B-B-B-Baby, Yoo Just Ain't Seen Mutt and Jeff

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John Yoo writes in the Wall Street Journal that under Obama's no torture policy…:

The CIA must now conduct interrogations according to the rules of the Army Field Manual, which prohibits coercive techniques, threats and promises, and the good-cop bad-cop routines used in police stations throughout America.

Except that the Army Field Manual does have a section describing a "Mutt and Jeff" routine. Media Matters reports that in 2006 Army deputy chief of staff for intelligence Lt. Gen. John Kimmons described the routine as . . . another name for "good cop-bad cop."

I think I see what happened, here, and we should probably cut Yoo some slack. He probably just mistakenly wrote "good-cop bad-cop" when he actually meant to write, "good cop, crush-your-10-year-old-son's-testicles-cop."

It's a pretty common mistake.

NEXT: Did You Hear the One About the Two Blondes?

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  1. It’s a pretty common mistake.

    You joke, but it *is* a pretty common mistake. It’s a mistake amongst potential jurors who perhaps watch a little too much 24 and Law & Order:SVU, and it also seems to be a mistake common amongst bored police officers.

    And we know from McCain that even having one’s own testicles crushed in a vice is no guarantee that one will understand and recall the distinction when it matters.

  2. Nice headline. I think that one’s in the top 5.

  3. Hey Balko, is the “Mutt and Jeff” routine part of Appendix M?

  4. What is this mythical Army Field Manual? Is there just one? Maybe someone should point to the actual document as a reference instead of to what other bloggers say about it.

  5. Awww, poor John Yoo.

    He seems really upset about the changes Obama made.

    Such a shame.

  6. Nice headline. I think that one’s in the top 5.

    Agreed. But maybe I’m just glad to finally get one of these references.

  7. What is this mythical Army Field Manual? Is there just one? Maybe someone should point to the actual document as a reference instead of to what other bloggers say about it.

    The “Mythical” Army Field Manual.

    Or something.

  8. Jeez, period guy, you DO know about the Internets, right? The series of tubes through which a vast amount of information flows?

  9. Oh look, period guy, LMNOP kindly did your work for you, with a pretty orange link.

    You know about clicking links, right, period guy?

  10. Yoo’s piece reads like it was found in a time capsule from 2002, dug up from the lawn at the RNC headquarters: it’s so full of glaring inaccuracies as to suggest a complete lack of concern about anybody calling him out on them, and he attributes the existence of a position that conflicts with his own to sympathy for and solicitousness towards terrorists.

    I don’t think that shtick has worked for a good three years on anyone who doesn’t already have a Rush Limbaugh sticker on his car.

  11. Better yet

    You Muppet …

  12. It’s hardly surprising that Yoo should be as ignorant of the Army Field Manual as he is of the Constitution.

  13. I’m going to take a page from Xeones and say “Yo, fuck John Yoo”.

  14. Seems to me the CIA has had their teeth pulled out since Obambi took office

    RT
    http://www.internet-privacy.us.tc

  15. I think Radley had just the right amount of snark.

  16. I don’t think that shtick has worked for a good three years on anyone who doesn’t already have a Rush Limbaugh sticker on his car.

    Dude, Rush Limbaugh Day was *yesterday*. Get with the program!

    [Sheesh!]

  17. Next up on WSJ, Stalin on Human Rights.

    Don’t they have a policy against publishing the opinion of suspected war criminals?

  18. Of course the Obama administration is defending those war criminals in court.

    Aside from the obvious Hopey Changey irony, this raises serious questions about whether the Justice Department could prosecute them later, not to mention serious ethical questions about the Obama administration attorneys who are on record arguing that the very conduct they are now defending in court was actually illegal.

  19. Is there a treaty that says the President can’t crush said testicles? Is there a law? Maybe Yoo is right, for all I know. Maybe congress should get around to, you know, writing such a law.

  20. They’re defending a narrow legal point in a civil suit, RC.

    Come on, you’re a lawyer. You know the difference between criminal and civil law, and between standing and the merits of a case.

  21. What’s more, you know the difference between a legal doctrine and the outcome of a case.

  22. They’re defending a narrow legal point in a civil suit, RC.

    They are seeking the dismissal of the case in its entirety, joe. So, yes, they are defending him.

    Come on, you’re a lawyer. You know the difference between criminal and civil law, and between standing and the merits of a case.

    Yes, I do, joe. I also know that

    (1) an attorney who defends a client in one case cannot prosecute that client in another case based on the same fact pattern, and

    (2) an attorney who has publicly expressed doubts about the merits of a client’s case is operating under a possibly debilitating conflict of interest.

