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Yoo, Bybee, and Disinformation

By David Swanson

Everything you're reading about torture lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee getting off the hook is wrong. They are not torture lawyers, they are not off the hook, there never was any hook, they may not be lawyers for long, impeachment and indictment are on the agenda, and you have a role to play.

Calling these men "torture lawyers" is dramatically dumber than labeling Al Capone a tax cheat. These are people who provided "legal" cover for aggressive wars, who put down in documents treated as secret "laws" that any president can launch any aggressive war at his whim, without regard to domestic or international law, Congress, the Supreme Court, you, me, or morality. The very report that is the subject of the latest "news" flurry quotes Yoo declaring that, "Sure!", a president can order a village massacred. Yoo's previous declaration that a president can crush a child's testicles is soooooo much more shocking, I realize, but the villagers' testicles WOULD die with the rest of them upon being massacred. Over a million Iraqis lie dead. So stop obsessing on the torture for godsake and try to focus on the fact that these people are conspirators in the supreme crime of war. Read the memos of September 25, 2001, and October 23, 2002, if this is all new to you.

How many villages could a president "legally" massacre? You're missing the point. John Yoo's president cannot be limited in any way when it's war time, and it's always war time. And can other nations' presidents potentially "legally" massacre our villages? Again, you're missing the point. The ONLY way to prevent them from doing so is to massacre enough of their villages first. And the only way to do that is to empower presidents. Thus think these psychopaths, and so will our children think like this if we do not put a stop to it now.

Yoo and Bybee are openly guilty of conspiracy to engage in aggressive war, banned by the U.N. Charter and Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, and of conspiracy to torture, a felony under 18 U.S.C. § 2340A-c and § 2441, and to spy without warrants, banned by the Fourth Amendment. Their memos are public. The fact that everyone waited for years to do anything about it, until they could see the Justice Department's own report on the matter doesn't change the absolute irrelevance of such nonsense. Yoo's and Bybee's actions, no matter what you make of them, consist entirely in authorship of a series of written documents available for all to read. And those documents constitute overwhelming grounds for impeachment and indictment.

That being said, the report that everyone waited years for was finally snuck out the door last Friday night. Of course, we already knew what it would say, what the original version had concluded, and what was later done to that conclusion. But nobody has hidden any of that. They've released the first, second, and third versions of the report, plus documentation of the fact that they edited their conclusions at the bidding of the men who are the very subjects of the report. The report concludes that these war lawyers "committed intentional professional misconduct". The fact that some schmuck in the DOJ adds a note saying that they don't really mean it, doesn't change the fact that any institution in which Yoo's and Bybee's behavior did not constitute misconduct would need to be destroyed in its entirety beginning with actions to newly identify as unacceptable Yoo's and Bybee's crimes. And that they are crimes is not really impacted by whether or not they are "misconduct".

The DOJ's designated hack does not recommend disbarment, but says that the bars can make that decision themselves. Of course they can, whether or not they're given a blessing by the DOJ. Everyone reporting and lamenting that these criminals cannot now be disbarred or impeached is trying to give the very department that oversaw the crimes the power to determine how independent institutions, like Congress and bar associations, respond. Do you think Congress would not have impeached Nixon if he'd just put out a report recommending against it?

Of course the war lawyers can and must be disbarred, and you can help at

Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressman John Conyers understand the need to at least pretend that they are not taking their orders from an agency conducting a transparent fraud. At we filed a freedom of information act request for the various versions of the report, hoping to expose how the original conclusions were modified. Whether that request was an influence or not, the reports are now public and the fraud out in the open. But Leahy is asking Bybee to resign, Conyers is avoiding the word "impeachment," and neither one of these gentlemen -- stand-out frauds in their own rights -- is talking about subpoenas.

