One of the top Bush-era lawyers who authorized waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics exercised “poor judgment” but should not be disbarred, an internal Justice Department review showed.
According to the Office of Professional Responsibility, John Yoo engaged in “professional misconduct,” a finding that could have stripped him of his law license.
But now the California law professor will be free to offer his controversial views on almost entirely unbounded presidential authority for future administrations.
Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff notes that Yoo also “told Justice Department investigators that the president’s war-making authority was so broad that he had the constitutional power to order a village to be ‘massacred,’ according to a report released Friday night by the Office of Professional Responsibility.”
Pressed on his views in an interview with OPR investigators, Yoo was asked:
“What about ordering a village of resistants to be massacred? … Is that a power that the president could legally -”
“Yeah,” Yoo replied, according to a partial transcript included in the report. “Although, let me say this: So, certainly, that would fall within the commander-in-chief’s power over tactical decisions.”
“To order a village of civilians to be [exterminated]?” the OPR investigator asked again.
“Sure,” said Yoo.
“The views of former Justice lawyer John Yoo were deemed to be so extreme and out of step with legal precedents that they prompted the Justice Department’s internal watchdog office to conclude last year that he committed ‘intentional professional misconduct’ when he advised the CIA it could proceed with waterboarding and other aggressive interrogation techniques against Al Qaeda suspects,” Isikoff notes.
The Washington Post reports that Yoo and Bybee “allegedly worked with officials in the White House and at the CIA to structure their controversial legal analysis.”
The Post added: “In its final report, the OPR said it had tried unsuccessfully to access Yoo’s e-mail messages during his time at the Justice Department, and was told that ‘most of Yoo’s e-mail records had been deleted and were not recoverable.'”
“Justice Department lawyers have an obligation to uphold the law, so when they write legal opinions that were designed to provide legal cover for torture, they need to be held accountable with more than a slap on the wrist,” said Andrea Prasow, senior counterterrorism counsel at Human Rights Watch.
Jameel Jaffer, who heads the National Security Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, called on the Justice Department to expand its investigation into the interrogation practices.
(with AFP report)
Fake Village People appear on SNL to tell Trump to stop using their music or they’ll shave Ivanka’s head
The fake Village People made a surprise appearance on "Saturday Night Live" to tell President Donald Trump to stop using their music at his rallies or they'll shave Ivanka Trump's head.
"If you have been watching the Trump rallies, you probably noticed Trump dancing to The Village People," said Colin Jost during the Weekend Update segment. "If you haven't, let's take a look."
He explained that the Village People had their own special message for the president. The group of SNL cast members came out dressed in traditional Village People outfits and sang their cease and desist for the president.
SNL does campaign ad asking what they’ll do without Trump to trash — then they have a revelation
"What is the news even going to be about now?" the Saturday Night Life cast joked, saying that without President Donald Trump.
The fake ad began saying that everyone knows it could be the most important election of our lives.
"And the two choices couldn't be more different," the ad continues. "Do we want four more years of Donald Trump or a fresh start with Joe Biden? Can we survive four more years of scandal, name-calling, and racial division? Or do we want a leader who unites the country? I want to vote for Biden because he's better, smarter. better and better."
But, the cast members confessed, "I'm worried, because if Donald Trump isn't president -- when what are they going to talk about? Like, what would our conversations even be? Because the only thing I talked about for four years is Donald Trump. Every single day I tell someone, 'Can you believe what Trump just said?' My entire personality is hating Donald Trump. If he's gone, what am I supposed to do? Focus on my kids again? No thanks. He changed the game. He called the attorney general he appointed mentally retarded. That's some next-level sh*t!"
Saturday Night Live’s Trump claims his secret COVID-19 plan is ‘under audit just like my taxes’
"Saturday Night Live" began this week's show with a recap of the presidential debate showing President Donald Trump confusing Kirsten Welker with Hoda Kotb, Mindy Lahiri, and at one point, even a waitress.
Alec Baldwin explained that the coronavirus loved him so much that it didn't want to leave his body because it was so beautiful.
He also explained that he couldn't share his coronavirus plan because it was still under audit like his taxes.
Jim Cary toned down his portrayal of Joe Biden from last week's over-the-top yell-fest.
"Learning to live with it? We're learning to die with it, man!" said the fake Biden, quoting the real Biden, but with a glint of Clint Eastwood.