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John Yoo: 9/11 Civilian Trials A Mistake

Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2009/12/18/Uncommon_Knowledge_John_Yoo John Yoo, a former official in the United States Department of Justice, argues that allowing terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed the opportunity to have a civilian trial presents a great threat to national security. Civilian trials, he says, threaten to give terrorist groups dangerous insight into the workings of U.S. intelligence gathering. ----- John Yoo, who played a significant role in developing a legal justification for the Bush administration's policy in the War on Terror, reflects on the controversial legal and policy positions taken by the Bush administration on interrogating captured terrorists after 9/11. Beginning with a discussion of the war powers of the executive branch, Yoo asserts, "Today's conflict over presidential power does not truly arise over whether the authorities in question exist, but whether now is the right time to exercise them," addressing the fundamental questions at the heart of the debate over "enhanced interrogation techniques." As a strictly legal matter, does water boarding amount to torture, as the current Justice Department regards it? And are we safer because the Bush administration made use of enhanced interrogation? - Hoover Institution John Yoo is a professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. From 2001 to 2003, he served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department of President George W. Bush. Professor Yoo is the author, most recently, of Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush. Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he writes about business and politics, edits Hoover's quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest, and hosts Hoover's television program, Uncommon Knowledge.
Length: 04:48

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