Two things are needed here. First, we need to deter ongoing crime through punishment. Aggressive wars, torture, lawless imprisonment, and warrantless spying are continuing because Yoo and Bybee and their co-conspirators have not yet been prosecuted. And they are not being prosecuted because the new president is continuing the crimes. We must raise our voices for the rule of law. Spain is seeking to indict these killers but is facing strong resistance from the White House.

Second we need to find a way for the public to re-enter our government and gain some modicum of control over what it does. That is going to require restoring powers to Congress, and that is going to require at least one committee at the very least enforcing its own subpoenas through the Capitol Police force, if not the Congress impeaching and removing from office someone who used to work in the so-called executive branch. There is a campaign building pressure to demand Bybee's impeachment at

The Justice Department has been publicly and lawlessly ordered by the president not to enforce laws against the war lawyers. The threat of the DOJ issuing an official recommendation of disbarment does not exactly qualify as a hook (to be let off of). Nor does impeachment, although it serves the critical purpose of shifting power back to Congress, sufficiently deter ongoing crimes. What's going to be needed in the end is prosecution. But that's going to have to come through massive public pressure and intense pressure from Congress, from abroad, and from a strengthened independent communications system.

On March 19th the eighth year of this war will begin in Iraq, Afghanistan will still be escalating, and John Yoo will be coming to speak here in Charlottesville, Va. We're putting up WANTED posters and planning a "Funk the War" musical march and a protest rally. No one will be left with any doubt that this man is not welcome in this part of the country or why. Most other parts of the country are delivering the same message. This is how we begin to change the culture, not by repeating as fact meaningless statements about getting off the hook, not by calling mass murderers torturers, and not by imagining that what John Yoo wants for this country cannot fully happen here.

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When Karl Rove came to Portland, Oregon (Feb 10th) we handed out Wanted Posters and put them up around the city. Each Thursday we have a big wanted poster for Jay Bybee in front of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit here in Portland. Many people who do not know Bybee, will stop and read the poster and take our handout. Wanted Posters are very effective to get people's attention. I agree with everything David says and will keep fighting to get these criminals-at-large before a judge to answer for their crimes.
"What we need is Law and Order!"

Joe Walsh-Lone Vet

Great article and I always appreciate when someone reminds that there's far worse than the crimes of torture to be concerned about. I often commented on or criticized people for treating the torture as if there weren't far worse crimes of wars of aggression going on, but there's a person now and then who reminds readers about this.

Anyway, Yoo is guilty of yet another crime; imo, anyway. First, however, I'll quote from David Swanson's article.

Yoo's and Bybee's actions, no matter what you make of them, consist entirely in authorship of a series of written documents available for all to read. And those documents constitute overwhelming grounds for impeachment and indictment.

Yoo recommended terrorism:

While Yoo perhaps didn't write this in any official government documents, he nevertheless explicitly recommended that the government of the USA commit an additional crime, the one called terrorism. The fact that he did this is something that evidently is an absolute certainty. His words were recorded, so it's just that he may not have written them in official documents, which makes some difference, but without making him non-prosecutable for his recommendations.

"Governments From Around the World ADMIT That They Carry Out False Flag Terror"

by Washington's Blog, Feb 21, 2010

The above piece is the second on this topic from Wa.'s Blog this week and people should read the whole of this one, while I'll excerpt only the paragraph about or for what Yoo said and for which the above article provides a link for a full article at AEI.

Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”

Recommending the carrying out of crimes is like inciting criminal acts, which is a crime under U.S. law; and if the crime is international and is a crime according to international laws, conventions or treaties, all of which the torture was, then it's a crime even if the called-for acts aren't carried out. Merely calling on someone to carry out a crime is itself criminal according to law. And terrorism as well as the false flag kind definitely are criminal acts according to law.

If that's not how law is in the USA, then I'm mistaken about the U.S., but it's law in other countries. It's a criminal offence to threaten someone in Canada, f.e. The action doesn't need to be carried out; a simple verbal threat, alone, is a criminal offence that will be addressed in a court of law. And the same should apply under U.S. law, if the law doesn't already exist.

