The Guy Who Wrote Bush's Torture Memos Thinks Rand Paul Was "Standing for Some Extreme Position"

"John Yoo has President Obama's back, at least when it comes to Sen. Rand Paul's recent criticism of his drone policies. For a White House under fire from part of its liberal base, that's probably not a good thing.

The former Justice Department lawyer—best known as the author of the so-called torture memos that provided the legal justification for the use of what the George W. Bush administration dubbed "enhanced interrogation techniques"—came out against Paul yesterday in the wake of his epic Senate filibuster this week protesting the potential use of drones against Americans.

"I admire libertarians but I think Rand Paul's filibuster in many ways is very much what libertarians do, they make these very symbolic gestures, standing for some extreme position," Yoo said on a conference call hosted by the Federalist Society. (I wasn't on it, but both Mother Jones and USA Today captured the pull-quotes.) Yoo, now a UC Berkeley law professor, added an Ayn Rand-themed slight for good measure: "It sort of reminds me of young kids when they first read The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged and they suddenly think that federal taxation equals slavery and they're not going to pay any federal taxes anymore..."


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