The Most Bizarre Response To The Pulitzers Yet, From The Guy Who Authorized CIA Torture

from the are-these-people-serious dept

So, the Guardian and the Washington Post won the Pulitzer for "public service" for their coverage of the NSA's surveillance activities. We mentioned how this should really end the debate over whether or not Ed Snowden was a whistleblower or not, but knew that would never happen. We'd already covered Rep. Peter King's incensed response, but an even more amusing response has to be the one from John Yoo. You may recall Yoo as the guy in the George W. Bush administration who basically shredded the Constitution in "authorizing" the CIA's torture program. He's weighed in a few times about the NSA stuff, arguing that the NSA shouldn't have to obey the Constitution because it takes too long and insists that the courts have no role in determining if something violates the 4th Amendment.

For reasons that are beyond comprehension, the political color commentary sportscasters at Politico decided to ask Yoo if the Pulitzer vindicated Snowden, and he (of course) answered with an emphatic no, though in a way that suggests he still has no clue what this story is about:
John Yoo, a former deputy assistant attorney general and author of the 2002 memos advising the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques, said the Pulitzer committee’s decision did not vindicate Snowden.

“I’m not surprised the Pulitzer committee gave The Washington Post a prize for pursuing a sensationalist story, even when the story is a disaster for its own country,” he said. “I don’t think we need automatically read the prize as a vindication for Snowden’s crimes. Awarding a prize to a newspaper that covered a hurricane does not somehow vindicate the hurricane, [and] awarding a Pulitzer for a photo of a murder does not somehow vindicate the crime.”
Except, of course, the award was not for their coverage of Snowden's actions (mislabled "crimes") by Yoo, but rather the NSA's actions. So if we replace "Snowden's crimes" in the quote above with "the NSA's crimes" the quote actually makes some sense. The reporting certainly was no vindication of the NSA -- quite the opposite. The award itself was always for the reporting on the NSA, and the reason it vindicates Snowden (and which Yoo seems unable to comprehend) is because without Snowden, there would be no reporting on the NSA's unconstitutional and illegal behavior. There would be no "national debate" on the surveillance state, and there would be no ongoing effort in all three branches of government to change how the intelligence community spies on people.

The award wasn't for reporting on Snowden. It was on the NSA. And it's that reporting that vindicates Snowden. It's simply crazy that folks like Yoo are so focused on hating Snowden that they still don't seem to realize that.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2014 @ 9:58am

    People are easy to fool...

    Whom ever said... you can fool some people some of the time, but not most of the people most of the time... or some such was a blithering idiot.

    Fact is... you CAN fool most of the people most of the time. You only need 51% to be most so the bar is not as high as everyone seems to think. And based on the history of American Elections... whooo... who is stupid?

    Yes, the American people buying into this stupid 2 party bullshit. We reap what we have sown... Bush initiated the DHS, Patriot Act, which are tremendous acts against this nations liberty. Obama is now using the same laws and organizations to abuse every last aspect of them.

    Nevada's BLM is just a small part of the high tension this government is causing with the push towards tyranny. All of your beloved federal agencies including the post fucking office are buying ammo so you can be enslaved once again.

    Will you fight? Or will you roll over and vote for your favorite party just to keep that other bastard out?

    The Democrats and Republicans both want slaves... they merely disagree on how to get & enslave YOU!

    The only choice for freedom will be those (regardless of party) actually talking about rolling back and limiting the parts of government that are there now.

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