[Reverse Yoo] is not going to be like the Nazi lawyers who let the Holocaust occur... So Yoo decides that he must write a memo concluding that these techniques are unlawful. Granted, he needs to get a bit creative to reach that result. He needs to stretch a legal term here, bend a legal term there. But by fudging the analysis when necessary, he manages to write a memo that gets to the result he wants to reach that the CIA is not permitted by law to engage in these interrogation methods. With OLC’s opinion issued, the CIA never uses these techniques and no one is ever waterboarded.Now, did the real John Yoo do basically the same thing as the Reverse Yoo? Or is the bending and stretching justified to prevent torture but not to permit it? Does it all depend on whether you think enhanced interrogation techniques are torture?
March 1, 2010
Orin Kerr poses a hypo in which John Yoo is asked to interpret a federal statute that fairly appears to permit enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding. The Reverse Yoo believes, personally, that these techniques really are torture and should be forbidden: