letter from a concerned parent

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I have already suggested to my son, who is approaching college age and is interested in law, that he consider any other institution than Berkeley until John Yoo is gone from your faculty.

Shaming and Shunning

One of the ways in which the Amish maintain social order is through the practice of shunning those individuals who refuse to meet community standards of behavior. In 1997, the New York Times did an interesting piece on the role of public shaming, stating

Even those skeptical of the penalties, whose effectiveness has never been studied, concede that they have value in cohesive communities. Bar organizations publish lists of lawyers who have been sanctioned, because peers consider publicity a humiliating deterrent. Some Native American tribes and the Amish use a form of shaming known as shunning.

I am writing about this because I am outraged by UCal Berkeley Law Professor John Yoo's Torture Memos, which were just released in full.

John Yoo's Memorandum, as intended, directly led to -- caused -- a whole series of war crimes at both Guantanamo and in Iraq. The reason such a relatively low-level DOJ official was able to issue such influential and extraordinary opinions was because he was working directly with, and at the behest of, the two most important legal officials in the administration: George Bush's White House counsel, Alberto Gonzales, and Dick Cheney's counsel (and current Chief of Staff) David Addington. Together, they deliberately created and authorized a regime of torture and other brutal interrogation methods that are, by all measures, very serious war crimes.

If writing memoranda authorizing torture -- actions which then directly lead to the systematic commission of torture -- doesn't make one a war criminal in the U.S., what does?

Greenwald has much more and I encourage you to read it in full.

In the memos Yoo argued that the President even has the right to torture children: the logic is profoundly disturbed and violates pretty much any definition of civility and accountability. The results of Yoo's memos include war crimes committed at home and abroad, the repeal of habeas corpus, the indefinite detention of foreigners (and possible ramifications for Americans) and the violation of numerous US laws regarding torture, wiretapping, and Congressional oversight. These acts have thoroughly shamed our country, destroyed our reputation, and have put Americans at risk. Thanks to Yoo and his friends, the United States is hated and despised.

Since Yoo has shamed us, I think it is only proper that Yoo be shamed in return. So I have started writing letters, and I hope others here will do the same.

This is the "Principles of Community" statement at UCal Berkeley, where John Yoo teaches Constitutional Law. Read it!

This is the faculty listing at Boalt Hall School of Law, UCal Berkeley's law school. As you will see, every single one of these professors and deans has an email address and a phone number.

I think you can see what I'm getting at.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on October 24, 2008 10:26 PM.

Legal Loopholes to Continue Torture was the previous entry in this blog.

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