I had the opportunity to ask war lawyer John Yoo a couple of questions on Friday. The situation was not ideal, with someone else holding the microphone and deferring to the witness, and other people heckling, and other people shouting at the hecklers. Nonetheless . . .
I gave Yoo every opportunity I could to place a limit on presidential power. Can a president shoot missiles in the United States? Can a president drop nukes in the United States? Yoo refused to concede any limits.
Yoo used the example of shooting down one of the airplanes on 9-11 to assert that a president could indeed use drones to shoot missiles at suspected enemies within the United States, assuming of course that the president proclaims it to be “wartime.”
So, can a president drop nukes in the United States? Yoo refused to deny a president even that power. He chose to respond by focusing on the example of Hiroshima, arguing for Truman’s rightful power to do what he did, but my question had involved dropping nukes in the United States, and Yoo’s answer made clear that he acknowledged no limitation on that power. Watch the video below.
David Swanson is co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org and author of the new book Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union by Seven Stories Press. You can order it and find out when tour will be in your town by visiting davidswanson.org/book.