But if it is how the law is in the U.S., then even if Yoo didn't write his recommendation for the government to organize and commit terrorism (even if it's the false flag kind and is covert, it's still terrorism) in any official form, he nevertheless committed a serious criminal offence. It's very serious, because of, both, the position he held in relation to the government and being a licensed professional lawyer (in the USA, to boot).

Also, reading the examples in the above Wa.'s Blog article we can see that the U.S. carrying out false flag terrorism would likely cause much more than only some confusion among Al Qaeda members. It could also be used a pretext for escalating the wars even more than they are.

The government of the USA didn't need any recommendations from Yoo to begin to commit terrorism or false flag terrorism, for the government's been covertly doing this for a long time, already. There was, among other examples, Operation Phoenix during the Vietnam War. But Yoo's publicly stated recommendation nevertheless is a criminal act and a court should be able to (additionally) prosecute and convict him for this.

More comments on David Swanson's article:

The following quotes are again from David Swanson's article.

The Justice Department has been publicly and lawlessly ordered by the president not to enforce laws against the war lawyers.

And that's a blatantly or flagrantly criminal act Obama committed; an additional one of his crimes. It's highly un- or anti-constitutional, I believe. Obama's committing criminal usurpation, again; imo.

What's going to be needed in the end is prosecution. But that's going to have to come through massive public pressure and intense pressure from Congress, from abroad, and from a strengthened independent communications system.

Unfortunately, but indeed, clearly, ..., such pressure is required.

Prosecuting the Adminstrations:

I wholly appreciate and support the article by David Swanson, but if the process or campaign ever achieves successful prosecutions of Yoo and Bybee, concluding with real convictions for their crimes, then the process mustn't stop with this pair of goons, for the Presidential administration is ultimately responsible. Bush Jr, Cheney, plenty of others in the Bush Jr-Cheney administration, certainly Rumsfeld and Powell anyway, and then Obama, etcetera, must all be held accountable. Their crimes aren't "bested" or topped by those of Yoo and Bybee; they're far worse.

Yoo and Bybee aren't responsible for the government committing the crimes that these two goons were hired to so-called legalise, for the Presidential administration, the Congress, the DoJ, ... always know very well that there was NO way to officially legalise these crimes without usurping (or hijacking) the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, the UN Charter and international laws, conventions and treaties that the U.S. is co-signatory to and is therefore required to abide by and defend. They all knew and know that the U.S. Constitution makes the latter laws, etcetera, [supreme law of the land] in the USA!

The Presidential administration knew very well that the documentation written by Yoo and Bybee was really just a facade and thought that they could get away with this facade, which was wholly transparent to everyone who knew what the real laws were and had to remain; in addition to people with a real sense of morality and sane common sense. We know that it's not white-collar goons in a new presidential administration, or the Congress, or Senate, or DoJ, or ..., who have any moral or legal authority in the USA to unilaterally reverse or contradict established U.S. law without needing to do this through a Constitutional process by which the U.S. Congress would need to be the presiding authority and would need to write up new Constitutional amendments for.

The laws of the country regarding war can't be legitimately changed by any presidential administration acting unilaterally; regardless of whether, or not, the administration has lawyers pretending that the contrary is true. Such lawyers being used, or not, no presidential administration has such executive power or privilege that it can usurp the Constitution and Bill of Rights in any legal way. Usurpation is literally what's happened; usurpation, hijacking, high or highest of treasons, ..., this "game" of which Yoo and Bybee are complicit, but who nevertheless also are only goon instruments or instrumental goons working behind a transparent facade.

