No Immunity For Yoo

| | TrackBacks (0)
On October 2nd, 2008 at Columbia Law School, Attorney General Mukasey argued in favor of the government's lawyers and the decisions that were enacted and furthered by the Office of Legal Counsel after September 11th, 2001. Mukasey heeded the audience with caution-- "caution against questioning the lawyers' good faith" and "caution against second guessing the Justice Department's decisions in hindsight, beyond the heat of crisis." (Steven G. Calabresi also makes a good faith argument here.)

According to Mukasey and Calabresi, people of consciousness should ignore the illegitimate use of torture, and the legal profession should pass on any form of accountability as, "Questions national security lawyers confront are "as complex and consequential as they come. Lives and the way we live them may hang in the balance," he said. "Political leaders and the public must not forget what was asked of those lawyers seven years ago."

What we asked of lawyers seven years ago and what we ask of lawyers today is adherence to and compliance with domestic and international law. The declaration of a state of national emergency does not warrant anything less than this basic standard. John Yoo's actions cannot be overlooked merely  they dealing with particularly potent questions. The issue of torture does not rise from the sticky political process or how prosecution might destroy any morale in government by the "average" person.

The gravamen of torture is to end torture, to end the mass murder, abuse, and cruel and unusual punishment of individuals who have not been charged, whose livelihoods are in jeopardy as legal limbo lounge persists.

The legalization of torture 'shocks the conscience' of the world. The Office of Legal Counsel does not immunize John Yoo from taking responsibility for legalizing torture pursuant only to the policies that needed to be enacted by the Bush Regime to legitimate the illegitimate occupation of Iraq. John Yoo cites no legal authority to reflect domestic and international laws against torture. John Yoo's authorizations of torture were made in violation of these laws, yet the legal profession stands aside with the line that John Yoo has not acted with a culpable state of mind.

Mukasey went on to question, "where are the legal lines that will be drawn in this new and very different conflict, and as a matter of policy how close to those legal lines we should go, and whether the lines can and should be redrawn."

The legal line against torture has already been crossed and shattered in our names. There is no reason to give the Office of Legal Counsel a "golden shield" on legalizing torture. There is no evidence that points to John Yoo's good faith reasoning. In fact, as Scott Horton points out in "Golden Shield or Achilles Heel?": the evidence points to "a joint criminal enterprise, the object of which was to enable torture--the memos actually were intended to and did further the scheme. They are evidence of a crime and of criminal intent. The core of that criminal enterprise was formed and much of it was carried out inside the Justice Department."

0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: No Immunity For Yoo.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

UC Berkeley Billboard

press conference, protest, photos, video, reports

Donations via PayPal
are not tax deductible.

Events & Calendars

War Criminals Watch Events

Important Reading

Physicians for Human Rights
Broken Laws, Broken Lives

NLG White Paper

The President's Executioner

Detention and torture in Guantanamo

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on December 1, 2008 9:26 PM.

was the previous entry in this blog.

Can the United States End Torture? And on what grounds? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.