So Dick Cheney wants to abuse anyone involved in the resistance against the United States in Iraq or Afghanistan, but he knows the rules (like the Geneva Convention) don’t allow you to treat POWs that way. As he did to get us into the war (repeatedly lying to the Congress and the American people about Saddam’s WMD), Cheney wants someone to step up and say (he knows it will be another lie) he can torture if he wants to.
Enter a man named John Yoo. Yoo is a former Justice Department lawyer. I’m sure he will occupy a warm spot in Dick Cheney’s ever-weakening heart forever. Why? Because John Yoo spent many “tortured” hours twisting the law (not to mention common human decency) beyond all recognition so he could write a memo that sanctioned the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
I simply cannot, in my most creative and imaginative moments, visualize what it must be like to do what Yoo did, knowing the tidal wave of human suffering he was setting off with his words.
And then, when the U.S. Senate releases a report detailing the awful things we did to many men from the Middle East, John Yoo, Dick Cheney’s best barrister, concedes that, in some cases, the CIA had perhaps gone too far. As CNN quoted Yoo, “If these things happened as they’re described in the report…they were not supposed to be done.” And then he added (this from the man who “legally” connected the alligator clips from the battery to Torture Subject #1’s testicles) “…the people who did those are at risk legally because they were acting outside their orders.”
If the actual torturers (people I understand even less than I do John Yoo) may have a legal problem, how about John Yoo? Shouldn’t the man who wrenched the legal system (and basic morality) into horrid forms, all to make Dick Cheney and company happy, share some blame here? Many of us knew what Yoo unleashed was wrong when he first did it, now everyone knows. Will there be any accountability?