John Yoo: Not criminal, just incompetent


Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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4 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    I very much like this quote. I’d apply this to a few other people as well:

    “John Yoo’s loyalty to his own ideology and convictions clouded his view of his obligation to his client and led him to author opinions that reflected his own extreme, albeit sincerely held, views of executive power.”Report

  2. North says:

    Never blame on malice what you can ascribe to mere stupidity.Report

  3. Michael Drew says:

    Chalking the memos up to incompetence rather than criminal disingenuousness is the very best thing one can possibly say about this work, and amounts to letting these monsters off the hook on the best terms they could conceivably even request on their own behalf. And perhaps they can prove their own incompetence to the world’s satisfaction. But they should be forced to do so in a court of law. I have read a fair amount of David Cole’s work, and heard him on a number of radio programs, and I can assure you, his view is not that these memos were the result of incompetence, but rather of explicitly contemplated criminal malfeasance.

    His views should be made clear in a post discussing the subject that mentions his name.Report

  4. Mike Schilling says:

    This reminds me vaguely of the defense of Ward Churchill, which basically went “Yes, he’s an incompetent moron, but no one minded that before the “Little Eichmann” remarks, and you shouldn’t fire someone purely for having unpopular opinions.” Of course, Churchill was fired, while Yoo still has his academic job, proving that calling Americans names is considered more serious than torturing foreigners.Report