November 2009 Archives

Law schools have an obligation to do more than teach lawyers to offer legal advice without regard for the consequences of their counsel. I also think that law schools ought to model behavior for their students and think very seriously about the pedagogical impact of retaining a man on the faculty whose legal advice and scholarship produced such disastrous policy, to say nothing of the suffering of those on the receiving end of Yoo's ideas.

Glenn Greenwald recalls Phillip Carter's post, "Blame Berkeley" 
and examines the differences between Candidate and President Obama's 
positions on torture.
Pope Gregory Day, last Monday of Fall Semester 
Make this John Yoo's last class ever! 
P1030477.jpg
There is a battle raging right now over the future of the University of California. But the question is not only whether education will be affordable, but what kind of education it will be... 

If, as is too common, our universities are merely providing new technicians for sustaining the status quo, the debate over private vs public might indeed be moot. But, if we use higher education for realizing a better and more equitable world, the public could be best convinced that student demands are justified. 

The battle over higher education in California is really a battle over the shape of the future, not just in California, but the country... 

where is that OPR report?

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DOJ Report on Yoo, Bybee's Legal Work on Torture to Be Released by Month's End

by: Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | Report

A long-awaited Justice Department watchdog report that is said to be highly critical of the legal work three attorneys who worked at the agency's powerful Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) conducted for the Bush administration will be released at the end of the month, Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday during testimony before a Senate committee.

"The report is completed. It is being reviewed now and it's in its last stages," Holder said in response to a question by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-Rhode Island), who queried the attorney general about the status of the report. "There is a career prosecutor who has to review the report. We expect that process should be done by the end of the month. At that point, the report should be issued."

release has at least one of those attorneys running scared; see Torture Memo Author Sets Up Defense Fund to Fight Possible Impeachment

NGOs File Complaints to Disbar Three Bush Administration Torture Lawyers

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Friday, November 27, 2009, Disbar Torture Lawyers,www.disbartorturelawyers.com, a group of NGOs representing over a million members, filed complaints with the Washington, D.C. Board of Professional Responsibility requesting disbarment of Bush Administration attorneys John Yoo, Michael Haynes, and Alberto Gonzales. The detailed complaints and supporting documents set forth the illegal and unethical conduct of the attorneys with regard to the issue of torture against detainees held by the United States. All of the legal advice and written opinions of the three attorneys have been rejected and rescinded by the Department of Justice...
Obama has said he'll close Guantanamo during the first week of his presidency. But what about Bagram, a prison North of Kabul that we know considerably less about? There are approximately 250 detainees at Guantanamo and an estimated 670 at Bagram. According to a recent report in Time Magazine, "the U.S. military is building a new prison for what it calls 'unlawful enemy combatants' at Bagram that won't be finished until Obama is well settled in the White House."

"black site" at Bagram

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U.S. Still Running Secret Prison in Afghanistan


Published: November 28, NEW YORK TIMES

KABUL, Afghanistan -- An American military detention camp in Afghanistan is still holding inmates for sometimes weeks at a time and without access to the International Committee of the Red Cross, according to human rights researchers and former detainees held at the site on the Bagram Air Base. 

former detainee interview transcripts here.

user

March, 2003: The Month The United States Lost Its Soul


By: Jim White Thursday November 26, 2009 FIREDOGLAKE

Over six and a half years have elapsed since March, 2003, but much information has become available in the past year to help us reconstruct a number of important events that month. The evidence points convincingly to a conscious decision by the Bush administration to engage in overwhelming use of torture in a last-ditch attempt to provide another false justification for a war which was still launched, even as the justification then in use also was being shown to be false...

Condoleezza Rice's part in this here

The Guantanamo Lawyers: Shipwrecked

Posted on Nov 22, truthdig

By Baher Azmy 

Editor's note: This important new book tells the story of the world's most famous prison from the perspective of the lawyers who toiled under notoriously difficult conditions on behalf of the detainees. In this excerpt, Baher Azmy tells the story of his client, who was held for years despite having been found by his captors to have no connection with terrorism.

