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Bush apologist Yoo needs legal refresher

July 10, 2006

Re "The high court's Hamdan power grab," Opinion, July 7

The claim of John Yoo that the fourth Geneva Convention does not apply to a nonsignatory group in the "war on terror" is absurd. Article 2 requires compliance even if one party has not ratified the conventions. Article 3 requires the use of "a regularly constituted court," that is, court-martial under American law, in trying individuals captured in combat. What doubtless rankles Yoo most is that the Supreme Court has, in effect, declared that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush may be war criminals for violating the Geneva Convention on the basis of Yoo's flawed legal advice.

For most Americans, Yoo has recommended unchecked executive action, including torture, that outrages our sense of decency and lowers our country to the same level of barbarism as those who engage in terrorism.

MICHAEL HAAS

Los Angeles

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Like many of the neocons in this administration, Yoo has it dead wrong. The Supreme Court isn't hamstringing the president in fighting an unconventional war. The court -- unlike the majority of Congress or the executive branch -- is executing its constitutionally imposed mandate, even if by the thinnest of margins. There's nothing un-American about adhering to the rule of law -- the Karl Roves and Dick Cheneys of the nation notwithstanding.

BLAISE JACKSON

Escondido

Yoo's article urging that Bush need not obey the law is an example of the administration's desire to ignore the U.S. Constitution. Imagine, claiming that the Supreme Court is the entity in this case that's doing a power grab. I'll take the Constitution every time.

ED VAN DEN BOSSCHE

Newport Beach

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