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Bush's Torture Memos Author OK with Nuking Civilians, Drew the Line at Crushing Children's Testicles

Bush's senior Justice Department legal adviser defended comments that the president could unilaterally "massacre" civilians in wartime in newly released interview.

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"To order a village of civilians to be [exterminated]?" the OPR investigator asked again.

"Sure," said Yoo.

If asked to OK crushing child's testicles I'd resign, Yoo admits

The former Bush adviser has apparently been playing the devil's advocate on torture. Arguing that the president has the right to do things that he personally wouldn't approve of.

KQED host Michael Krasny noted that journalist Gary Wills "takes very profound exception" to Yoo's views on torture.

"He feels in terms of presidential power, I mean such things as - and I used two examples that I believe have been used with you - ordering a child's testicles to be crushed or having a whole village of civilians killed," Krasny said. "This gets into realms of monarchical or dictatorial or tyrannical power that really don't serve the interest of what our Constitution is about, which is checks and balances."

"Well," Yoo replied, "first let me say that all of these wild hypotheticals about interrogation methods or wartime measures were nothing like what we considered in the department and nothing like what I would ever approve in the government

Yoo admitted, "If I was asked to approve some of these terrible things I'd rather resign than take part in them."

"But I have to say the Administration never considered some of these things," Yoo pointed out.

Yoo was asked about the testicles scenario during a 2006 debate with International Human Rights expert Doug Cassel.

Cassel: If the President deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?

Yoo: No treaty.

Cassel: Also no law by Congress. That is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo.

Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.

(11 minutes in, the preceding exchange can be heard)

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John Byrne is editor of Raw Story .

 
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