I first saw him on a TV screen. Before my initial meeting with Murat Kurnaz in October 2004, the U.S. military police escorted me--the third civilian lawyer to enter the inner sanctum of Guantánamo's Camp Echo-- through several fifteen-foot-high locked gates and into the guard booth of the world's most notorious military prison. On my way to the booth, walking across gravel made bright white by the blazing Caribbean sun, my status as a civilian--clean shaven, dressed in a tie and formal shoes--was punctuated by the loud sounds of practice machine-gun fire in the distance... 

see also FIVE YEARS OF MY LIFE

CIA Interrogation Tapes Destroyed Shortly After News Reports on CIA Black Sites and Interrogation Methods


Marcy Wheeler at Firedoglake has an interesting take today on the most recentsummary of classified documents that the government turned over to the American Civil Liberties Union Friday, as part of its response to the organization's Freedom of Information Act requests about the destruction of 92 videotapes of CIA interrogations. The documents reveal what Wheeler calls "a tension between the torturers in the field growing increasingly panicked about the torture tapes" and wanting the CIA to destroy them, and the reluctance, at first, of the CIA's Office of General Counsel to do that.

The ACLU, meanwhile, has identified an important point about the chronology of the CIA's internal communications about the tapes. Although the communications remain classified, the dates and summaries of their content provided by the government reveals that a request to destroy the 92 tapes were  made just days after The Washington Post reported on the existence of secret overseas CIA prisons known as "black sites." Another request was made on the day The New York Times reported that the CIA inspector general had issued a report questioning the legality of the agency's interrogation methods.

The tapes were destroyed that same day.

Key coordinator of detainee policy quits

By Peter Finn
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 25, 2009 

A key official in the Obama administration's effort to remake detention policy and close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay has resigned.

Phillip Carter, who was appointed deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee policy in April, said in a brief telephone interview that he was leaving for "personal and family reasons" and not because of any policy differences with the administration. He tendered his resignation Friday, Pentagon officials said.

Carter, a lawyer and Iraq war veteran, was responsible for coordinating global policy on detainees...

FREE LYNNE STEWART!

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World renowned civil rights attorney incarcerated while Bush Torture lawyers walk free.
 
photo c/o Mathaba News Network
Express your outrage: 
Protest this gross miscarriage of justice 

Lynne Stewart, peoples' lawyer, was ordered to begin serving a 28 month prison term Wednesday afternoon, after a NY federal appeals court rejected her appeal and revoked her bail.  Worse, they sent her sentence back to the federal trial judge, with instructions to consider lengthening the sentence.  Lynne is a tireless fighter for justice, and is on the World Can't Wait Advisory Board.

Add your voice to those who see this as a new beginning in the continuous struggle for justice against oppression that Lynne spearheads. 

In a November 17 news conference, Stewart said:

"I'm too old to cry, but it hurts too much not to." In criticizing the Court's decision, she said its timing "on the eve of the arrival of the tortured men from offshore prison in Guantanamo" suggests that lawyers appointed to represent them may face the same fate as she. "If you're going to lawyer for these people, you'd better toe very close to the line that the government has set out (because they'll) be watching you every inch of the way, (so those who don't) will end up like Lynne Stewart. This is a case that is bigger than just me personally (but she added that she'll) go on fighting... You have not seen the last of me."
To send Lynne a letter, write:
Lynne Stewart
53504-054
MCC-NY
150 Park Row
New York, NY NY 10007
Second-year Berkeley law student and B.A.A.T member Gretchen Gordon with fellow alliance member Megan Schullen at the group's launch in October.
Riya Bhattacharjee

Second-year Berkeley law student and B.A.A.T member Gretchen Gordon with fellow alliance member Megan Schullen at the group's launch in October.
















Berkeley Law Students Call for Investigation of "Torture Memo" Lawyers

Justice Department Pointlessly Gags Guantánamo Lawyer

note: Abdul's lawyer and War Criminals Watch advisor Candace Gorman 
points out "Fortunately for all of you....the muzzle only applies to me."

Well, so far.

no safe refuge for torturers

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"The man is a war criminal and deserves to be on trial rather than on the pages of my hometown paper...

Philadelphia Inquirer still printing John Yoo's opinions by Ross Levin

see War Criminals Map for more culprits  

this is about War Crimes, not some giddy debate for amusement.

An Additional Comment on Campus Protests and Academic Freedom

Christopher Edley, Dean
November 20, 2009

At the request of some students at Berkeley Law, I write to elaborate on my statements concerning academic freedom as regards Professor John Yoo and the widespread concerns about the role he played in the Bush Administration's efforts to combat terrorism while he was on leave from Berkeley. (For my earlier detailed statement, see http://www.law.berkeley.edu/5961.htm)

I believe that until a competent body makes findings of fact and offers conclusions of law concerning Professor Yoo's actions related to torture and human rights, vital principles of academic freedom require that all of us affirm and respect his right to teach and the right of our students to take courses from him without interference, including disruption or intimidation. I have specifically asked my staff and the University Police to make reasonable efforts to prevent such disruption or intimidation and, if unsuccessful, to arrest trespassers. 

