Home / General / The Theorist of Torture and Arbitrary Detention Speaks Again

The Theorist of Torture and Arbitrary Detention Speaks Again


Hmmm, I wonder if John Yoo will use the Tsarnaev bombings as his latest example of how there’s nothing arbitrary detention can’t do?

“Apparently the FBI interrogated the younger Tsarnaev for 16 hours,” wrote torture memo author John Yoo at National Review. “And then, for reasons that are still unknown, the government read him his rights.”

Yoo has never met a right he didn’t want to ball up like a piece of paper and toss into a trash can in the name of national security. But despite being an attorney and professor at the prestigious University of California Berkeley School of Law, Yoo is either misleading his readers about why Tsarnaev was read his rights or unaware of a basic legal rule.

The judge appeared at the hospital because the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure state that suspects have to be brought before “a magistrate judge, or before a state or local judicial officer” and it must be done “without unnecessary delay.” The Supreme Court has held that, absent exigent circumstances or the suspect waiving the right to go before a judge—as wannabe Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad reportedly did—a suspect has to appear before a judge within 48 hours of being apprehended. This is usually referred to in legal shorthand as “presentment,” as in, “presentment before a judge.”

Well, yes, but none of this addresses Yoo’s point that trying to punish terrorists within the constraints of the United States Constitution would be totally unmanly, plus terrorists could come and take our freedoms away. Besides, who cares about trivialities like the Fifth Amendment in this day and age? Let’s focus on the rights that people really cherish, like one’s inalienable right to have an anti-free riding regulation structured as a tax rather than a penalty.

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