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The President’s Power to Exterminate Villages

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Q: I guess the question I’m raising is, does this particular law really affect the President’s war-making abilities…

A: Yes, certainly.

Q: What is your authority for that?

A: Because this is an option that the President might use in war.

Q: What about ordering a village of resistants to be massacred? … Is that a power that the President could legally–

A: Yeah. Although, let me say this. So, certainly that would fall within the Commander-in-Chief’s power over tactical decisions.

Q: To order a village of civilians to be [exterminated]?

A: Sure.

John Yoo in an interview with a Justice Department ethics attorney, from p. 64 of the OPR Report

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