However much any of us may agree with the political and policy views of protesters, I believe that all members of the law school community share a duty to uphold freedom of thought, however unpopular, and freedom of inquiry, however uncomfortable. As to illegality or professional misconduct, as some have alleged against Professor Yoo, the investigative and disciplinary mechanisms of the University are in my judgment neither designed nor sufficiently knowledgeable to decide the matters at issue. Other institutions should and must serve that function.

But let me state plainly: This fidelity to academic freedom and our notions of excellence does not mean that students, staff and faculty are obligated to stand mute or ignore the controversy. Protests that do not interfere with teaching and learning, and have no purpose or effect of intimidation, are certainly permissible. More importantly, serious and reasoned debate is at the very core of the academic freedom we are bound to safeguard. Learning, like the best kind of politics, involves the clash of ideas. In a great university, that clash should serve to illuminate and inspire, not to censor or intimidate. Berkeley Law has unfailingly been on the right side of this distinction throughout my experience here. To me, that is a tremendous source of pride.

When a student graduates from our law school, the faculty - indeed the whole community - has failed if he or she has not struggled to reconcile personal passions with broad principles anchored in the law. Whatever might be said for the rest of the academy, as a law school one imperative is clear: Our students must acquire a honed facility not only to advocate their cause, but also to marshal the self-critical discipline and temperament to know the weaknesses in their own advocacy and to discern any peppercorn of truth possessed by their opponent. None of this is possible without vigorous discussion in classrooms and corridors, curriculum and co-curriculum.

I am confident that I speak for all members of the faculty in stressing that when engaging any vexing and critical issue of the day - from torture to tort reform, abortion to habeas corpus, gay marriage to orphan drug patents, climate change to Glass-Steagall re-regulation - both our profession and our academic mission are centrally concerned with vigorous, disciplined, inquiry and debate. We live for the thrill of the rumpus, but not too wild. 

11/20/2009



"American [torture] secrets"

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UK court rejects British government bid to suppress CIA evidence of torture
© Lewis Whyld/AP
From one polce state to another: Binyam Mohamed on his arrival in Britain from US where he was held at Guantanamo Bay.
- Sixth damning ruling in Binyam Mohamed case 

- Foreign secretary's claims of security risk dismissed
 

The high court today flatly rejected claims by David Miliband, the foreign secretary, that releasing evidence of the CIA's inhuman and unlawful treatment of UK resident Binyam Mohamed would harm Britain's relations with the US by giving away intelligence secrets. 

Evidence that the foreign secretary also wants to suppress is believed to reveal what British intelligence officers knew about Mohamed's treatment. Mohamed, 31, an Ethiopian, says he was tortured in Pakistan, Morocco, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay. 

In the sixth in a string of damning rulings, the high court accused Miliband of wanting to suppress information about CIA activities even though details had already been disclosed by the Obama administration. Dismissing Miliband's claims, Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones insisted they were not trying to give away "American secrets". They said: "Of itself, the treatment to which Mr Mohamed was subjected could never properly be described in a democracy as 'a secret' or an 'intelligence secret' or 'a summary of classified intelligence'." 

The judges revealed that seven paragraphs in a key document Miliband insists must remain secret "relate to admissions of what officials of the US did to BM during his detention in Pakistan". They repeated their earlier finding that "what is contained in those seven redacted paragraphs gives rise to an arguable case of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment". 

"Black Site" in Lithuania

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following up on a previous story, "Parliamentarians vote to probe hosting CIA prison"

Lithuanian horse stable was converted into a secret CIA detention center
This former Lithuanian horse stable was converted into a secret CIA detention center, according to a former U.S. intelligence official and a current Lithuanian government official. Some al Qaeda detainees were held at this facility, the officials said.

Yoo's tenure on the line

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Boalt spokesperson Susan Gluss says Edley will review the report before offering his opinion on whether or not Yoo should lose his position at Boalt.

OPR Report Should Be Out By Month's End

That long-awaited report on the Justice Department's role in the Bush administration's torture program could finally be ready to see the light of day.

During his testimony before Congress today, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the report, by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility, is "in its last stages," and that he expects it will be released by the end of the month.

