ISIS militants copy practices championed by the University of California:

James Foley was tortured by members of the militant Islamic State group who were modeling some of their techniques on those used by the CIA, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

Foley was held by ISIS in Syria for nearly two years before his horrific beheading last week. The Post reported that, during that time, he and at least three others were "waterboarded several times."

Waterboarding became perhaps the most notorious method of torture practiced by American interrogators in the years after September 11th...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/28/james-foley-tortured-isis-waterboarded_n_5732098.html

John Yoo and the Senate Torture Report

By Ralph E. Stone

August 21, 2014

Professor John Yoo stepped away from his lectern at the UC Berkeley School of Law to send an e-mail to the San Francisco Chronicle criticizing the forthcoming Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) torture report saying that if "torture was used and it didn't work, she [Senator Dianne Feinstein] is flat wrong."

Yoo claimed the report failed to maintain "bipartisanship" that "will undermine its conclusions." This is a preemptive attack by Yoo as the release of the Senate torture report will probably place Yoo on the hot-seat again.

The SSCI Torture report has been approved for public release.  However, the SSCI and the CIA are fighting over the CIA's substantial redactions to the torture report summary. The torture report is 6,000 pages, adopted by the SSCI in December 2012. It is the most comprehensive report on the CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques," a euphemism for torture...

For the president to officially admit that men were tortured in the name of national security is one thing. For him to justify those actions, and attempt to induce sympathy or even exculpate those who were in charge of designing and implementing a torture program - in the name of all Americans - is reprehensible.


-- Professor Falguni A. Sheth, Hampshire College

DownloadedFile.jpegThe United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday announced the appointment of experts to carry out an independent commission charged with investigating possible war crimes during the month-long assault on Gaza that has killed nearly 2,000 Palestinians and 67 Israelis...


The announcement prompted immediate backlash from Israeli officials who charge that the author of Genocide in International Law holds an anti-Israel bias -- how dare he suggest that the military occupation of Palestinian territory is in some way wrong?

"It is dangerous to be outspoken against the war," says journalist Haggai Matar. Vigorous suppression of dissent within Israel makes outside pressure against the siege of Gaza all the more critical. 
Our friend Henry Norr has posted a comprehensive archive here; thanks Henry!

Five years after the Obama Administration released the Torture Memos, "no 'patriotic official' has been indicted, no judges have been impeached and no professor has been stripped of his academic tenure--not even the one who defined torture as 'equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.' In June, John Yoo was awarded an endowed faculty chair at the UC Berkeley School of Law. Bush appointee Jay Bybee remains on the federal bench. Cheney's legal alchemist David Addington is now creating alternative realities at the Heritage Center. Psychologist James Mitchell, one of the consultants who helped the Bush administration render the Geneva Conventions quaint, didn't lose his professional credentials, even after claiming, 'I'm just a guy who got asked to do something for his country.' Jose Rodriguez, who as head of the CIA's clandestine service personally ordered the destruction of dozens of interrogation videotapes, is a conservative hero who has smeared the soon-to-be-released Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA torture program despite having never read a word of it...Five years after the Obama Administration released the Torture Memos, "no 'patriotic official' has been indicted, no judges have been impeached and no professor has been stripped of his academic tenure--not even the one who defined torture as 'equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.' In June, John Yoo was awarded an endowed faculty chair at the UC Berkeley School of Law. Bush appointee Jay Bybee remains on the federal bench. Cheney's legal alchemist David Addington is now creating alternative realities at the Heritage Center. Psychologist James Mitchell, one of the consultants who helped the Bush administration render the Geneva Conventions quaint, didn't lose his professional credentials, even after claiming, 'I'm just a guy who got asked to do something for his country.' Jose Rodriguez, who as head of the CIA's clandestine service personally ordered the destruction of dozens of interrogation videotapes, is a conservative hero who has smeared the soon-to-be-released Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA torture program despite having never read a word of it...

President Obama and CIA chief John Brennan during his White House swearing in ceremony in 2013. (Photo: AFP/Brendan Smialowski)

The CIA chief's admission that the agency spied on the Intelligence Committee's panel investigating torture during the Bush years pressured Obama to concede "We tortured some folks."

