John Yoo has no regrets.
At a University of Chicago Law School event, the author of the torture memos was asked whether he would do anything differently if he had the assignment to do over again. According to a correspondent for the Above The Law blog:
Yoo said that he would draw the line in “exactly the same place,” but that he would have been sure to “say nice things about everyone, I guess” if he had known that the torture memos would have been made public.
But Yoo, who served in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, also appeared to slam the Bush administration. From the same correspondent:
After being asked a question about whether one could criticize the Bush Administration for acting outside of Jeffersonian and Lockean theories of acting extra-legally, Yoo responded something very close to the following: “If you’re going to criticize the Bush Administration, there’s no need to limit yourself to fancy theories; the starting point to criticize the Bush Administration is ‘complete incompetence and stupidity.’” (The last four words are a direct quote.)
When Above the Law checked that report with Yoo, he didn’t try to wriggle out, responding:
I think the quote is a little different. After “fancy theories,” I said more something along the lines “why not just try incompetence and stupidity?” I think your correspondent is giving me too many words.
Yoo is currently a law professor at Berkeley. A long-awaited internal Justice Department report on the torture memos finds, according to leaks given to Newsweek, that Yoo showed “poor judgments” in writing the memos that authorized torture, but does not recommend referring the issue to state bar associations for disciplinary action.