At the core of the legal arguments were the views of Yoo, strongly backed by David Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney's legal counsel, that the president's wartime powers were essentially unlimited and included the authority to override laws passed by Congress, such as a statute banning the use of torture. Pressed on his views in an interview with OPR investigators, Yoo was asked:
"What about ordering a village of resistants to be massacred? ... Is that a power that the president could legally—"
"Yeah," Yoo replied, according to a partial transcript included in the report. "Although, let me say this: So, certainly, that would fall within the commander-in-chief's power over tactical decisions."
"To order a village of civilians to be [exterminated]?" the OPR investigator asked again.
"Sure," said Yoo.
Only the President can do what Lt. Calley went to prison for.
I'm trying to figure out the moral distinction between Cheney, Addington, and Yoo and their historical counterparts Goebbels, Heydrich, and Stuckart -- I guess it's that all three of the former are not anti-Semitic and have been rewarded for their criminality. After that it gets a little harder.