But the Constitution is just a piece of paper?:

Bush Jr should've been legally "nailed" the second he bogusly, though truly, responded to an inquiring journalist by saying that the U.S. Constitution is "just a piece of paper". That very moment justified immediate impeachment, for his words expressed high or criminal disregard for the Constitution. It's an expression only an [enemy] and traitor of the country would state. If recalling correctly, this Q&A occurred in very early 2003; and Bush could've been impeached much earlier, for he never provably won the election in 2000, anyway. He more provably did not win the election and therefore had no right to take the presidential seat.

Root problems: The 9/11 attacks and the killing of Able Danger, allowed without real investigations, ...:

First, I'll include a link for the following article, which I definitely recommend reading. It's more than only about the Congressman referred to in the title of the piece, and while the list is not thorough, it's nevertheless a very good, important sampling of many former U.S. government officials (from White House administrations, Congress, including active members of Congress, military, intelligence, ...).

"Yet Another Congressman Questions 9/11"

by Washington's Blog, originally Feb 17, 2010

While it's not necessarily obvious or straightforward in apparence, all of this, the further above, also has a real link to the need to also get the 9/11 attacks reinvestigated with a fully honest and thorough inquiry. Actually, the full investigation dates a little further back than 9/11, for the inquiry also would need to include the related and highly treasonous killing, that is, shutting down, of the US Army's very special intelligence unit, operation, ... whatever it was called, ABLE DANGER. See what Lt Col Anthony Shaffer has to say about Able Danger! All of this is directly pertinent to the wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, and their expansions, as well as all related crimes; torture, rendition, etcetera. After all, these events set the whole warring into motion. Able Danger could've prevented the 9/11 attacks if the team had not been criminally obstructed, "handcuffed", ... and eventually shut down, which happened prior to 9/11. And the 9/11 attacks serve as the pretext for setting the U.S. (and NATO) into active war (of aggression).

The anti-constitutional, criminal, despotic, ... shutting down of Able Danger ensured or strongly helped to ensure that the terrorist attacks that happened on 9/11 would happen. The Bush administration's total disregard for many forewarnings again ensured ... the same thing. And the 9/11 attacks, once fully ensured, since they were then recent but nevertheless past tense, served as the pretext for the wars of aggression that followed.

Without these events, there would not be any campaign against Yoo or Bybee, who came "into play" later on. Some people might claim that Yoo and Bybee were instrumentally useful with their bogus documents, but it has always been a transparent facade that never hid the criminality involved. Anyone who couldn't see the treason, the usurpation, ... involved had to NOT want to see through the wholly transparent facade. There was no curtain over the window to prevent onlookers from seeing what was going on on the other side of the window, and as dirty as what was going on on other side of the window was, the glass was clean, no dust or dirt on the glass preventing us from being able to clearly see on the other side.

9/11 and Able Danger investigations, vs prosecuting against the wars:

All of this latter investigatory work is surely not needed in order to prosecute the Administrations for the wars [of aggression] on Afghanistan (and therefore Pakistan) and Iraq; as well as prosecuting the Administrations for the incidentally related crimes of torture, extraodinary rendition, etcetera (and the use of traitors like Yoo and Bybee, among others). Many in the 9/11 Truth Movement claimed the opposite plenty of times and I always disagreed, for we can prove that both wars are of aggression regardless of whether a new 9/11 investigation is conducted, or not. The new investigation is [needed], definitely, but it's not necessary to do this in order to be able to prosecute the two Administrations for these wars; imo, anyway.


Since we have courts of law that fancy giving life sentences much longer than anyone lives, these traitors would, if prosecuted and punished according to their crimes anyway, be getting 1,000 years or more for prison sentences; and 1,000 would be light for many of these criminals (aka enemies from within, and domestic enemies).

Again, it's great to read David Swanson writing about prosecuting on the basis of wars of aggression; instead of the usual articles about crimes of torture and no mention of what these are related or incidental to. Many incidental crimes occur with wars of aggression, while the primary crime remains the latter. Without the latter, the incidental crimes would either not occur, or would much less occur.

Mike Corbeil

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