Chapman-Buddy John Yoo: Sure, the President Can Massacre Civilians
Torture lawyer Yoo makes his case at Chapman, flanked by former law dean turned attorney general candidate John Eastman.
Photo by Christopher Victorio
At the core of the legal arguments were the views of Yoo, strongly backed by David Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney's legal counsel, that the president's wartime powers were essentially unlimited and included the authority to override laws passed by Congress, such as a statute banning the use of torture. Pressed on his views in an interview with OPR investigators, Yoo was asked:"What about ordering a village of resistants to be massacred? ... Is that a power that the president could legally--""Yeah," Yoo replied, according to a partial transcript included in the report. "Although, let me say this: So, certainly, that would fall within the commander-in-chief's power over tactical decisions.""To order a village of civilians to be [exterminated]?" the OPR investigator asked again."Sure," said Yoo.
These included Yoo's findings in the memorandum that: 1) the Fourth Amendment would not apply to domestic military operations designed to deter and prevent future terrorist attacks; 2) "broad statements" suggesting that First Amendment speech and press rights under the constitution would potentially be subordinated to overriding military necessities; and 3) that domestic deployment of the Armed Forces by the President to prevent and deter terrorism would fundamentally serve a military purpose rather than law enforcement purpose and thus would not violate the Posse Comitatus Act.