June 15, 2009 Rachel Maddow Show
Maddow: But first, it‘s time for a couple of holy mackerel stories in today‘s news. First up, the richest vein of news for the week is often late in the day on Friday. And late in the day this past Friday a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that John Yoo, the most notorious of all the Bush administration torture memo authors, is going to have his day in court.
Mr. Yoo is being sued by a U.S. citizen who was once declared an enemy combatant by the Bush administration. That man, Jose Padilla says that Mr. Yoo effectively created the torture program in which Mr. Padilla was severely physically abused while in custody as an enemy combatant.
Mr. Padilla is only speaking $1.00 in damages from Mr. Yoo. What he really wants is a court order declaring that his treatment was illegal and unconstitutional. John Yoo had asked that the case him be dismissed on the grounds that he was acting as a government official when he wrote the torture memo and he should be therefore be immune from getting sued.
But the judge in the case, incidentally, a judge appointed by George W. Bush disagreed with Mr. Yoo, ruling that, quote, “Like any other government official, government lawyers are responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their conduct.”
The judge also ruled that Mr. Padilla had, quote, “alleged sufficient facts to satisfy requirements that Mr. Yoo set in motion a series of events that resulted in the deprivation of Mr. Padilla‘s constitutional rights.”
So the lawsuit against torture memo guy John Yoo proceeds. Do you want to know who is defending John Yoo in this lawsuit? You, not “Yoo” as in John Yoo, but “you” as in you and me. We‘re defending him.
The Justice Department of the United States is providing John Yoo‘s defense. We‘re paying to defend the torture guy with our tax dollars. I wonder if we can vote on that.
Finally, if you pay any attention to the tapes that are released periodically by al-Qaeda, by the As-Sahab, which is the al-Qaeda AV club, you might have noticed that in the last couple of years, As-Sahab was taken over by the American kid in al-Qaeda, known variously as Azam al-Amriki, a.k.a. Azam the American, a.k.a. Adam Gadahn. He‘s the chunky former Death Metal-loving dork from a California goat farm who renounced the United States and famously ripped up his U.S. passport on an al-Qaeda video. Ooh, like, we‘ll miss you.
In a surprise development concerning Mr. Gadahn, in a recording released over the weekend, Mr. Gadahn, Mr. al-Amriki, Mr. Azam, the American, came out as Jewish. Yes.
In a new As-Sahab tape, he admits that his grandfather was Jewish, that his grandfather gave him a copy of a very bad book once by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And he says his grandfather encouraged young Adam to get Israeli citizenship. This admission, of course, will probably make things really awkward at the next al-Qaeda mixer. I‘m just guessing.