"Yoo: I wouldn’t change the substance of my torture memos, but they do ‘lack a certain polish.’"
Yesterday, the Orange County Register released an interview with John Yoo, the former Bush Justice Department official who took the lead in crafting the legal justifications for the the former president’s torture policies. Despite the fact that Yoo’s “sloppy” memos were subsequently withdrawn by the Justice Department, Yoo told the Register that he doesn’t believe that he would “have made the basic decisions differently.” His only regret, he said, was that the memos “lack a certain polish“:
QUESTION: Is there anything you would have done differently?
YOO: These memos I wrote were not for public consumption. They lack a certain polish, I think – would have been better to explain government policy rather than try to give unvarnished, straight-talk legal advice. I certainly would have done that differently, but I don’t think I would have made the basic decisions differently.
Later in the interview, Yoo told the Register that he doesn’t worry about his legacy because he has “the time to write books” defending himself. Asked about the Justice Department’s current inquieries into the legality of his work, Yoo remarked, “I wish they weren’t doing it, but I understand why they are.”