The OPR report, five years in the making, is focused in part on whether Bush DOJ lawyers violated laws or internal guidelines when they wrote memos that approved torture. The Washington Post reported in May that a draft of the report recommended disciplinary action by state bar associations -- though not, apparently, criminal prosecution -- against former DOJ lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee.

And in August, the New York Times reported that the study recommends reopening nearly a dozen prisoner abuse cases, some of which involve the death of detainees in U.S. custody.

MORE @ http://www.truthout.org/topstories111809sg01 .

is there money in it?:

Town Divided Over Terror Suspects

Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

An aerial view of the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson , Ill., which could be turned over to federal authorities, in part for prisoners from Guantánamo Bay. More Photos c/o The New York Times>

Amid escalating calls for investigation, some of Yoo's colleagues appear to be distancing themselves from his position on criminal investigation.  
"John Yoo's withdrawal from the Federalist Society Convention shows that pressure is building to hold accountable those who provided legal cover for torture," said Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron.
By FRED BARBASH | 11/17/09 POLITICO  
Steven G. Calabresi stops for a photo.

Photo: Courtesy                                                         

Steven G. Calabresi, one of the country's most prominent conservative legal scholars, Tuesday defended the Obama administration's decision to try Sept. 11 terror suspects in New York and took his fellow conservatives to task for their criticism.

His comments, posted in POLITICO's Arena forum departed sharply from the brutal criticism that has come from conservative commentators and lawyers since Attorney General Eric Holder made the announcement about the trials last Friday.

new class just added to Spring Schedule:

221.9 sec. 1 - Constitutional Design and the California Constitution (Spring 2010)

Instructor: John Choon Yoo 
Instructor: David A. Carrillo  
View all teaching evaluations for this course

Units: 3
Meeting Time: W 6:20-9:00
Meeting Location: 240
Course Control Number (Non-1Ls): 51212

Main Section Enrollment:
Enrolled: 0 
Waitlisted: 0 
Enroll Limit: 53 
As of: 11/16 06:43 AM

This seminar will examine the constitutional design issues in light of proposals to call a convention to reform the California constitution. The first part of the class will focus on questions of constitution-writing, the work of conventions, and the evaluation of constitutional mechanisms. The second part of the class will take up questions unique to the California constitution, such as the election of executive branch officers and judges, the budget process, and the role of popular lawmaking such as initiatives. A paper that will satisfy the writing requirement, with the topic approved by the professor and student, is required.

So, for anyone who had plans to celebrate a hiatus from this particular war criminal's 
patently illegal advocacy of torture and other crimes, check back here for on-going 
actions to fire, disbar and prosecute the Torture Professor. With renewed vigor and 
determination, we will continue to fight Yoo and his enablers at UC in the battle to return 
to a rule of law. The detainees at Guantanamo, Bagram and "black sites" around the 
world really can't wait... can you?


comment from a reader:

Actually, I think this is good news.

Were Yoo not teaching at UC next semester, it would not mean loss of tenure, status, or position at UC. It would simply mean he would be doing something else, e.g., teaching somewhere else, consulting.

Here in Berkeley he's more visible and accessible to us. I want to see him fired and prosecuted, as I'm sure you do, not just simply take up residence somewhere else, however permanent or temporary.

I don't like the fact that he's teaching students, but as long as the UC system is protecting Yoo, the students are going to have to make up their own minds -- they're not children.

- George Cammarota 

Report Briefing:

 

International Justice Group Takes Aim at Bush Officials

update on torture photos

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Secretary Gates signs order barring release 

torturepics Secretary Gates signs order barring release of torture photos
By Stephen C. Webster
Saturday, November 14th, 2009 RAW STORY



Pursuant to new powers delegated to him by Congress, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has executed an order blocking the release of photos depicting the torture of detainees. In doing so, it becomes highly unlikely that the Supreme Court will further consider making the photos public, as a lower court had ordered.

In a new supplemental brief [PDF link] filed with the high court, the administration's attorneys argue that the new law Congress passed to allow Gates this authority effectively exempts the photos from the Freedom of Information Act, therefore invalidating an earlier lawsuit.

Craig Steps Down as White House Lawyer

Published: November 13 NEW YORK TIMES

WASHINGTON - The White House counsel, Gregory B. Craig, has told associates that he intends to step down from his post on Friday, putting to rest long-running speculation about whether he would remain as President Obama's top lawyer.

Doug Mills/The New York Times

White House counsel Gregory B. Craig in the Oval Office in January.

