Ryan J. Reilly | January 8, 2010 3:09 pm
John Yoo (Berkeley)
Jon Stewart (thedailyshow.com)
Former Department of Justice official and torture memo author John Yoo will be on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Monday to promote his new book, according to the show’s Web site.
His book, “Crisis and Command,” is a history of power grabs by American presidents going back to George Washington. Yoo, currently a professor at Berkeley, argues in his book that President Barack Obama is using executive powers in the same way his White House predecessor George W. Bush did.
Stewart, in a spirited exchange with pundit Cliff May in the spring, said he is “decidedly anti-torture.”
In an interview featured in The New York Times Magazine, the former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Yoo says that he never met former President George W. Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney and that he does not regret writing legal memos that said the administration was free to ignore laws prohibiting torture.
The Justice Department has still not released the results of the Office of Professional Responsibility’s report on the conduct of former Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who blessed the use of harsh interrogation methods on suspected terrorists.
More than four years in the making, the report explores whether advice in memos from the Office of Legal Counsel OLC met professional standards required of Justice Department lawyers. The Office of Professional Responsibility’s initial findings reportedly were harshly critical of Jay Bybee, the former head of the Office of Legal Counsel, and Yoo, a former deputy.
It’s still unclear when, and to what extent, the report will be made available to the public. The Justice Department has been pronouncing it nearly finished since May.
Here’s a clip of Stewart talking about the torture memos:
Stewart previously interviewed former Head of the Office of Legal Counsel Jack Goldsmith in October 2007:
And again in 2008 (two parts):
Stewart got into a spirited debate with Cliff May on the Daily Show last spring regarding torture and waterboarding (two parts).
Joe Palazzolo contributed to his report.