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I, Ass Hat – the story of John Yoo

Jose Padilla is suing John Yoo — you know the guy… the one who says that the President is above any law and that torture is just fine (that’s Yoo, not Padilla).

Padilla’s suit might have merit… then again, it might not. I don’t care. I have enough axes to grind without running over ground that has enough hooves carving grooves into it.

Here is what Yoo has to say about the suit:

Last week, I (a former Bush administration official) was sued by José Padilla — a 37-year-old al Qaeda operative convicted last summer of setting up a terrorist cell in Miami. Padilla wants a declaration that his detention by the U.S. government was unconstitutional, $1 in damages, and all of the fees charged by his own attorneys.

Yes, a buck.

The lawsuit by Padilla and his Yale Law School lawyers is an effort to open another front against U.S. anti-terrorism policies. If he succeeds, it won’t be long before opponents of the war on terror use the courtroom to reverse the wartime measures needed to defeat those responsible for killing 3,000 Americans on 9/11.

None of that matters to the anti-war left. They failed to beat President Bush in the 2004 elections. Their efforts in Congress to repeal the administration’s policies have gone nowhere. They lost their court challenges to Padilla’s detention. The American public did not buy their argument that the struggle against al Qaeda is not really a war.

I also hold contempt for some Yale lawyers. The most unethical and sanctimonious half-a-douche I ever met was a Yale lawyer. On the other hand, I happen to know a lot of really cool lawyers who went to Yale. Yoo plays this card to his uneducated and ne0-fascist supporters like it is a badge of shame. Yale Law School lawyers… naturally that is code for dirty america-hating liberals.

His “anti-war left” statement is just as snarky. (that’s my new word … that and chucklehead) Read his language… they… as in “us” versus “them.” They failed to beat Bush in 2004. I have news for Yoo. One had to be pretty freakin’ dumb to vote for Bush in 2004, but I suppose that you can fool anyone in the heat of the moment. Anyone who still thinks that their vote in 2004 for Bush was a good move deserves to be sterilized with a stone knife – while being forced to listen to “We Built This City” (Starship 1985) again and again and again. (I know one man who survived the latter – click here)

Here is the statement that makes me want to wring Yoo’s neck … if he had one.

So instead they have turned to the tort system to harass those who served their government in wartime. I am not the only target. The war’s critics have sued personally Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, Robert Gates, Paul Wolfowitz and other top government officials for their decisions in the war on terrorism. Other lawsuits have resorted to the courts to attack the telecommunications companies that helped the government intercept suspected terrorist calls.

Yoo didn’t serve the government during wartime any more than the freakin mailman did. If he wants to see men who served, he should take a little ride over to the amputee ward at Walter Reed Hospital. Tell those guys that you “served” by riding around in taxis and writing memos.

Here is where he really gets funny:

Worrying about personal liability will distort the thinking of federal officials, who should be focusing on the costs and benefits of their decisions to the nation as a whole, not to their own pockets. Even in the wake of Watergate, the Supreme Court recognized that government decisions should not be governed by the tort bar.

In a case about warrantless national security wiretaps ordered by Nixon’s attorney general, John Mitchell, the court declared that executive branch officials should benefit from qualified immunity. Officials cannot be sued personally unless they had intentionally violated someone’s clearly established constitutional rights.

The Padilla case shows that qualified immunity is not enough. Even though Supreme Court precedent clearly permitted Padilla’s detention, he and his academic supporters can still file harassing lawsuits that promise high attorneys’ fees. The legal system should not be used as a bludgeon against individuals targeted by political activists to impose policy preferences they have failed to implement via the ballot box.

Nah, qualified immunity isn’t enough. The executive should be able to do anything it wants without a check or balance – and without the possibility of later repercussions. Lawsuits to bring about policy change that can’t be achieved through the ballot box? You mean like Brown v. Board of Education? Garbage suits like that?

Does anyone except Yoo think that Padilla’s lawyers brought this suit because of the possible big payday at the end of it?

The prospect of having to waste large sums of money on lawyers will deter talented people from entering public service, leading to more mediocrity in our bureaucracies. It will also lead to a risk-averse government that doesn’t innovate or think creatively. Government by lawsuit is no way to run, or win, a war.

John, you are living proof that this statement is patently false. Ass-kissing sycophants who desire to follow and serve a modern day Tarquin will always seek to enter “public service.” You didn’t get involved to serve the public. You got involved to serve yourself. As far as mediocrity goes, if the Bush administration is not already a mediocracy then I’m a Korean-American neo-fascist.

I have a close friend who adores John Yoo. Aside from that, Ryan is a pretty cool guy. Ryan related a story to me about trying to have lunch with Yoo in Berkeley, and said that people spat at him.

I would too. Sorry Ryan.

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