trial.

The first thing any lawyer will do is tell his clients to shut up. The KSMs or Abu Zubaydahs of the future will respond to no verbal questioning or trickery — which is precisely why the Bush administration felt compelled to use more coercive measures in the first place. Our soldiers and agents in the field will have to run more risks as they must secure physical evidence at the point of capture and maintain a chain of custody that will stand up to the standards of a civilian court.

Relying on the civilian justice system not only robs us of the most effective intelligence tool to avert future attacks, it provides an opportunity for our enemies to obtain intelligence on us. If terrorists are now to be treated as ordinary criminals, their defense lawyers will insist that the government produce in open court all U.S. intelligence on their client along with the methods used by the CIA and NSA to get it. A defendant’s constitutional right to demand the government’s files often forces prosecutors to offer plea bargains to spies rather than risk disclosure of intelligence secrets.  [oh no, more]

If there was ever any doubt that John Yoo thinks it’s a great idea to torture detainees, it should be laid forever to rest:  “Coercive measures are unwisely banned with no exceptions, regardless of the danger confronting the country.”

Shorter John Yoo:  Oh NO, we can’t torture people, no exceptions, whatever will we do …?  The right to a lawyer, the right to silence and the right to a speedy trial for all?  What the fuck?  Rule of law you say?  Never heard of it.  Same goes for the Geneva Conventions.  That’s only for other folks.  They don’t apply to us …  If we get attacked it will be because of Barack!

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