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 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    DAYA  
    Young Daya has yet to become entirely jaded, but she has the character's trademark skeptical pout down pat. And with a piece-of-work mother like Aleida -- who oscillates between jealousy and scorn for her creatively gifted daughter, chucking out the artwork she brings home from summer camp -- who can blame her?

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    MORELLO   
    With her marriage to prison penpal Vince Muccio, Lorna finally got to wear the white veil she has fantasized about since childhood (even if it was made of toilet paper).

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CINDY   
    Cindy's embrace of Judaism makes sense when we see her childhood, lived under the fist of a terrifying father who preached a fire-and-brimstone version of Christianity. As she put it: "I was raised in a church where I was told to believe and pray. And if I was bad, I’d go to hell."

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CAPUTO   
    Joey Caputo has always tried to be a good guy, whether it's offering to fight a disabled wrestler at a high school wrestling event or giving up his musical ambitions to raise another man's child. But trying to be a nice guy never exactly worked out for him -- which might explain why he decides to take the selfish route in the Season 3 finale.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    BOO   
    In one of the season's more moving flashbacks, we see a young Boo -- who rejected the traditional trappings of femininity from a young age -- clashing with her mother over what to wear. Later, she makes the decision not to visit her mother on her deathbed if it means pretending to be something she's not. As she puts it, "I refuse to be invisible, Daddy. Not for you, not for Mom, not for anybody.”

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    SOSO
    We still don't know what landed Brooke Soso in the slammer, but a late-season flashback suggests that some seriously overbearing parenting may have been the impetus for her downward spiral.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    POUSSEY
    We already know a little about Poussey's relationship with her military father, but this season we saw a softer side of the spunky fan-favorite, who still pines for the loving mom that she lost too young.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    PENNSATUCKY
    Pennsatucky had something of a redemption arc this season, and glimpses of her childhood only serve to increase viewer sympathy for the character, whose mother forced her to chug Mountain Dew outside the Social Security Administration office and stripped her of her sexual agency before she was even old enough to comprehend it.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CHANG
    This season, we got an intense look at the teenage life of one of Litchfield's most isolated and underexplored inmates. Rebuffed and scorned by her suitor at an arranged marriage, the young Chinese immigrant stored up a grudge, and ultimately exacted a merciless revenge.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    HEALY
    It's difficult to sympathize with the racist, misogynist CO Sam Healy, but the snippets we get of his childhood -- raised by a mentally ill mother, vomited on by a homeless man he mistakes for Jesus when he runs to the church for help -- certainly help us understand him better.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    NORMA
    This season, we learned a lot about one of Litchfield's biggest enigmas, as we saw the roots of Norma's silence (a childhood stutter) and the reason for her incarceration (killing the oppressive cult leader she followed for decades).

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    NICKI
    While Nicki's mother certainly isn't entirely to blame for her daughter's struggles with addiction, an early childhood flashback -- of an adorable young Nicki being rebuffed on Mother's Day -- certainly helps us understand the roots of Nicki's scarred psyche.

  • 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>