Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fire John Yoo

Legal and human rights organizations are calling for the firing of John Yoo, the Berkeley law professor and torture advocate who worked in the Bush Administration.

New York. In a memorandum written the same month George W. Bush invaded Iraq, Boalt Hall law professor John Yoo said the Department of Justice would construe US criminal laws not to apply to the President's detention and interrogation of enemy combatants. According to Yoo, the federal statutes against torture, assault, maiming and stalking do not apply to the military in the conduct of the war.

The federal maiming statute, for example, makes it a crime for someone "with the intent to torture, maim, or disfigure" to "cut, bite, or slit the nose, ear or lip, or cut out or disable the tongue, or put out or destroy an eye, or cut off or disable a limb or any member of another person." It further prohibits individuals from "throwing or pouring upon another person any scalding water, corrosive acid, or caustic substance" with like intent.

Yoo also narrowed the definition of torture so the victim must experience intense pain or suffering equivalent to pain associated with serious physical injury so severe that death, organ failure or permanent damage resulting in loss of significant body functions will likely result; Yoo's definition contravenes the definition in the Convention Against Torture, a treaty the US has ratified which is thus part of the US law under the Constitution's Supremacy Clause. Yoo said self-defense or necessity could be used as a defense to war crimes prosecutions for torture, notwithstanding the Torture Convention's absolute prohibition against torture in all circumstances, even in wartime. This memo and another Yoo wrote with Jay Bybee in August 2002 provided the basis for the Administration's torture of prisoners.

"John Yoo's complicity in establishing the policy that led to the torture of prisoners constitutes a war crime under the US War Crimes Act," said National Lawyers Guild President Marjorie Cohn.

Congress should repeal the provision of the Military Commissions Act that would give Yoo immunity from prosecution for torture committed from September 11, 2001 to December 30, 2005. John Yoo should be disbarred and he should not be retained as a professor of law at one of the country's premier law schools. John Yoo should be dismissed from Boalt Hall and tried as a war criminal.

And this, from the American Freedom Campaign:

John Yoo should not only be disqualified from ever serving in government again, but he should also be prohibited from spreading his distorted view of the law and the role of lawyers to young law students.

He must be fired. And the man to do it is Christopher Edley, Jr, Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law.

Please fill in the information below and click on "Send my message" to send an E-mail to Dean Edley, urging the dismissal of John Yoo.


Blogger Adam Briggs said...

Laws only work if they're enforced, and Democrats have made it clear that the laws of The United States are not important enough to be enforced. Should Yoo be fired for going against international law? Of course. Do Democrats in Congress care about international law? If they did Bush would have been impeached years ago and put on trial for war crimes. A two party system only works if the minority party checks the majority party.

April 14, 2008 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Good post.

November 10, 2008 10:46 AM  

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