He's pro-choice. He thinks flag burning is a legitimate form of free speech. He thinks the government is "wasting a lot of resources" in the war on drugs. He thinks the phrase "war on terror" is misleading political rhetoric. He's cowriting an article that makes a conservative case for gay marriage. "Our argument is, the state should just stay out of these things, because it doesn't hurt anybody." And he's definitely alarmed by the more theocratic Republicans. "When Mike Huckabee says he wants to amend the Constitution so that it's consistent with God's law, that scares the bejesus out of me."

Who is this about? It's about John Yoo.

Source: (Warning: Some people may find some of the highly sexually suggestive images on Esquire offensive.) "Is John Yoo a Monster?"http://www.esquire.com/features/john-yoo-0608?src=rss by John H. Richardson. Esquire. May 13, 2008.

The author, John H. Richardson, is arguing against hope.

I won't discuss in any detail his error that "these things...[don't] hurt anybody" here. Abortion hurts people, and homosexuality is certainly harmful. (See: "Homosexuals: What they ignore.")

The question isn't whether or not those things (and others) hurt others (notice the line Yoo has drawn here but doesn't apply it regarding "legal" torture). The question is whether or not society is right in coercing others. Jesus says it is not, and I agree with Jesus.

Don't do it, because you don't want to be coerced or shouldn't want to be. You should want the line to be a freewill choice where the sheep and goats will be divided forever separating away those who ruin everything for those who want to live surrounded only by righteousness.

Yoo's analysis hinges on the Declare War Clause. Most scholars — most people — believe it was intended to give Congress power to decide whether to go to war and that the founders saw this as an essential bulwark against tyranny. Yoo makes a case that it was really meant as a formal recognition of wars already under way, and the founders intended the real bulwark against tyranny to be Congress's power of the purse. "Several times every year, Congress has a chance to vote on funding the Iraq war," he keeps telling me. "It's an amazing power — if 51 percent of them refuse to vote for it, the war is over."

Well, he's right that they have the power of the purse. They haven't used it to do what's right. As for his "case that it was really meant as a formal recognition of wars already under way," he's wrong.

What Yoo should have done was look at the Eighth Amendment, which forbids cruel and unusual punishment. He should have considered international treaties against torture and cruelty and civil rights along with a host of domestic laws and statutes. But Yoo wasn't acting as an honest lawyer, he says. As the Padilla lawsuit states, he was "a key member of a small, secretive group of executive officials who exerted tremendous influence over antiterrorism policy and who were known as the 'War Council.' "So he bent the law to justify a course of action he was already determined to take.

Freiman is especially scornful about the "necessity argument," as legal philosophers call it — the idea that the president can take extraordinary actions in an emergency to protect the nation, that the information in Padilla's head was worth cracking it open. "That's the argument that every despotic regime in every corner of the globe has been making for sixty years," he says. "Necessity, national security. The Nazis invoked necessity too. The question is, How do you deal with those threats? Are you bound by human rights, or are you not?"

This is why Freiman filed Padilla's lawsuit against Yoo. To redraw that line, he says, to recover our sense of justice and decency, to salvage the idealism that once shone so bright, America must pass judgment on John Yoo.

That's Jonathan Freiman, Jose Padilla's attorney. Now he's right. We judge John Yoo wrong. However, as Christians, we cannot do to him what he has done to others. We can say that because he has not repented, he cannot lead. We can't though punish him. We can't coerce him. We can though treat him as the heathen outsider. I'm speaking here specifically about the Christian body. What the secularist do has no part in us or we in them.

The Eighth Amendment did not apply, Yoo decided. It forbade cruel and unusual punishment, but punishment came only after a criminal conviction. His critics savage him for not considering American laws against coerced confessions and police brutality, but Yoo points out that the memo only applies to noncitizens "outside the United States." They say he should have considered our treaty obligations under the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which also forbids "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment," but Yoo believed that treaties were only binding when Congress passed statutes translating them into domestic law, a position recently affirmed by the Supreme Court.

"...but Yoo believed that treaties were only binding when Congress passed statutes translating them into domestic law, a position recently affirmed by the Supreme Court."

The Supreme Court is an ass on this. It can't read. The U.S. Constitution expressly states that such treaties are the law of the land. It says nothing about passing "statutes translating them into domestic law."

I hate this Supreme Court decision. It's outrageous. Those who voted in favor of Yoo's position have been stupid and fascistic. According to the mundane law, they should be impeached.

Evil-hearted people on the Supreme Court are a direct reflection of the evil-heartedness of the Empire spirit that pervades the U.S.

If the U.S. doesn't turn and quickly, all Hell will end up breaking loose.

Listen, one can avoid "organ failure and death" of a torture victim for decades.

"Severe pain" is a line that has been arbitrarily chosen. It is not the line. "Severe pain" is the false line drawn by virtue of the wrong Supreme Court decision that the U.S. is not bound by treaty obligations that by virtue of the U.S. Constitution rise to the level of Constitutional Articles and Amendments. The reasoning offered by Yoo and those on the Supreme Court who agreed with him is less than specious. It's downright pharisaical.

Look, Jesus Christ is rightly held up by most people of the world as the epitome of morality. No matter how much abuse they heaped on him, he refused to strike out. There is no moral justification for saving many by sacrificing a few or even one who might even be completely innocent. That's what the crucifixion is all about.

Listen to this! "If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not." — John 11:48-50

Don't you see what they did and how it screams out against Yoo's assertions? Even if the mundane law could be twisted to suit what he's alleged it already does, it's still monstrous.

The problem is that the neocon types are gauging all of this in relative terms using extremely low standards: Hellish standards. They don't see it that way, because they're blind to the higher standard. From Heaven view, what Yoo has written is pure evil.

How long must we live with evil excusing itself on account of itself?


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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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