Numerous letters were received this week after a blogger incorrectly reported that The Inquirer had recently hired former Justice Department official John Yoo, one author of memos justifying the Bush administration's use of torture to interrogate terror suspects. Actually, Yoo's monthly freelance column began last October. But here are some of the comments:

Please reconsider your decision to give John Yoo a regular column. Whatever his skills as a legal scholar, the fact remains that he has been one of the architects of our government's shameful support of torture. He does not deserve such a prestigious public forum.

Greg Milner

Brooklyn, N.Y.

While I think you are wrong in providing John Yoo with a forum for presenting his ideas, that is your decision and not mine.

On the other hand, I believe that if you are the one providing the vehicle, you have a certain responsibility to make sure that facts are presented and lies are expunged, to the best of your abilities.

Yoo is a known liar and therefore requires closer watching than most of those expressing opinions.

Paul Cechovic

Cherry Hill

I shouldn't even dignify Will Bunch's "Attytood" blog regarding your relationship with John Yoo with a response, but I want you to know that I fully support your efforts to provide a forum to a diverse set of views ("Inquirer defends the indefensible,", Monday).

I do not necessarily agree with Yoo's views regarding torture; however, unlike Bunch, I do not want to stifle the voices of those with whom I do not agree. If Bunch's fear is that we will blindly follow the opinions of those whom we read, this approach provides a better alternative to formulating our own views than stifling our opponents' views.

Aaron Wernick


I just read with deep disappointment about your contracting with John Yoo as an op-ed columnist. I have put up with your hiring Rick Santorum. But John Woo is making me want to cancel my subscription.

Joan McAleer

King of Prussia

I subscribed to The Inquirer for 18 years and now, since moving to Memphis, read it daily on the Internet. I am greatly disturbed by your decision to hire John Yoo as a columnist. His participation in manufacturing a legal justification for torture is well-known to you.

Our country is only now beginning to come to grips with the fact that under duress, we sacrificed our fundamental values. Providing a megaphone to this war criminal is unconscionable.

J. Paul Taylor

Memphis, Tenn.

I can't believe that you have contracted for a monthly column with John Yoo.

I am an attorney, and Yoo's "arguments," which, frankly, don't deserve the dignity of that word, are absurd, ridiculous, and profoundly wrong. And I'm not the only one who thinks so. The Justice Department's own five-year investigation into John Yoo's work found sloppy legal analysis, misjudgments, and possible political interference in the process of his legal advice. The Justice Department investigative report will refer Yoo to state bar associations for possible disciplinary action.

Robert Meyers

Des Moines, Iowa

So John Yoo, the justifier of torture, a destroyer of the delicate fabric of democracy, is to be a regular columnist? He has nothing to say to us that we could believe, no commentary that is not suspect. Anne Ewing


How in the world could John Yoo's legal analysis of anything be informative? What next? An investment advice column by Bernie Madoff?

Lisa A. Ernst


John Yoo seems increasingly likely to escape responsibility for his criminal actions. At least, then, let him be shunned by all honest citizens, and live in ignominy and shame for the rest of his days.

Adam Greenfield

Helsinki, Finland

I understand the concepts of freedom of speech, but let this guy shout his opinions on the street corner, rather than through a newspaper that reaches millions of people.

Caroline Leopold


Perhaps Hannibal Lecter could dish out some recipes for the Food Section. Vlad the Impaler could provide ideas for staking out that special backyard garden. And John Wayne Gacy could answer questions ranging from child psychology and clown costuming to how to build a truly scary basement for Halloween!

Frank Thomas Armstrong

Portland, Ore.

It is appalling to think that such a respected newspaper as The Inquirer, a newspaper serving the birthplace of our nation, would follow through with John Yoo's contract now that so much has surfaced about his past. Surely you will decide that doing so is not in the best interest of your newspaper or the American public.

Bonny Parke

Palo Alto, Cal.