John Yoo, in his interview with the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility, asserted that the president had the authority to order the massacre of a village. That’s right – a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, in the Office of Legal Counsel lawyer says the president can order a My Lai or Lidice-type massacre.
“What about ordering a village of resistants to be massacred? ... Is that a power that the president could legally—”
“Yeah,” Yoo replied, according to a partial transcript included in the report. “Although, let me say this: So, certainly, that would fall within the commander-in-chief's power over tactical decisions”
“To order a village of civilians to be [exterminated]?” the OPR investigator asked again.
“Sure,” said Yoo.
Cassel: If the President deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?
Yoo: No treaty.
Cassel: Also no law by Congress. That is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo.
Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.