Glenzilla has a piece up that is so scathing it will singe your eyebrows when you read it:
That John Yoo is a full professor at one of the country’s most prestigious law schools, and a welcomed expert on our newspaper’s Op-Ed pages and television news programs, speaks volumes about what our country has become. We sure did take care of that despicable Pvt. Lyndie England, though, because we don’t tolerate barbaric conduct of the type in which she engaged completely on her own.
Memeorandum round up here.
I have not read the entire memo, and to be honest, it would be pointless for me to do so with no legal training. My unlearned interpretation of the memo would most resemble a monkey fucking a football, so I have to rely on what legal experts I trust say. From what I understand from Balkin, Greenwald, and others is that the memo is breathtakingly brazen in the scope of authority it asserts for the President, but that there is nothing really surprising in the memo. Everything we sort of expected it would say is there.
What a shame this administration has put this country through this. What a shame they have dragged us down to the level of morality as a two-bit dictatorship. One last thing of interest from Balkinization:
Orin Kerr notes that John Yoo’s torture memo sounds very lawyerly in its arguments. This observation points to an important fact about legal discourse: Lawyers can make really bad legal arguments that argue for very unjust things in perfectly legal sounding language. I hope nobody is surprised by this fact. It is very commonplace. Today we are talking about lawyers making arguments defending the legality of torture. In the past lawyers have used legal sounding arguments to defend slavery, the genocide of Native Americans, rape (both spousal and non-spousal), Jim Crow, police brutality, denials of habeas corpus, destruction or seizure of property, and compulsory sterilization.
When you hear the right-wing defend this memo over the next few weeks, months, and years, put two and two together. Fifty years ago, these hacks would have been defending segregation. They are more than likely the same folks defending the current legal excesses created by the never-ending War on Drugs. It is a point worth making, and a point worth remembering.