Turley And Yoo To Debate Surveillance Laws At Constitution Day Event

Jonathan-Turley-e1416865770538180px-john-yooToday, I will have a debate with Berkeley Professor and former Bush Administration lawyer John Yoo at Christopher Newport University’s Center for American Studies (CAS). The debate will cover Free Speech in War and Peace Time.   However, the focus will be on the constitutionality and use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).  This is part of the Constitution Day events at the university.

This (I believe) is the sixth debate that I have had with John Yoo.

Yoo served as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice (OLC) during the George W. Bush administration. He is best known as one of the authors of the so called “torture memos” that legitimated waterboarding and other interrogation techniques long defined as torture and violations of the Geneva Conventions. The debated however focused on the broader question of the rise of executive power in the executive states. Yoo has long been an advocate for a dominant executive power in the United States and has written books arguing that presidents have sweeping powers, particularly in the areas of foreign affairs and national security.


300px-CaptChristopherNewportStatue01I always enjoy visiting the 260-acre campus in Newport News of Christopher Newport University, which is beautiful. Much of the campus has been built in the last 20 years and they planned it out beautifully. I particularly love the statue of Christopher Newport at the entrance though it has one anomaly: he has two arms despite the fact that in 1590 (early in his career as a privateer) he lost his right arm during his attempt to capture a prize ship off of Cuba. Yes, Newport was viewed as a pirate but he preferred privateer and he was a very cool historical figure.

Constitution Day Debate: “Free Speech in Wartime and in Peace”
Monday, September 25 at 4 p.m.
Gaines Theatre

42 thoughts on “Turley And Yoo To Debate Surveillance Laws At Constitution Day Event”

  1. Yoo is the typical campus conservative, pampered as a child, never having “worked for wages” to learn how the rest of the planet survives. Thus, a little academic stretch comes from his keyboard now and then with little idea about how it actually relates to the hated proletariat. Several Supreme Court justices have the same background…and results.

    1. Yoo is the typical campus conservative, pampered as a child, never having “worked for wages” to learn how the rest of the planet survives.

      You mean you have a comprehensive account of his evening, weekend, and summer employment over a period of nine years?

    2. Duke Woolworth – I started working for 7 1/2 cents an hour for the family business checking the math on waitress checks when I was 10. I have been working until I retired When I was in grad school, I had 3 jobs so I didn’t carry any debt.

        1. George – I also had the privilege of being poor after my father died and we lost everything. I remember having to tell a teacher (honesty) that I could not afford to buy the paper to do my assignments and that was why it was not done. She was kind enough to buy me a ream of paper and give it to me privately. That so impacted me that when I was teaching, I always carried extra paper for my students and I collected pencils and pens for them which were always available.

          1. PCS, you suffered a paper deficit and enjoyed a cognitive surplus – “Intellectual Privilege.” I would have much rather been provided a big brain than a ream of paper. “You got the gold mine, I got the shaft.” You should feel deep guilt (and pay high taxes) for having a super-processor (he said facetiously). We can sue God for your evil inequities, I mean he’s to blame, right?

  2. Let’s see if the Black Blockers show up. Make sure you bring you leather football helmet Turley.

  3. Just like “Crazy Abe” Lincoln, Obama took the law into his own hands as “executive overreach” and abused power, directing “surveillance,” “unmasking,” and the use and retention of American “intel” for political purposes during an election in the greatest constitutional crime since Watergate.

    NY Post –

    “Samantha Power, who was the US Ambassador to the UN under former President Barack Obama, averaged more than one “unmasking” request for every working day in 2016 — even going so far as to seek the names of Trump associates just before his inauguration,…”

    The Founders said “…and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause,…” – actual, legitimate probable cause not artificial probable cause generated by political considerations.

    4th Amendment –

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    1. I take it you have never been pulled over by the police. Because that 4th is gone baby

  4. Professor Turley should be debating David Addington not Yoo.
    Yoo just gave Cheney what Addingtin wanted.

  5. I heard a talking head , on Fox no less, stating that the Manafort FISA warrant was based on probable cause. Well, since 99.9 percent of FISA applications are approved, how could they be based on probable cause? Can the issue, of whether or not, a crime more likely occurred than not, be determined when there is such uniformity in approval? Does a FISA warrant meet the minimum due process standards of our criminal justice system? If not, then what are the implications, in a case such as Manafort’s, to the appearance of guilt? The public’s perception of guilt?

    1. The requirments for a FISA warrant are very stringent. As a result, a US attorney who petitions the FISA court has to have all the “ducks in a row.” The attorney has to basically have an irrefutable case.

      1. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/50/1804

        Because the alleged target is a foreign power, probable cause “of a crime” is not a prerequisite for a FISA order. This is clear “facially” from the language of the statute.
        The problem arises, to wit, in the Manafort case, that the real target can be reasonably construed to be domestic, i.e., Trump, Manafort, the Trump campaign, etc. Upon agency application, a probable cause showing against Russia, acting as a foreign hostile power, is enough to warrant surveillance against Trump, Manafort, the Trump campaign, etc. The probable cause, that an actual crime was committed, required by the Fourth Amendment, Fed. R. Crim. P. 41 does not apply to FISA. So, Trump, Manafort, the Trump campaign, lose Article 3 Court safeguards that exist for all but those allegedly tied to activities of foreign powers.

      2. Some, not all, officials are very expertise in fabricating the “ducks in a row” and can easier fool judges with little risk of getting caught. They forgot to design in adequate government-watchdogs to police some, not all, officials that are lawless.

    1. But of course. He’s done something with his life other than nurse at the higher-education teat.

      1. Yes, what he has done is write legal opinions justifying the use of torture, in contravention of the Geneva Conventions.

        1. No, what he did was write memos delineating what the law allows in the Untied States.

          Which Geneva Convention?

    2. Yup. My bor-in-law who received his masters and Phd from UC Berkeley has stopped sending any $ to UCB because it hired Yoo.

        1. David Benson – when ASU took Sparky off the side of the football helmets, I told them I was not donating anything to them until Sparky returned. Evidently, they don’t need my money or library. We already have the Cronkite School of Journalism which is enough to give any good conservative an ulcer. 😉

      1. The proof is the nonsense uttered on this thread already. This isn’t that difficult.

  6. John Yoo is a War Criminal from the Mass Murdering Bush Regime

    The Local and National Media are Zionist Liars
    According to U.S. and International Law all the U.S. / Israeli invasions are Wars of Aggression, War Crimes.
    These are the same crimes the Nazis committed
    Millions of men, women and children have been murdered / maimed due to these invasions.
    Washington, DC = Nazi Berlin


  7. I have been triggered by a historically inaccurate statue of a pirate, The statue must come down. You will find me in my safe space.

    1. PCS, I am perpetually traumatized by the statue of “Crazy Abe” Lincoln who initiated the ultimate destruction of the Constitution and mortally wounded America. The Lincoln Memorial must be razed to the ground and the unconstitutional “Reconstruction Amendments,” which were improperly ratified “with a gun to their heads” under the duress of post-war military occupation, must be repealed.

      I’m holding my breath…seriously! Still holding…

  8. would a video recording or a transcript of the event will later be available online?

    1. I was just about to say that when I read your comment. Th idea that this man is now teaching in a law school chills my blood.

  9. I don’t like Pirates so therefore the statue must come down in the interest of not hurting my feelings.
    Thank you.

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