Of course, the Wall Street Journal gives him a forum to spout more lies about his malpractice. This time, it’s the illegal wiretaps.
It is absurd to think that a law like FISA should restrict live military operations against potential attacks on the United States. Congress enacted FISA during the waning days of the Cold War. As the 9/11 Commission found, FISA’s wall between domestic law enforcement and foreign intelligence proved dysfunctional and contributed to our government’s failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks. . . .
In FISA, President Bush and his advisers faced an obsolete law not written with live war with an international terrorist organization in mind.
It is difficult to overstate how absurdly dishonest this argument is. The “wall” Yoo is referring to was removed by the Patriot Act, which amended FISA. The Patriot Act was signed into law by President Bush on October 26, 2001, a full week before Yoo submitted his now infamous memo authorizing the NSA program. That day, when the President Bush signed the Patriot Act into law, he said:
Surveillance of communications is another essential tool to pursue and stop terrorists. The existing law [FISA] was written in the era of rotary telephones. This new law I sign today will allow surveillance of all communications used by terrorists, including e-mails, the Internet, and cell phones. As of today, we’ll be able to better meet the technological challenges posed by this proliferation of communications technology.
Yoo is a terrible lawyer, a disgrace to the profession, and should be disbarred.
UPDATE August 18, 2009
BERKELEY, Calif. — Anti-war activists protested Monday at the University of California, Berkeley to call for the firing of a law professor who co-wrote legal memos that critics say were used to justify the torture of suspected terrorists.
Campus police arrested at least four people who refused to leave the university’s law school building.
The demonstrators said John Yoo should be dismissed, disbarred and prosecuted for war crimes for his work as a Bush administration attorney from 2001 to 2003, when he helped craft legal theories for waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques.
Shouting “war criminal,” the protesters confronted Yoo as he entered a lecture hall on the first day of class at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, where the tenured professor is teaching a civil law course this semester.
Yoo mostly ignored the demonstrators and waited for police to remove them from the classroom before he began teaching. Several officers then stood outside the lecture hall to prevent protesters and journalists from entering.
Demonstrators also staged a mock arrest of Yoo. Some dressed in black hoods and orange prisoner suits similar to ones seen in infamous photos of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, which was closed in 2006 following reports of detainee abuse.
“There is little doubt that John Yoo is a war criminal,” said civil rights attorney Dan Siegel, speaking outside Boalt Hall. “John Yoo went to Washington and created the ideological, political and legal basis for the torture of innocent people.”
Yoo, who returned to UC Berkeley after spending the spring semester at Chapman University School of Law in Orange County, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday