John Yoo: Not criminal, just incompetent
David Cole assembles some devastating criticism from Yoo’s former colleagues:
The one thing practically everyone interviewed by the OPR agreed about was that Yoo’s legal work on the torture memos was atrocious. Bush’s Attorney General Michael Mukasey called it “slovenly.” Jack Goldsmith, another Republican who headed the Office of Legal Counsel from 2003 to 2004, said that Yoo’s August 2002 memo justifying torture by the CIA was “riddled with error” and a “one-sided effort to eliminate any hurdles posed by the torture law.”
Daniel Levin, who headed the Office of Legal Counsel after Goldsmith left and, like Yoo, was a former clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas, described his reaction upon reading Yoo’s memo as “This is insane, who wrote this?” And Stephen Bradbury, who became acting head of the OLC after Levin’s departure, also under President Bush, and who wrote several memos authorizing torture himself, said of Yoo’s arguments about presidential power, “Somebody should have exercised some adult leadership” and deleted his arguments altogether. These are the assessments not of human rights advocates or left-wing critics but of Yoo’s Republican colleagues at the Justice Department.