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UC Berkeley Honors Terrorist John Yoo

UC Berkeley honors terrorist

From Fire John Yoo! (

July 5, 2014 2:09 PM | Permalink | TrackBacks (0)
The selection of John Yoo to fill an endowed faculty chair at Boalt Hall has raised righteous indignation across the board, from academics to un-credentialed people of conscience. The appointment represents a huge leap in institutional complicity in war crimes. Where neglect in enforcement of ethical conduct was excused by platitudes of powerlessness from the former dean, the current administration (new Dean, new Chancellor) appears to embrace the politics of exceptionalism: that international law may be selectively employed. Indeed, promotion of John Yoo's hyperbole has helped to normalize illegal government policy on what might be better labelled a "war of terror."
"..knowingly targeting civilians because they happen to be in the vicinity of an often unidentified suspect presumed to commit some future harm comes dangerously close to the strategy employed by al-Qaeda." -- John Glaser
By Dennis Loo (7/5/14)
For those who have any familiarity with John Yoo's legal memos, frequent OpEds at major newspapers such as the NYT, and public comments, it must come as a shock that this exceedingly shoddy legal mind and what is even more important, open advocate of torture, a war crime of the first order, should be not only not prosecuted or at the very least, fired as a law professor (since law professors are mentors to other incipient lawyers), but that he should be promoted and honored. The endowed faculty chair that he has been given is Boalt Hall's oldest chair.
When I first learned of his promotion, I was taken aback that someone who cannot tell the difference between providing advice that provides the figleaf of legal cover for his former bosses in the Bush White House and adhering to the rule of law - the latter being the principle under which the law is supposed to apply equally to all regardless of their status and neutral in the face of the partisan interests of those in authority - should be touted by one of the nation's most prestigious law schools as a model law professor.
But then, after a little reflection, it became clear to me that major US institutions and those who lead those institutions must, if they refuse to observe the rule of law and adhere to international law (e.g., the Geneva Conventions and the Nuremberg Verdict) that expressly prohibit torture and other war crimes, then they must in the alternative, honor those who have violated those principles since there is no real middle ground between the two stances. You either condemn war crimes or you institutionalize them and make them acceptable. If you do not institutionalize those hoary practices and seek to make them normative, then those institutions leave themselves open to being pilloried for their failure to abide by the law. Yoo epitomizes the new US norm: anything is justified - torture, wars of aggression, assassinations, preventive and indefinite detention, ubiquituous spying - all in the service of Empire. Yoo's incompetence as a legal mind makes him an outrageous model for others to emulate. This is apparent to anyone who has examined his reasoning who is not predisposed to grant his premise that anything in the service of US imperialism is acceptable. Most famously, besides being a co-author of the "Torture Memo," Yoo publicly stated that it would be permissable for the US president to order the crushing of a young boy's testicles in order to extract information from his father as long as it was supposed to be in the US's interests.
From Wikipedia:

On December 1, 2005, Yoo appeared in a debate in Chicago with Doug Cassel, a law professor from the University of Notre Dame. During the debate, Cassel asked Yoo,

"If the President deems that he's got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person's child, there is no law that can stop him?", to which Yoo replied "No treaty." Cassel followed up with "Also no law by Congress—that is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo", to which Yoo replied "I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that."[33][34]

As World Can't Wait's mission statement states: "that which you do not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn or be forced to accept."

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Elaine Brower 2

Elaine Brower of World Can't Wait speaking at the NYC Stop the War on Iran rally 2/4/12