Today John Yoo, the great legal mind who shaped the Bush administration’s policy on torture when he worked at the Department of Justice, testified before the House Judiciary Committee. Look how he evaded a simple yes-or-no question from Committee Chairman John Conyers:
Conyers: Could the President order a suspect buried alive?
Yoo: Uh, Mr. Chairman, I don’t think I’ve ever given advice that the President could order someone buried alive…
Conyers: I didn’t ask you if you ever gave him advice. I asked you thought the President could order a suspect buried alive.
Yoo: Well Chairman, my view right now is that I don’t think a President … no American President would ever have to order that or feel it necessary to order that.
Conyers: I think we understand the games that are being played.
Click the link to watch the video at TPMMuckraker.
The Bush administration’s policy on torture is an international disgrace. One of its legal architects won’t even concede that the president can’t order a suspect to be buried alive.
Unfortunately, John McCain has supported laws that give the president the discretion to define torture however he wants.