Law Professor Confused by SAT Word

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June 26, 2008 1:01 p.m.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) tried to pin John Yoo down on what exactly happened after he wrote his most infamous torture memo for the Bush administration, but like David Addington before him, Yoo seemed to have a small problem remembering his words:

Ellison: The name on the memo was Bybee, but you contributed to the memo right?

Yoo: Yes, sir.

Ellison: The memo was implemented at some point. Is that right?

Yoo: What do you mean by implemented sir?

Yoo later cited attorney client privilege in declining to answer questions about what happened after he wrote the memo.

Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) interrupted Ellison’s line of questioning to summarize the subcommittee interrogators’ frustrations:

I have been on the committee for a year and a half, I’ve never seen two witnesses, frankly, struggle as much to appreciate ordinary use of terms and questions. Would you consider instructing the two witnesses to answer the questions that they’re asked and if they wish to elaborate or clarify they can ask to do so, but given that we have time constraints I would ask that the chair admonish the witnesses to err on the side of being responsive as opposed to constantly quibbling over word choice because I’ve never seen it to the degree I’ve seen it today.

The seven and a half minutes of excruciating video are here:

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