Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Yoo's Torture Rationalization

John Yoo, one of the legal scholars hired by UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall to indoctrinate the next generation of lawyers run through their legal mill across the bay, and author of the infamous torture memo used by the criminals in the White House to justify torture and renditions of innocent persons, has had his handy-work exposed to the light of day.

This memo just oozed its way to the surface, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act suit by the ACLU, is the March 14, 2003, memo written by John Yoo, former deputy in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), an acolyte of David Addington, Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff and former Cheney legal counsel.

Contrary to claims that the abuses at Abu Ghraib and other prisons were contrived by subordinates on the ground — i.e., “hicks with sticks” — Yoo’s 81-page memo rationalizes motive and establishes the bar for virtually every human rights violation that has taken place in the name of fighting the global war on terrorism.

It is, in the words of Dan Froomkin, author of the Washington Post’s irreplaceable “White House Briefing” blog, “a historic document… the ultimate expression of Cheney’s belief that anything the president or his designates do — no matter how illegal, barbaric or un-American — is justifiable in the name of national self-defense.

"It is also an example of how enabling zealots to disregard the rule of law and the customary boundaries of human conduct leads to madness.”It is also an example of how enabling zealots to disregard the rule of law and the customary boundaries of human conduct leads to madness.” Dan Froomkin, of the Washington Post.

As if this weren’t enough, a footnote in the March 2003 memo reveals a second John Yoo masterpiece that blithely undermines the Constitution; in this case, the Fourth Amendment right of the people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Written on October 23, 2001, not even a month and a half after 9/11, this still-classified Justice Department memo, titled, “Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the United States,” held that the Fourth Amendment had no bearing on domestic military operations.

The United States Constitution, Article II, Section 4, says: "The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." What more evidence do we as citizens of this Republic need?

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