A typically ridiculous statement by John Yoo:
Take a look at how we were able to kill al-Qaida’s leader this year. How did we get the intelligence for finding Bin Laden’s couriers and ultimately Bin Laden? It was a combination of interrogation methods, sometimes tough or harsh, you can call it torture. I don’t call it torture. You can repeat the word torture all the time, I can repeat coercive interrogation all the time. Take a look at the actual methods, and people can decide for themselves whether they constitute torture or not.
Andrew Sullivan responds:
Let’s say Iran captured some US soldiers. Let’s say the soldiers were stripped naked and kept in a near-freezing cell until hypothermia set in, and then allowed out for a while; let’s say they were then collared and physically slammed repeatedly against plywood walls; let’s say they were then forced to stand for hours and hours on end in positions that caused them excruciating pain; and then let’s say they were strapped to a waterboard and near-drowned 183 times.
Do you think a president – any president – of the United States would insist they had not been tortured? The question answers itself. And the war crimes committed by John Yoo and his colleagues are not debatable in the actual world or in the context of American history. He’s a war criminal and deserves nothing but a fair war crimes trial and a jury verdict to determine if his war crimes were somehow justified.