Monday, January 09, 2006

Beyond Good and Evil 

Via our indefatigable colleagues at Buzzflash: We remember hearing, late in the year 2000, that although Candidate Bush's mind was perhaps not of the highest wattage, he could certainly be relied upon, as President, to surround himself with "the best, most experienced people" -- but of course, that was just a rhetorical trick. No one bothered to mention that Mr. Bush's most influential advisors would be dogs.

You know John "Good Dog" Yoo as the ass-sniffing legal beagle who, drawing on the earlier scholarship of Sade and Aleister Crowley, has obligingly proposed to his master a handy, readily understood, one-size-fits-all interpretation of the specific and often inconvenient language found in laws, treaties, and the U.S. Constitution: do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. The Commander-in-Chief, in this modern-day Renfield's view, needs every tool at his disposal to protect us all from harm, and must not be inhibited by the petty morality that might cause lesser men to shrink from such unpleasant but absolutely necessary duties as, say, the torture of innocent children. Witness the following exchange, from a Dec. 1 debate between Good Dog and Doug Cassel, posted at Revolution Online:
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.
(If you doubt the authenticity of the exchange above, as you must if you are sane, streaming audio may be heard here; a longer version, including a six-minute Q&A session, is here.)

Good Dog's sycophantic ravings are often dignified as "the doctrine of Presidential Infallibility" or "the theory of Unconstrained Executive Privilege," and are considered in many quarters to be radical and new. However, upon reading the item excerpted above, we realized that the core principle of Good Dog's philosophy of government is not at all novel; if you have seen the movies Rope, Compulsion, or Swoon, you will recognize it as warmed-over Nietzsche, the same sorry horseshit adduced by Chicago thrill killers and would-be ubermenschen Leopold and Loeb to explain the motiveless murder they committed on a whim, in order to demonstrate their superiority over the "masses" and their arbitrary laws:
No act of violence, rape, exploitation, destruction, is intrinsically "unjust," since life itself is violent, rapacious, exploitative, and destructive and cannot be conceived otherwise. Even more disturbingly, we have to admit that from the biological [i.e. Darwinian] point of view legal conditions are necessarily exceptional conditions, since they limit the radical life-will bent on power and must finally subserve, as means, life's collective purpose, which is to create greater power constellations. To accept any legal system as sovereign and universal -- to accept it, not merely as an instrument in the struggle of power complexes, but as a weapon against struggle (in the sense of Dühring's communist cliché that every will must regard every other will as its equal) -- is an anti-vital principle which can only bring about man's utter demoralization and, indirectly, a reign of nothingness.
With that in mind, we have to wonder what Good Dog might say if we asked him whether any law might restrain the President from biting off the child's testicles himself, should he deem it necessary to extract a confession from a recalcitrant parent:
YOO: No treaty.
And if the parent still refused to give Mr. Bush the confession he wanted, is there any reason why Mr. Bush should not remove the top of the boy's skull, scoop out his brains a dollop at a time, and saute them in truffled butter and lemon juice, as Dr. Lecter did to agent Krendler in Hannibal?
YOO: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.
And if that proved ineffective, and our Commander-in-Chief decided it might be useful to flay the child, and use his skin to make a lampshade, would there be any legal impediment?
YOO: No treaty.
Oh, dear; we fear we have succumbed to the temptation to compare Good Dog Yoo, with his fine legal mind, to a Nazi. Does that mean that, under the terms of Godwin's law, we have automatically lost the debate?

Well, the shoe fits, motherfuckers. So be it.

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