Jon Stewart Calls John Yoo Interview ‘Pretty Unsatisfying’
By Ryan J. Reilly | January 12, 2010 12:03 am

John Yoo (Berkeley)

Jon Stewart (Daily Show)

Expectations were high in anticipation of Daily Show host Jon Stewart’s interview with John Yoo, a former official in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel who wrote the so-called “torture memos.” Given the comic’s history of tough critiques of the decisions made by Justice Department under George W. Bush, many expected a spirited debate over the use of executive power.

But at the end of Monday’s show, Stewart called his Yoo interview “pretty unsatisfying” and joked that the government should force captured terrorists to watch it. “My guess is they’ll talk,” said Stewart.

Yoo, now a law professor at Berkeley, was on to promote his book, “Crisis and Command,” in which he argues that the founding fathers deliberately left the Constitution vague on the limits of presidential authority.

Yoo said it was his duty to answer the White House’s questions about executive power and mentioned that he never met Bush (which ”may be the most f**ked up thing about this,” joked Stewart).

“I said it’s not something that anybody wants to go out and answer, it’s not anything I came into the government to do but at the same time, our country is under attack, and you think there’s going to be a terrorist attack very shortly,” said Yoo. “There’s a huge demand to get this kind of intelligence from the top leaders of al Qaeda.”

“If we’re at peace and there’s no enemy, these are not questions that we have to think about,” Yoo later said.

“So you have to be at war to be able to waterboard?” asked Stewart.

“Well you just have to be at war to even think of the question,” said Yoo.

“It’s very easy to attack Bush or Obama for being some renegade president, but Congress and the Supreme Court can always put a stop to anything they want,” said Yoo.

“If they know about it,” said Stewart.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show: Exclusive – John Yoo Extended Interview Pt. 1
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive – John Yoo Extended Interview Pt. 2
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive – John Yoo Extended Interview Pt. 3
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

For a full rundown of previous appearances by DOJ officials on the Daily Show, see our previous coverage.

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