Tangled Up in Yoo

By David Swanson

Early one mornin’ the sun was shinin’,
Prisoners layin’ in bed
Wond’rin’ when the guards would come
And kick them in the head.
The folks who wrote the torture memos
Sure did have it rough.
They never got enough exercise.
The new condo wasn’t big enough.
One victim standin’ at the side of his cell
Blood dripping on his shoes
Admitted Iraq had WMDs
Lord knows that made the news but was it true,
Tangled up in Yoo.

Yoo was married to his belief
That nobody could force
A president to obey the law
And wartime only made that worse.
Yoo drove that point as far as he could
And overruled the rest
Of the lawyers who gave into him
All agreeing it was best.
He turned around to look upon
The damage he had done
I heard him whisper over his shoulder,
“They’ll lock me up some day on the avenue,”
Tangled up in Yoo.

Yoo had a job training fascist youth
Writing up a book for a spell.
But he never did like it all that much
And one day the ax just fell.
So he drifted round to campuses
Wherever they would let him speak
About presidents crushing testicles
And disinheriting the meek.
But all the while he was alone
The past was close behind,
Yoo broke a lot of statutes,
Prison never escaped his mind, and he just knew,
Tangled up in Yoo.

Yoo was talkin’ in a corporate place
And I stopped in to hear.
I just kept lookin’ at the side of his face
In the spotlight so clear.
And later on as the crowd thinned out
I started calling John Yoo’s name,
I handcuffed him to the back of his chair
Said to him, “Does it feel the same?”
Yoo muttered somethin’ underneath his breath,
I read him his Miranda rights.
I must admit I felt a little uneasy
When he admitted it was the right thing to do.
Tangled up in Yoo.

Yoo left a bundle of memos behind, legalizing crimes.
“I thought you’d never come for me,” he said
“And it really blew my mind.”
Then he opened up a book of laws
And handed it to me
Written by all kinds of people
Over two or three centuries.
And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burnin’ coal
Pourin’ off of every page
Like it was written purely so we’d indict Yoo,
Nothing else to do.

Yoo authorized aggressive war
and lawless imprisonment,
warrantless spying and torture techniques,
That was the way Yoo went.
Then he started into peddling lies
And something inside of him died.
He had to sell his heart and bones
And Yoo froze up inside.
And when finally the bottom fell out
Yoo became withdrawn,
The only thing he knew how to do
Was to sing his lying song, like a bird that flew,
Tangled up in Yoo.

So now Yoo’s goin’ to be tried,
The law got to him somehow.
All the people he used to know
They’re co-conspirators now.
Some are ex vice presidents.
Some lead glamorous lives.
Don’t know how it all got started,
I don’t know what they’re gonna tell their wives.
But me, I’m still on the road
Tryin’ to make a point.
Yoo always did feel the same,
He just saw it from a different point of view,
Tangled up in Yoo.

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