"Some people think of an attorney as a hired gun...

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with no responsibility otherwise," said Boalt graduate Michael Anderson, who circulated the  [2004] petition calling on Yoo to resign only days after Anderson's graduation. "But that's immoral. Even if Yoo is right and terrorists aren't covered by the Geneva conventions, he induced the military to commit war crimes with his advice."

Furor Over UC Prof's Brief on War

Published on Monday, June 7, 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0607-05.htm   

here is that petition:


To: Boalt Administration and Prof. John Yoo

We, the undersigned students, graduates and alumni of the Boalt Hall School of Law, put forth this petition to express our outrage at certain actions taken by Boalt Prof. John Yoo during his tenure as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel.

According to a recent report in Newsweek Magazine entitled "The Roots of Torture", Prof. Yoo authored a memorandum in January, 2002 advising the Bush Administration that the protections of the Geneva Conventions would not apply to prisoners held by the United States in its execution of the war in Afghanistan. While Secretary of State Colin Powell and lawyers for the State Department vigorously sought to repudiate Prof. Yoo's flawed legal analysis, subsequent actions taken by the Bush Administration and the military demonstrate that our government has taken Prof. Yoo's advice to heart.

We believe that the actions taken by Prof. Yoo contributed directly to the reprehensible violations of human rights recently witnessed in Iraq and elsewhere. By seeking to exploit and magnify any technical ambiguities in the Geneva Conventions and the laws of war, Prof. Yoo and the Bush Administration have created a climate of disdain and hostility towards international law, effectively opening the door to the acts of outright torture, rape and murder that we now know were committed by United States soldiers and civilian interrogators. Such abuses, if not explicitly ordered by the Administration or military commanders, were at the very least a foreseeable consequence of crippling the protections of the Geneva Conventions in the context of the "war on terror".

The terrible consequences of these policies have now demonstrated their folly. The standing of the United States has suffered serious, lasting damage in the eyes of the world, while groups such as Al Qaeda have been strengthened and encouraged. As a result, the Bush Administration's contempt for international law in numerous contexts has severely hindered our efforts to fight terror.

We therefore call on Prof. Yoo:

1) To follow the example of Boalt Hall's finest alumnus, Chief Justice Earl Warren, by his expression of deep regret for supporting the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II;

2) To publicly and unequivocally repudiate his official governmental position with regards to the application of the Geneva Conventions as applied to prisoners captured by the United States anywhere in the world;

3) To use his influence with the Bush Administration to encourage United States compliance with the Geneva Conventions in all its military endeavors; and

4) To reject as immoral the use of interrogation techniques involving serious physical and psychological coercion, regardless of whether he believes they may or may not be technically defined as "torture" under existing laws.

Should Prof. Yoo refuse to take these actions, we would then call on him to resign as a faculty member of the Boalt School of Law.

We emphasize that this petition does not constitute an attack on academic freedom, as we fervently believe in a free and open discussion of ideas; rather, our position is a response to those governmental actions taken by Prof. Yoo in his official capacity as Deputy Assistant Attorney General that have caused severe damage to this nation, and the world.


It was signed by many current students and alumni. As of May 29, the total was 295 signatures.

Then at graduation, some 3Ls participated in a silent protest by wearing red arm bands over their gowns.

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This page contains a single entry published on August 17, 2008 5:24 PM.

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