Category Archives: Torture memo
Well, I couldn’t stay away from Countdown. Nope, and lemme tell ya..today was one helluva doozy. I learned all about the newly released torture memo’s (courtesy of TPM Muckraker) and how Obama has no interest what so evah in prosecuting those who tortured. I will look at the redacted memo’s shortly, but let me say this…
President Obama is going down the same road President Ford did, only Obama refuses to go after those who tortured. At least the underlings were prosecuted in the Nixon administration. No such luck with the Obama administration. So no one will be held accountable for torturing..no one.
KO’s Special Comment follows, as does his interview with John Dean on the subject. I am horrified that Obama wants to take this route.
But I am not surprised. President Obama has signaled he would lean this way, you just had to pay attention to hear it.
There are people out there that will be able to justify this newest fresh hell brought to us by President Obama..but I am not one of them. I find Obama’s decision unconscionable and wrong on many levels. I salute him for releasing the memo’s, and allowing us to see into the black hearts of the Bush Administration.
But I damn him and curse him for wanting to walk away from doing the right thing.
John Yoo, the former Justice Department attorney and author of several controversial legal opinions including the infamous “torture memo,” continues to live in a state of denial.
In an op-ed published Saturday in the Wall Street Journal, Yoo attempted to defend a handful of legal opinions he drafted in the aftermath of 9/11 that one colleague described as “either incorrect or highly questionable” and another colleague said was “sloppily reasoned.”
Yoo complained that his brief comments about waiving the First Amendment in a highly controversial Oct. 23, 2001 legal opinion released earlier this week were taken out of context by the news media.
“In portraying our answer [regarding Bush’s right to ignore the Fourth Amendment], the media has quoted a single out-of-context sentence from our analysis: ‘First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully.’”
Yoo said his point was simply to highlight a past judicial opinion about the inherent powers of the President at a time of war. However, the First Amendment line in the memo could have become the legal basis for the Bush administration to take action against or interfere with journalists investigating the government’s behavior or citizens protesting Bush’s war policies.
How Yoo justifies his pov on the various amendments in our Bill of Rights and torture amazes me. That he attempts now to paint himself as a victim just chaps my hide. As Jason notes, Yoo used his OpEd as an opportunity to go after President Obama for releasing the confidential memos stating Obama released the memo’s to ‘appease the anti-war base’, which evidently is not the case. They were released in response to a lawsuit filed by Jose Padilla, which btw, the Obama DOJ is representing John Yoo on.
Talk about friggin irony…
This past Saturday, May 17th, the UC Berkley Law School held it’s graduation ceremony. It was attended by over 50 active and very vocal protesters. Most were dressed in prison orange and many were holding signs or reenacting various Guantanamo torture scenes for the graduates and their family members.
As someone that opposes torture as described in the Geneva Convention, Common Article 3, I find Yoo’s logic frightening and disgusting. My motto when it comes to treating people is this: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Its friggin simple really, I don’t want American military personnel to be tortured so why in the blue hell would I accept my own government doing it, with obvious glee in some cases. But I digress.
Saturday’s protest was well-planned and frankly well funded. They flew a plane continuously over the proceedings with a sign that read:
Shame on Yoo & UC-End Torture
Yoo did not attend the ceremony. He had announced this previously as a matter of fact, but many of the protesters said it didn’t matter, it was still a great opportunity to get their message out. I support them on that issue.
What I have a problem with, besides Yoo’s involvement in BushCo’s administration is his teaching our next generation of lawyers. I hope, indeed I pray, that all of his students abhor him and what he stands for; a neoconservative individual with very few morals and incredibly low standards on the issues of equality, due process and human rights.
