John Yoo wrote memos that purported to legalize aggressive interrogation techniques in the service of national security and the war on terror.
Today the WSJ published a piece in which Mr. Yoo opined that "Obama Made a Rash Decision on Gitmo" – referring to President Barack Obama's executive order directing closure of part of the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — the part that houses people the George W. Bush administration deemed "enemy combatants".
Mr. Yoo argues, among other things, that "[e]liminating the Bush system [that Mr. Yoo's memos justified] will mean that we will get no more information from captured al Qaeda terrorists."
Leaving to one side the question of whether torture and near-torture yield more reliable information than other methods, Blawgletter wonders whether Mr. Yoo's current convictions about the necessity of waterboarding and other, what he calls, "coercive techniques, threats and promises, and the good-cop bad-cop routines used in police stations throughout America" bled over into his legal analysis.
Perhaps his legal research led him to those convictions. Perhaps his objective look at the case law produced them. But perhaps he held those views already?