John Yoo, the controversial Berkeley law school professor who wrote the infamous torture memos for President George W. Bush, is coming out with a book on January 5. The impending publication of Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush prompted the normally reclusive Yoo to talk to the New York Times.
And he had a number of surprising things to say about Berkeley and his time in the Bush administration:
* He has never met President Bush.
* He was never invited to the White House Christmas party.
* He became a conservative at 9.
* He does not regret writing the so-called “torture memos”.
* He took a job at Berkeley Law School because it was the best offer he received.
* Protests against his faculty position don’t phase him. “At Berkeley, protesting is an everyday activity,” Yoo told the New York Times. “I am used to it. I remind myself of West Berlin — West Berlin surrounded by East Germany during the Cold War.”
* Berkeley is populated by radicals, but Yoo doesn’t seem to take them seriously: “There are probably more Communists in Berkeley than any other town in America, but I think of them more as lovers of Birkenstocks than Marx.”