Remember when Senator Barack Obama and the rest of the American left waxed pious about the legal rights of anti-Ameircan combatants?
Most of the left would rather you didn’t. But they did. One of their favorite legal betes noir during the Bush years was Justice Department lawyer John Yoo, who wrote the memoranda that found legal justification for “enhanced interrogation”, prompting many on the left to call him, personally, a “war criminal”.
Well, he’s back, and he’s laughing last, as it were:
Let’s give partial credit where it is due. Apparently the Obama administration argues that al-Awlaki was a legitimate target because he is a member of an enemy engaged in hostile conduct against the United States. At least Obama has figured out that the war on terrorism is in fact a war, and that it is not limited just to Afghanistan. We should be thankful that Obama officials have quietly put aside the arguments they made during the Bush years that any terrorist outside the Afghani battlefield was a criminal suspect who deserved his day in federal court. By my lights, I would rather the Obama folks be hypocrites in favor of protecting the national security than principled fools (which they are free to be in the faculty lounges both before and after their time in government).
Therapists and 12-steppers ask “would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?”
I think Yoo is probably both right now.