Not that he's about to do anything about it. It's up to the people living in the United States to hold war criminals accountable. That's where we come in. Stay tuned for actions at Boalt's Hall of Torture.

DownloadedFile.jpeg

Rebecca Gordon, author of the new book Mainstreaming Torture, says

"There are several important reasons why the resurgence of torture remains a possibility in post-Bush America:

* Torture did not necessarily end when Obama took office.

* We have never had a full accounting of all the torture programs in the "war on terror."

* Not one of the senior government officials responsible for activities that amounted to war crimes has been held accountable, nor were any of the actual torturers ever brought to court.

And further, "The U.S. has a long history of involvement with torture -- from its war in the Philippines at the dawn of the twentieth century on. It has also, as in Latin America in the 1960s, trained torturers serving other regimes. But until 9/11 top officials in this country had never publicly approved of torture...

That consensus no longer exists today. After 9/11 those 'gloves' came off." 


Whether that situation continues is up to us...

"invisible victims"

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In Refracted Justice, Professor Laurel Fletcher argues that international courts and tribunals consistently frustrate the victims of mass atrocities. In her analysis of transitional justice and victims' rights, she questions whether the International Criminal Court can live up to its moral commitments.

Which begs the question: whose 'morals' does Berkeley Law represent?

"..it is imperative that we develop new models of philanthropy that recognize and honor the interests of our donors." --  UC President Janet Napolitano

Guantanamo nurse refused to participate in "criminal" force-feedings

c/o www.reprieve.org.uk, with special thanks to Carol Rosenberg at the Miami Herald

For immediate release: Tue July 15, 2014

A military medical professional at Guantanamo Bay recently refused to force-feed detainees after witnessing the suffering it caused detainees, it has been revealed. 

The incident is thought to be the first case of 'conscientious objection' to force-feeding at Guantánamo since a mass hunger-strike began at the prison last year. Cleared Syrian Abu Wa'el Dhiab related the news on a phone call last week with his Reprieve lawyer, Cori Crider. Dhiab explained that a military nurse recently told him he would no longer participate in force-feedings, saying: "I have come to the decision that I refuse to participate in this criminal act." 

A poignant, heart-wrenching and profoundly truthful poem by Professor Francis A. Boyle

Ode to My Colleague and Friend Frank Newman

I.

Way to go Berkeley Law!
Deeming Yourselves above The Law
Your Dean Frank Newman now crying in Heaven
Berkeley Law can go to Hell!
Accessories After The Fact to torture, murder and war crimes
Law Prof Carl Schmitt would be proud of You All
The Nazis had Their Law Schools too
Replete with John Yoo
RIP Berkeley Law
Into the Ashcan of History You All go
Good Riddance to Cal's Neo-Nazi Rubbish!.
II.
American Law Professors
What have we become?
American Law Professors for torture!
American Law Professors for Gitmo Kangaroo Courts!
American Law Professors for indefinite detention!
American Law Professors for spying!
American Law Professors for drone strikes!
American Law Professors for murder!
American Law Professors for assassinations!
American Law Professors for war crimes!
American Law Professors for crimes against humanity!
American Law Professors for genocide!
American Law Professors for wars of aggression!
American Law Professors for murdering US citizens!
American Law Professors for murder courts!
American Law Professors for trashing the US Constitution!
American Law Professors for trashing the Bill of Rights!
American Law Professors for trashing International Law!
American Law Professors for trashing Human Rights!
How much lower can American Law Professors sink
Into this criminal shit
Of Neo-Nazi Legal Nihilism?
The Nazis had their Law Professors too
The worst of the bunch was Carl Schmitt
And now we have: American Law Professors
For Carl Schmitt too!
Arabs and Muslims
Have become
American Law Professors'
New Jews
And now at Berkeley Law too
With Chaired John Yoo
Francis A. Boyle is an attorney and a professor  at the University of Illinois College of Law. His books include Foundations of World Order (Duke University Press: 1999) and Tackling America's Toughest Questions (2009).   His most recent book is United Ireland, Human Rights and International Law.   This is his poem "Ode to My Colleague and Friend Frank Newman."

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