Chris Hayes Warns Against Writing Kirstjen Nielsen’s Political Obit: ‘Torture Architect’ John Yoo is Tenured at Berkeley


Chris Hayes is skeptical that Kirstjen Nielsen‘s career in public life is truly finished — as some progressives have speculated.

Wednesday on All In, Hayes suggested that the soon-to-be-ex Homeland Security Secretary may not have as much trouble as some think landing a plum gig in her post-President Donald Trump administration life. To make his point, Hayes invoked John Yoo — a former Department of Justice official under former President George W. Bush — who authored a 2002 memo stating that waterboarding is a permissible interrogation technique.

“We’ve lived through a George W. Bush administration in which someone like John Yoo wrote a legal memo that facilitated the U.S. implementing torture, which is a war crime,” Hayes said. He added, “John Yoo wrote a memo saying that certain kinds of torture didn’t actually legally count as torture, and he gave it to [former deputy attorney general] Jay Bybee, who signed off on it, and then our country tortured people.”

Hayes added, “Bybee and Yoo became infamous in the moment for their torture advocacy, but guess where they are now? John Yoo has a nice tenured perch at Berkeley Law School, of all places. John Yoo: torture architect, dodging through drum circles on his way to class. And Jay Bybee, what happened to him? Oh, he’s a Federal judge for life.”

So where does that leave Nielsen?

“Now, to be clear, I don’t think she should be necessarily be heckled in every Mexican restaurant she goes to for the rest of her life,” Hayes said. “But she should face some sanction, opprobrium. Because if elite institutions and corporate America simply welcomes her back, then, in the same way I’m not sure we won’t torture again, I’m not so sure we won’t rip children from their mother’s arms again.”

Watch above, via MSNBC.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo