That's John Yoo's position:

The changes of the 1970’s occurred largely because we had no serious national security threats to United States soil, but plenty of paranoia in the wake of Richard Nixon’s use of national security agencies to spy on political opponents.

In the mid-1970s, with the Soviets moving missiles into Eastern Europe, with the invasion of Afghanistan looming, with thousands of nukes aimed directly at American cities by a fast destabilizing Soviet leadership ... "we had no serious national security threats to U.S. soil"? Remember also that Yoo is the man who believes that the president has absolute constitutional authority to torture the children of captured terrorists, if the president deems it necessary.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.