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December 21, 2005


tim fong

I've read the memo, and I've seen Yoo speak in person. He takes what lawyers refer to as a calm and measured tone. That doesn't change the fact that the guy is a total apologist for unchecked executive power.
He's on the faculty at Boalt Hall (Berkeley) and I have it on good account that he is quite unhappy there--what did he expect, he's a suck-up to authoritarianism.

mark safranski

Well, Boalt isn't exactly a hotbed of centrist legal thought, much less a bastion of the Federalist Society.

tim fong

Certainly you are right. I just think it's amusing that he chose to take a professorship at Berkeley, that's all. With the schools reputation, he must have known it was going to be a hostile environment.

That said, I am also surprised (and perhaps I shouldn't be) that the Federalist society folks are not all over the surveillance state/NSA wiretapping issue more than I've heard so far.

Makes you wonder what it's really all about.

mark safranski

hi Tim

Well, here's one reaction:


There is a right way and a wrong way to go about things. I think the best way to understand how the Bush administration functions operationally is that, like a layer cake, there is a thin icing of very, very, smart people at the top underneath whom you have a spongy layer of mediocrity. Underneath that layer with the top bureaucratic careerists you begin getting quite smart once again.

Putting loyalty and yes-man behavior above smarts for the deputy position levels has been costly.

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