Mr. Craig had been at the center of controversial decisions over whether to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as well as revising administration policies on theinterrogation and detention of prisoners. For months, questions have circulated inside the White House about his status, but an official said early Friday that Mr. Craig had made the decision to resign.

Robert Bauer, a Democratic lawyer in Washington who has represented Mr. Obama for years, has agreed to be named to the position of White House counsel, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision was not scheduled to be made public until later Friday. 

*statement from Dean's office November 13th.

...perhaps he'll take refuge at the American Enterprise Institute?
Yoo attempts to defend himself today, here:

John Yoo

KSM Trial a Boon to al Qaeda

By John Yoo

November 13, 2009, 3:13 pm



but its pretty damn weak.

If anyone has information on Yoo's next "gig", please share.

13.11.09

I was delighted to be invited to discuss Guantánamo on Democracy Now! this morning, just an hour after the story first broke that the Obama administration is preparing to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other prisoners to the US mainland to face trials in federal court for their alleged involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

the court's decision "risks a government that can interpret the 

law to suit its own ends, without scrutiny."

NYT Slams Federal Appeals Court for Rendition Decision

Mark Danner, a UC Berkeley professor of journalism, has covered war,
foreign affairs and political violence for two decades. He is the author
of Torture and Truth (2004) and, most recently, Stripping Bare the Body:
Politics Violence War.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Graduate School of Journalism.
Friday, November 13, 2009, 3:00 PM
Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall, UC Berkeley

courting torture

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Bush torture 'architect' sits on court that will rule on another torture 'architect'

By Daniel Tencer
Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 RAW STORY

yoo protest Bush torture architect sits on court that will rule on another torture architectJohn Yoo, the former Bush administration lawyer who gained notoriety for penning a number of the so-called "torture memos" justifying the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" on terrorism suspects, has filed an appeal of a lawsuit against him with a court on whose bench sits another torture "architect" from the Bush administration.

Yoo's lawyers have filed an appeal against a lawsuit by convicted terrorist supporter Jose Padilla to the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. One of the judges on that bench is Jay Bybee, who served early on in the Bush administration in the same Office of Legal Counsel where Yoo wrote the torture memos.

Bybee is known for having written the "Bybee memo," which spelled out the definition of "enhanced interrogation techniques" the Bush administration used against terrorism suspects, now abandoned by the Obama Justice Department. Yoo wrote a number of controversial memos regarding torture, including one that declared "enhanced interrogation" only met the legal definition of torture if it caused pain equal to "organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death.

comment from a reader:

Christopher Edley, Jr., is supposedly in charge at Boalt Hall.	I think
he wants to hide behind the specious claim that he keeps Yoo on as a
free-speech issue.  Or maybe he claims that Yoo's tenure ties his
hands.	The second claim may have some substance--though I wager there
would be a way to suspend Yoo from performing as a professor if Edley
had the stomach for such a measure.  As for the first, I call it
specious.  U.C. Berkeley is under no obligation to SPONSER Yoo in order
to maintain free speech.  It is one thing to allow free speech.  It is
quite another thing to appoint or maintain appointment to a teaching
position.  Appointing as a teacher implies some positive evaluation on
the part of a university of what it is the teacher actually teaches. 
Granted, tenure clogs this issue some.	But a math teacher would not
remain active who decided to dispense with all odd numbers.  A biology
teacher would probably not be sustained who left evolution out of the
account of biological development.  A physics teacher who decided
gravity is sheer hoax would probably not be permitted to continue. 
Yoo's approach to law is as egregiously misconceived as would be any of
these.	He should be let go.  
- Tomo [Tom O'Neill]

The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- A former Bush administration lawyer is asking a federal court to toss a lawsuit by a convicted terrorist who accuses him of drafting the legal theories that led to his alleged torture.

John Yoo, a former senior Justice Department official, asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday to reverse a lower court ruling allowing the suit to proceed.

Yoo's lawyer argues that legal counsel to a president in wartime should not be subject to judicial second-guessing.

Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen serving a 17-year sentence for terrorism conspiracy, claims he was tortured while being held nearly four years.

see Yoo's lawyers warn of flood of political suits

andy_worthington.jpg

Special note to the Berkeley anti-torture community:

Author Andy Worthington comes to Berkeley for a premiere of a new Spectacle Production film, "Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo", November 10 at 7 PM, North Berkeley Senior Center, and a book signing event at Revolution Books the following night, http://www.revolutionbooks.org.

Andy reports here on his tour so far.

