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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 3/15/10

Yoo Besmirches Legacy of Jefferson

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"Yoo's legal analyses justified acts of outright torture." (p. 252)

"He therefore committed intentional professional misconduct." (p. 254)

The OPR report and other official documents are replete with descriptions of the despicable torture techniques themselves, for those with the stomach to read them. Sadly, they show how far we have come since Patrick Henry asserted that "the rack and the screw" should be left behind in the Old World.

These days, as bald eagles ride the March winds north along the Potomac from Mason Neck, they carry a ghost's lament. Someone is turning over in his grave downstream at Gunston Hall in Fairfax County. It is George Mason who is mourning, like Rachel of old, who would not be consoled.

I imagine that Mason's moaning will become even more pronounced as Friday draws near -- not only because of Yoo's visit to Charlottesville, but also because Friday marks the seventh anniversary of the unprovoked invasion of Iraq.

It was the bizarre opinions of Yoo and his colleagues that subverted the intent of Madison, Mason, and other Founders who took great pains to give the power to declare war to the Congress -- not to the President -- in the Constitution.

Beyond even the great principles of the American Republic, however, there is the question of personal decency that applies to Yoo and his visit to the University of Virginia. Erstwhile UVA Writer-in-Residence, William Faulkner, summed this up nicely, saying:

"Some things you must always be unable to bear. Some things you must never stop refusing to bear. Injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame. No matter how young you are or how old you have got. Not for kudos and not for cash, your picture in the paper nor money in the bank, neither. Just refuse to bear them."

That is why I shall join others taking part in Friday's rally starting at 2:00 p.m. from "The Corner" of The Grounds at UVA, before Mr. Yoo speaks in Minor Hall at 3:30.

I view it as a mark of respect for Mr. Jefferson, who I feel certain would want present-day Virginians to bear witness in defense of the blessings of liberty that he and his contemporaries worked so hard to secure for ourselves and our posterity.

Ray McGovern lives in Arlington, Virginia. He works with Tell the Word, a ministry of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served for 30 years as an Army infantry/intelligence officer and a senior analyst for the CIA and is now a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 27 years, and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). His (more...)
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