Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Yoo Hooey

The Obama administration doesn’t want John Yoo, the man who enabled the Bush administration’s torture policies, to be prosecuted.

Such lawsuits ask courts to second-guess presidential decisions and pose “the risk of deterring full and frank advice regarding the military’s detention and treatment of those determined to be enemies during an armed conflict,” Justice Department lawyers said Thursday in arguments to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Other sanctions are available for government lawyers who commit misconduct, the department said. It noted that its Office of Professional Responsibility has been investigating Yoo’s advice to former President George W. Bush since 2004 and has the power to recommend professional discipline or even criminal prosecution.

Yeah, I realize that going after Mr. Yoo sounds like revenge and that the Justice Department may have practical reasons for their point of view from a strictly legal perspective, but it still comes across like they are protecting one of their own. And the last time I checked, suing someone for promoting activities that were clearly extra-legal isn’t “second-guessing.”