"If I hear you correctly, you [as a government lawyer] would tell your client, the president of the United States, 'You may order pulling out somebody's fingernails. You may order having somebody's family member killed in front of them to extract information. That is constitutional. You are empowered to do that under the Constitution.' Are you really saying that our Constitution allows a president to order that?"
John Yoo replied, "Is there any provision that prevents him from doing that?" (Emphasis added.)
The unitary executive's puppeteer had spoken! Earlier in the debate, Dean Slaughter had strongly denounced the idea that "the president can order the torture of prisoners of war in any way, anytime," saying that such a notion "contravenes absolutely everything this country is supposed to stand for."
It will be up to Barack Obama, if he goes into electoral combat against John McCain, to make the voters ask themselves who we are and what we stand for—and what their president must never stand for, unchecked and unbalanced.
And what are John McCain's views on the separation of powers?