Letter to the Editor of The Daily Californian

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Recently, The Daily Californian published a piece titled "Bear Naked: Getting to Know John Yoo."

The following is a critical response to the above article, written to challenge the author's complicity in defending John Yoo's presence at Boalt Hall and to call on students and community members to take action against torture and against abetting war criminals.


Torture practices continue due to the purposeful misrepresentation of anti-torture policies and disregard for law that preserves fundamental human rights and needs. Evidence of abuse and torture practices, including but not limited to beatings, electric shocks, sexual humiliation, waterboarding, and harming the children of detainees cause lasting physical, psychological, and mental suffering, anguish, and discomfort. These methods are illegal and unwarranted, and the U.S. employing torturous interrogation practices has become an issue of global concern. At the core of these torture violations is John Yoo, who is invested in emphasizing bureaucratic rule, expanding presidential power, and funding the militarization of capitalist hegemony. John Yoo's authorizations of torture and interrogation abuses have directly resulted in the most egregious assaults on human lives during our time.

Andrew Kim not only explicitly professes that there was no prior legal precedent to torture, but also negligently and recklessly advocates that a fictitious "war on terror" that employs the propaganda of fear and hysteria as it's primary mechanism should not be challenged even when individual liberties, due process, habeas corpus, and human lives are being extinguished in violations of the law. These assertions are unconscionable and have no basis in reality. Is Kim aware that John Yoo developed the definition for torture pursuant to a health statute, violating the rule of law established in the Youngstown and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld cases and international treaties against torture, to which the U.S. is a signatory? Is Kim aware that millions are being detained interminably with no recourse; no legal right to representation, and without having been charged and knowing why they are being unlawfully confined? How many more lives being lost as a direct result of the torture interrogation techniques John Yoo has implemented are acceptable to Kim to justify the Bush Administration's advocacy of an empire torture state?

Reasonable people cannot uphold Kim's uncritical representations that ineffectively attempt to mitigate John Yoo's role as a pedagogical instrument of power at UC Berkeley. In trying to gain readership, Kim has gone beyond being silent in speaking out against torture; Kim seeks to protect John Yoo's presence at UC Berkeley, as "a man." As a sports writer, Kim admits to being incompetent to commenting on a political story. What then was Kim's motivation in offering a political opinion that is complicit to allowing and upholding torture and abuse? What does Kim think about aiding and abetting a war criminal? Is Kim willing to defend John Yoo further?

Past times have shown us that abusive interrogation tactics have been used as weapons against human lives. John Yoo has committed war crimes against humanity and should be held responsible for his deplorable violations of law and professional ethics. We will not back down; we will not compromise until NO TO TORTURE is on the world agenda.

Linda Rigas
No To Torture--John Yoo Must Go!

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This page contains a single entry published on August 5, 2008 11:34 AM.

"Should John Yoo, the controversial professor at UC Berkeley, remain employed by the public school?" was the previous entry in this blog.

Silence Plus Torture Equals Complicity, Billboard Says is the next entry in this blog.

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