Monday, September 18, 2006

John Yoo's hypocritical, partisan posturing about presidential powers

Former Bush administration legal eagle John Yoo, now a Berkeley law prof, publishes an exercise in partisan political hackery masquerading as a Sunday NYT Op-Ed. Glenn Greenwald persuasively shreds Yoo's legal arguments.
I began writing a post in response to this truly ridiculous Op-Ed by John Yoo in this morning's NYT -- in which Yoo gleefully celebrates every authoritarian transgression of the Bush administration, from torture and pre-emptive wars to endless invocations of presidential secrecy, the issuance of "hundreds of signing statements" declaring laws invalid, and even what Yoo calls the President's assertion of his power to "sidestep laws that invade his executive authority" (what we used to call "breaking the law") (emphasis added in all instances).

But then I thought better of it, because, at this point, anyone who fails (or refuses) to recognize that the President does not have the power in our system of government to violate laws by invoking national security concerns is never going to recognize that. Yoo's Op-Ed is so flagrantly frivolous that it ought not be taken seriously. He even goes so far as to claim that the "founders intended that wrongheaded or obsolete legislation and judicial decisions would be checked by presidential action." How can you be on the faculty of a major law school and say this?
Check out the rest of Greenwald's post. And then, to judge the intellectual substance and honesty of the arguments of Yoo and his ilk about extending the powers of the Bush presidency, all you need to do is ask if they would make the same arguments if Democrats held the White House.

Would they have supported giving the same powers to the last President Clinton? Why didn't they? What about the next President Clinton, or any other Democrat? If not, what the hell are they talking about?

No comments: