Bush torture architect: Killing Osama was wrong!

John Yoo argues that "a deliberately small force" was sent to Pakistan to ensure bin Laden wouldn't come back alive

Topics: Osama Bin Laden, War Room, Barack Obama, Republican Party, Torture,

Bush torture architect: Killing Osama was wrong!John Yoo on Eliot Spitzer's CNN show, "In the Arena."

Eliot Spitzer took Bush torture memo author John Yoo to task on his show “In the Arena” last night, questioning the lawyer over his controversial Wednesday Washington Post op-ed.

Yoo, who credits former president Bush’s interrogation policies with substantial success in leading Obama and his team to Osama bin Laden, again stressed his belief that terrorists should be captured and questioned rather than killed.

But he also went further, suggesting that the Navy SEALs sent to Abbottabad were not given the option of taking bin Laden alive. “If they were going in with no options other than to kill [bin Laden], then I do think that’s a problem — and that’s what it’s starting to sound like from the information that’s coming out of Washington right now.”

“It does seem from the initial reports that a deliberately small force was sent in and there wasn’t a lot of thought given to the idea of capturing him.”

“They don’t want to capture high-level al-Qaida leaders,” Yoo said of Obama’s administration. Watch video of the interview here:

You Might Also Like

In his Washington Post piece, Yoo argued that the death of bin Laden represented the squandering of “one of the most valuable intelligence opportunities since the beginning of the war [on terror].”

Yoo’s stand on “enhanced interrogation techniques” is well-documented, so his argument that bin Laden would have been more useful alive (and talking) than dead was a relatively predictable one. But toward the end of his piece, Yoo introduced a more provocative hypothesis: the idea that President Obama would rather just kill terrorists than “wade through the difficult questions raised by their detention.”

Yoo wrote that “the demands of the real world” have “forced Mr. Obama to give up his law-enforcement approach to terrorism” since the heady days of the 2008 campaign, when then-candidate Barack could make optimistic promises about closing Guantánamo and trying terrorists in the courts. Indeed, he speculated that Obama, disheartened by his progress in these areas over the past two years, would simply rather not deal with all the challenges associated with a terrorist’s capture — choosing, instead, to have special forces assassinate his extremist enemies.

Emma Mustich is a Salon contributor. Follow her on Twitter: @emustich.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Martyna Blaszczyk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

    Anders Andersson/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 2

    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

    Aashit Desai/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 3

    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

    Allan Gichigi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 4

    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

    Chris Ludlow/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 5

    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

    Jassen T./National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 6

    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

    Howard Singleton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 7

    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

    Abrar Mohsin/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 8

    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

    Madeline Crowley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 9

    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

    Ian Bird/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 10

    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>