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.
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?
Finally, Yoo challenges the wisdom of the Obama administration's decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a federal court in New York City.
Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he writes about business and politics, edits the Hoover Institution's quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest, and hosts Hoover's television program, "Uncommon Knowledge."
Robinson is also the author of three books: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life; It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP; and the best-selling business book Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA.
John Yoo is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. He served from 2001 to 2003 as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked on issues involving foreign affairs, national security, and the separation of powers.
He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and the Free University of Amsterdam, and in 2006 he held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of Trento, Italy.
A visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, he is the author of War by Other Means and The Powers of War and Peace.
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.