Archive for John Yoo – Page 2

Torture Watch- Clarence Thomas: Peekaboo! I see Yoo!


By GottaLaff

Talk about mirror images. First, Clarence Thomas:

According to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, a prisoner who was slammed to a concrete floor and punched and kicked by a guard after asking for a grievance form -- but suffered neither serious nor permanent harm -- has no claim that his constitutional rights were violated.

If he were to look at his own reflection, he'd say, "Peekaboo! I see Yoo!"


The court's decision came a few days after Thomas' now-famous former law clerk John C. Yoo was charged with flawed reasoning, but not professional misconduct, as a Justice Department lawyer when he applied much the same view toward the treatment of Al Qaeda prisoners.

Um, that would be "alleged Al Qaeda" prisoners. Not every prisoner was affiliated with a terrorist group. Now, let's compare and contrast:

In the so-called torture memos in 2002, Yoo reasoned that subjecting prisoners to simulated drowning or "stress positions" in cold cells was not illegal torture because it did not cause the intense pain of a serious injury, equivalent to "death or organ failure."

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the cruelest of them all?

It's a tie.

Let's not leave out Scalia. That would be rude:

Thomas' consistent record of dismissing claims of prison brutality, most of them joined by Justice Antonin Scalia, shows that Yoo's view of torture was not that of a rogue lawyer. Instead, it represents a strain of conservative thinking that looks back in history to define cruelty and torture, rather than toward what the court has called the "evolving standards of decency."

Over two decades, Thomas and Scalia have repeatedly dissented when the court ruled for prisoners who alleged they were subjected to cruelty.

Alleged? Is this what they mean by "alleged"?

And see, it all depends on what the definition of "punishment" is, see:

The two justices explained that the word "punishment" as it was used in the English Bill of Rights in 1689 referred to judges imposing punishment for a crime. Prison guards do not impose "punishment" even if they mete out cruelty, they said.

Ohhh, of course... the legal system stands corrected. How could so many have been so wrong all this time? Scalia, Thomas, and Yoo clearly have the letter of the law down pat... allegedly. The rest of us are dead wrong:

When asked about torture and cruelty toward prisoners, he discounted the possibility. "Has anyone ever referred to torture as punishment? I don't think so," Scalia said. "What's he punishing you for? He's trying to extract" information, he said.

And that justifies everything. America, and all those tortured-- not punished-- prisoners can breathe easy now.



All my previous posts on this subject matter can be found here; That link includes one specific to only Fayiz al-Kandari's story here. Here are audio and video interviews with Lt. Col. Wingard, one by David Shuster, one by Ana Marie Cox, and more. My guest commentary at BuzzFlash is here.

Lt. Col. Barry Wingard is a military attorney who represents Fayiz Al-Kandari in the Military Commission process and in no way represents the opinions of his home state. When not on active duty, Colonel Wingard is a public defender in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

If you are inclined to help rectify these injustices: Twitterers, use the hashtag #FreeFayiz. We have organized a team to get these stories out. If you are interested in helping Fayiz out, e-mail me at The Political Carnival, address in sidebar to the right; or tweet me at @GottaLaff.

If you'd like to see other ways you can take action, go here and scroll down to the end of the article.

Then read Jane Mayer's book The Dark Side. You'll have a much greater understanding of why I post endlessly about this, and why I'm all over the CIA deception issues, too.

More of Fayiz's story here, at


VIDEO: Fox News allows John Yoo to make excuses for torture


By GottaLaff

F. Yoo.

"Waterboarding is not something that was cooked up in Cheney's office or something like that," he said. "Waterboarding is something that we had a lot of information on. Twenty thousand American soldiers and officers had undergone it and did not suffer any lasting pain, harm or suffering. So, when we looked at the statute that congress wrote and we looked at that evidence, we in the Justice Department and a lot of other lawyers too said that we don't think it amounts to torture because we would not be doing it to our own soldiers otherwise."

Waterboarding, which is indeed part of the military's Survival, Evade, Resist and Escape (SERE) training, is in fact torture.

Oh please, you slimy thug, allow someone, anyone, to waterboard you. Then we'll see if you "think" it amounts to torture.

That BushCo's little gang of abusers has been allowed to skate is literally a crime. Now Yoo feels oh so comfortable popping onto the Tee Vee Machine chatting his fool head off with his special Fox friends, justifying what should be considered criminal behavior.

And ClusterFox is aiding and abetting.

F. Yoo.


"Yoo, Bybee, Cheney and Bush have never suffered the burden of a conscience"


By GottaLaff

I've said this before, but I have no problem being redundant when it comes to torture: These thugs should be in prison.

Via the L.A. Times letters to the editor, Yoo asked for it:

Letting them off solves nothing

Re “Cleared but not vindicated,” Editorial, Feb. 23

The last line in your editorial reads: "They may not be disbarred, but they are disgraced."

In order for anyone to feel disgraced, they must have a conscience. It's been painfully obvious -- for some time now -- that John C. Yoo, Jay S. Bybee, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush have never suffered the burden of a conscience.

What is disgraceful is that so many of the Bush administration's transgressions will remain not only unpunished but uninvestigated.


The "torture memo" and the horrors that sprang from it have discredited America and American ideals. The damage to our national security will take a generation to repair and, meanwhile, puts our nation and our citizens abroad at great risk. Yoo and Bybee could not have done more damage had they been undercover agents in the employ of an arch foe such as, oh, Al Qaeda.

Hmmm. Hmmm. If only there was a way to wring a confession out of them . . .

Hmmm. Hmmm. Indeed.


Yoo claims he ‘helped save Obama’s presidency’


By GottaLaff

Yoo gotta be kidding!

In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal Wednesday titled "My Gift to the Obama Presidency," Yoo declared that he "may have just helped save [Obama's] presidency. How? By winning a drawn-out fight to protect his powers as commander in chief to wage war and keep Americans safe."

First John McCain claims Obama suspended his 2008 campaign, too.

Then someone on ClusterFox blames Obama for Nevada's domestic violence.

Now this? Concocting legal justification for abuse of power, and abuse of humans, is nothing to boast about, Sparky. And the only think you've managed to save is your own ass.

Yet another WTF moment. Welcome to Opposite World.