IT'S JUST THAT EVIL LIFE GOT YOU IN ITS SWAY.

The Yoo torture memos have finally been declassified. Emily Bazelon cites their "glib certainty" as what stunned her, but I'd argue this would be potentially acceptable if its arguments were more plausible and the implausibilities weren't in service to such reprehensible ends. It's one thing to, say, confidently assert a very narrow but plausible reading of a statute restricting executive power. Confidently asserting a broad range of arbitrary executive powers (including the power to torture), allegedly beyond the power of the legislature to regulate, despite the explicit textual grants of relevant powers to Congress, during a "war" whose battlefield could be the entire planet and whose duration could be infinite, is another matter entirely.

--Scott Lemieux

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