    The Obama Justice Department could have withdrawn from the representation and paid a private attorney to defend Yoo instead. But they didn’t. A small point, perhaps, but it fits into a pattern – supposed points of principle loudly touted during the campaign are shelved when it comes to governing. Typical, yes, but Obama ran as emphatically not typical.

  23. They are seeking the dismissal of the case in its entirety, joe.

    On a narrow legal point – the existence of qualified immunity.

    So, yes, they are defending him. A legal mind should really at least pretend to respect the difference between the law and the implications of that law in a particular case. Your entire argument here is an effort to waive away the actual legal issues that were raised, and pretend that the outcome is all that matters. You know better than this, but you do it anyway, because you are a dishonest hack.

    (2) an attorney who has publicly expressed doubts about the merits of a client’s case is operating under a possibly debilitating conflict of interest. Good thing this has nothing to do with the merits of the case, then, but with the application of a legal doctrine.

    Perhaps I’ve been too kind in giving you the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think you even bothered to find out what the case is a about, and what the government’s position on it is.

  24. but it fits into a pattern – supposed points of principle loudly touted during the campaign are shelved when it comes to governing. Typical, yes, but Obama ran as emphatically not typical.

    Oh, I see. You’ve got a narrative you’re pushing, and you’re not going to let facts of principle interfere.

  25. Good thing this has nothing to do with the merits of the case, then, but with the application of a legal doctrine.

    Again, you miss my point joe. The conflict of interest lies in having attorneys who have publicly expressed doubts about the merits of your case represent you in that case. It doesn’t really matter what particular arguments they are pursuing at the time – the conflict is in having them represent you at all.

    A legal mind should really at least pretend to respect the difference between the law and the implications of that law in a particular case.

    And a non-legal mind should be able to comprehend that when a lawyer defends you in court, he is defending you for all purposes. When the case is dismissed on procedural grounds, it is dismissed, period.

    But, lets take your claim at face value – are you really happy that the Obama administration is taking the position that Yoo should not be held liable here, that no matter what Yoo may have done, no exception should be made for him because any such exception would burden the operation of the Obama and other future administrations? That even if an Obama lawyer (or future Palin lawyer) does exactly what Yoo does, he should be shielded from liability?

    You’ve got a narrative you’re pushing, and you’re not going to let facts of principle interfere.

    I prefer to say I have a pattern I am observing, but whatever. You, on the other hand, have a politician you are defending, and are not going to let facts or principle interfere.

  26. I didn’t miss your point, RC.

    The conflict of interest lies in having attorneys who have publicly expressed doubts about the merits of your case represent you in that case. They haven’t expressed doubts about the merits of the case. It appears that, if they do go forward with the motion to dismiss, it will be on narrow legal grounds completely unrelated to the merits of a case.

    And a non-legal mind should be able to comprehend that when a lawyer defends you in court, he is defending you for all purposes. When the case is dismissed on procedural grounds, it is dismissed, period. OK, none of the lawyers in Obama’s Justice Department can represent Padilla. So? This is completely irrelevant to the question of whether they could pursue investigations that could lead to a “United States vs. Bush et al.” criminal case.

    But, lets take your claim at face value – are you really happy that the Obama administration is taking the position that Yoo should not be held liable here, that no matter what Yoo may have done, no exception should be made for him because any such exception would burden the operation of the Obama and other future administrations? That even if an Obama lawyer (or future Palin lawyer) does exactly what Yoo does, he should be shielded from liability? I don’t know. There is a doctrine of qualified CIVIL immunity. Since it doesn’t apply to CRIMINAL cases, that’s one concern I can cross off. Now, should Yoo be subject to a civil lawsuit that names him personally (different from one that targets the US government)? I don’t know. That’s a narrow legal question, having to do with the limits of qualified immunity, and I’m certainly not going to base my opinion on which political figures I want to see get theirs.

    You, on the other hand, have a politician you are defending, and are not going to let facts or principle interfere That’s an odd thing to write to a Democrat who is defending the PRINCIPLE of qualified immunity, in a case where it might shield John Yoo from a lawsuit.

  27. Whatever happened to sodium pentathol? In the good old days you’d just shoot a guy up and he’d be spilling his guts in no time. If that doesn’t really work slip the guy some XTC. If that doesn’t work go with the good old movie way. Jack him up on heroin and then take it away. No muss no fuss.

  28. Bill, you’ve been watching Waaay too much 24 and The Unit.

  29. Is there a treaty that says the President can’t crush said testicles? Is there a law? Maybe Yoo is right, for all I know. Maybe congress should get around to, you know, writing such a law.

    All fifty states have laws against assault and battery.

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