John Yoo’s memo giving the administration an escape clause for illegal acts in the war in terror has been released. If you look at it, his other work, and the interviews he has given its stunningly clear that he has no idea what the hell he’s doing (nor does Cheney’s legal guy, David Addington). It’s not that I disagree with the conservatism of it, it’s that his basic argument boils down to “if the president does it, it must be legal”. As Richard Nixon can testify, that assertion is without any grounding – legal, moral, or otherwise.
Yet, at least when the president is conservative (they would give no such latitude to Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton), the right will always err on the side of executive discretion.