Interview: John Yoo

What was it like [at the Justice Department on 9/11]?

It was actually strange. It was eerily strange, because usually the Justice Department, like most federal agencies, is usually bustling with activity. But it was completely empty except for the command center, which is a highly secure, protected communication center in the Justice Department where all the people who were working on national security issues went, which was enormously busy there, and then at the FBI across the street. But aside from that, the city was empty to the point where I tried to find some food for dinner -- couldn't find anything to eat in the building except vending machines. There were no restaurants open. There was nowhere to get any food because the entire city had been evacuated.

So you think of a great world capital, busy and bustling, and on that day, actually eerily, it was completely silent and empty. It was really like one of those science fiction movies where someone wakes up and all the people are gone...


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