Well that didn’t take long.
Former Bush administration attorney and torture apologist John Yoo came out against the Obama administration’s actions in Pakistan, arguing that what the Obama administration should have done is capture bin Laden and send him to Guantanamo Bay. In an editorial published in the Wall Street Journal, Yoo called the President “afraid” of the politics of Guantanamo Bay and suggested that President Obama’s failure to send bin Laden to the notorious site will go down in history as one of the administration’s biggest national security fails.
Yoo, notorious for authorizing the torture memos and pushing the view that a sitting American president can do virtually anything in the name of national security, did not shy away from the fact that bin Laden would most certainly be tortured (excuse me, subjected to harsh interrogation techniques) as a top-level prisoner at Guantanamo. In fact, promoting the failed torture policies of the Bush years is exactly what Yoo was sent out to do once the news of bin Laden’s death broke.
Dahlia Lithwick unpacks the right’s torture fetish wonderfully here and rightly calls out the mainstream media for enabling it by continuing to give Yoo a platform to spin these failed policies. Yoo, Cheney and others engaging in the “did torture work to get bin Laden” debate are not debating the merits of the use of torture (there are none). They are pushing their own self-serving propaganda.
That Yoo, Cheney and the rest of the gang would do so really should not come as a surprise anymore. But the fact that institutions like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal continue to provide a platform should. With the exception of those like Yoo who are personally invested in having the merits of torture debated, there really is no debate. Civilized nations and civilized people do not torture. Period.
photo courtesy The National Guard via Flickr