Yet, the man has every right to teach, he is after all, tenured. There is also another reason he should be allowed to teach, as much as it pains me to say; Academic Freedom. Christopher Edley, the Dean of Berkley’s Law School is an honorable man. He has worked for presidents and he currently advises Obama. His politics are liberal and yet his memo addressing the Yoo teaching issue is very spot-on when it comes to the basic tenant of why Yoo should be allowed to continue teaching at Berkley. A school he has been teaching at since 1993 and received tenure in 1999. From Dean Edley’s infamous memo on John Yoo:
There are important questions about the content of the Yoo memoranda, about tortured definitions of “torture,” about how he and his colleagues conceived their role as lawyers, and about whether and when the Commander in Chief is subject to domestic statutes and international law. We press our students to grapple with these matters, and in the legal literature Professor Yoo and his critics do battle. One can oppose and even condemn an idea, but I do not believe that in a university we can fearfully refuse to look at it. That would not be the best way to educate, nor a promising way to seek deeper understanding in a world of continual, strange revolutions.
Yoo also enjoys First Amendment rights and the most ironic of all, Due Process as well. So while we really have no conceivable reason to conclude he should be unceremoniously dumped at UC Berkley, we have every reason to wish some judge and jury somewhere would convict him and his BushCo employers of high crimes and misdemeanors. Only then could Mr. You be run out of Berkley’s Law School on a proverbial rail. Again from Dean Edley’s memo:
Assuming one believes as I do that Professor Yoo offered bad ideas and even worse advice during his government service, that judgment alone would not warrant dismissal or even a potentially chilling inquiry. As a legal matter, the test here is the relevant excerpt from the “General University Policy Regarding Academic Appointees,” adopted for the 10-campus University of California by both the system-wide Academic Senate and the Board of Regents:
Types of unacceptable conduct: … Commission of a criminal act which has led to conviction in a court of law and which clearly demonstrates unfitness to continue as a member of the faculty. [Academic Personnel Manual sec. 015]
There, in a nutshell, is what would be needed by the Dean to dump John Yoo. So the goal should be, for everyone that despises torture, to see Mr. Yoo tried and convicted in a court of law somewhere on our planet.
And frankly, I think getting canned by UC Berkley would be the least of Mr. Yoo’s problems if the situation named above finally happened to his smarmy ass. Only then will UC Berkley be free to fire that fuckwit and remove law students from his sphere of influence.
Crossposted at UnCapitalist Journal
It wasn’t easy to read this article. I have an over-powering hatred for the man. The following section just made my blood run cold:
It seems grotesque, doesn’t it? To sit in a comfortable classroom as the future lawyers of America clack away on their laptops, parsing definitions with the man whose legal mind turned America into a torturing nation?
Grotesque doesn’t even begin to cover it pal. That is sumbitch actually gets to enjoy his 15 minutes of fame smacks of hell on earth to me. Why isn’t he on trial? Why isn’t he explaining this shit in front of a whole bunch of Congress critters? Why in the blue hell isn’t he languishing in a cell like the people in Gitmo..without due process?
Yoo is evil..pure unadulterated evil. That we would torture people who have done nothing blows apart everything we stand for as a nation. That we would torture them without even providing them due process is enough to get Yoo and his cronies into the final level of Dante’s Inferno.
” Yoo also wrote the memo that put the “enemy combatant” label on Padilla. As a result, the lawsuit claims, Padilla was held without charges for three years and eight months, completely alone under twenty-four-hour camera surveillance, with his windows blacked out and no clock or radio or TV to help him mark time. Sometimes the lights were left on for days, sometimes he was left in the dark for days, sometimes the cell was extremely hot, sometimes extremely cold. His sleep was constantly interrupted and he was threatened with death and given disorienting drugs and shackled and forced into stress positions for hours at a time. Whenever he was moved, he wore a blindfold and noise-canceling headphones to reinforce his isolation and helplessness. After a few years of this intentional effort to break his will and destroy his mind, Padilla was given to “involuntary twitching and self-inflicted scratch wounds” and his jailers often observed him weeping in his cell, so broken and passive that he had become “like a piece of furniture.”
Like a piece of furniture. This is a human being, and one I might add, that was never proven to have done anything against the United States or it’s citizens.
John Yoo plants his vile logic into the minds of our next generation of lawyers.
How does he sleep at night? Has he rationalized all the guilt away? I will have to finish reading it later…I feel I need a shower NOW and I haven’t even gotten past the first page.