 

"The Guantánamo Files is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how Guantánamo came to be the torture chamber of the United States. This comprehensive and well-researched exposé reveals the stories of the many tragic men and boys who were picked up after 9/11 by, or at the direction of, the US government, and also clearly demonstrates the frightening and unchecked power of the Bush administration and the failures that have followed on from its miserable, inept and criminal policies. Perhaps most disturbing, from a personal point of view, is the author's unraveling of the US government's manipulation of classified information, not to protect national security, but in a vain attempt to hide the truth about Guantánamo. The fact that the prison's real story has been ignored by our corporate media, by politicians on both sides of the aisle and, most distressingly, by the judiciary, makes this book an important historical contribution to this dark period. If the US happens to survive this episode of cruelty and lawlessness, The Guantánamo Files will be an important tool for coming to grips with how we as a nation allowed indefinite detention without charge, extraordinary rendition and torture to become national policies."

- Candace Gorman, lawyer for two Guantánamo prisoners and advisor to War Criminals Watch.

additional voices from Guantanamo:

ACLU representatives traveled to the UK to interview five former Guantánamo prisoners: Moazzam Begg and Omar Deghayes (both featured in above film), plus Bisher al-Rawi, Ruhal Ahmed and Shafiq Rasul (the latter being two of the "Tipton Three," featured in the 2006 film "The Road to Guantánamo"). Listen to their stories here.

The Psychological Cost of Condoning Torture Is Too High

Contributing Writer, The Daily Californian
Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Memos authored by Professor John Yoo while serving in the Office of Legal Counsel of the Bush Administration opened the door for soldiers, secret service operatives and psychologists acting in the service of the United States to practice torture. Since the appearance of the memos, the vast majority of psychologists and mental health professionals, after heated debate with their colleagues, have unequivocally condemned the practice of torture, both physical and psychological, by members of their professions. The Ethical Guidelines of the International Association for Group Psychotherapy put it quite succinctly: "There are no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether induced by a state of war or threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, that may be invoked as a justification for torture, including the invocation of laws, regulations, or orders"...

When torture is OK, what world are we living in?

Why and how can "Torture Professor" John Yoo still be teaching law at the University of California (UC)  - after he notoriously spent two years enabling the Bush-Cheney regime to craft a torture program and in violation of all existing law and all morality call it "legal"?

On Monday, November 30, the next major "Fire John Yoo" protest at the UC campus will mark the end of this semester's classes, yet hardly the end of this growing political battle. The public is invited to come to UC and join into this action, beginning at noon and lasting into the late afternoon.  All people of conscience - of all ages - are welcome to join this protest.

Hours before Yoo's regular 3:20 PM Monday class, starting at noon on Sproul Plaza, World Can't Wait will again raise a bold voice against torture. Orange jumpsuited "detainees" will represent the call to Fire, Disbar, and Prosecute John Yoo as activists and students rally, then march, engaging the campus community over the simple question: where do you stand when it comes to torture designed by government lawyers including John Yoo?
c/o BOALT BULLETIN BOARD:

The law school is exploring a program to assist military personnel and veterans with their legal matters. The clinic will begin this year with cases in which students assist veterans through the administrative process for disability and insurance benefits. It will provide 2L and 3L students an opportunity to apply legal skills and knowledge to actual cases. Active duty military members, veterans and their families, who cannot afford private counsel, will be eligible for the clinic's services. Students will receive independent research credit. The clinic will be directed by Professor John Yoo and a faculty committee including Professors Thomas Barnes, Michael Heyman, Sandy Kadish, and Laurent Mayali. Interested students should email a resume and statement of interest to Jennifer Zahgkuni at jzahgkuni@law.berkeley.edu.

meanwhile, as international charges of war crimes mount, John Yoo moderates the debate on the role of international courts... how does Berkeley Law manage to keep a straight face? And just who's in charge here?

Revelations continue at a rapid pace, impossible to ignore. 
As long as renditions continue, can there be any assurance 
that these practices have been stopped?

*UPDATE: New British report released*

c/o Pierre [Tristam]'s Middle East Issues Blog:
cia rendition plane
Air Rendition: One of the planes operated by the CIA's front, North Carolina-based Aero Contractors, believed to have been used in CIA renditions of suspected terrorists to third countries such as Egypt. The European Union has documented more than 1,200 illegal CIA flights in European air space. (Photo by Pavel Horejsi/Getty Images)

Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, is an Egyptian cleric and member of al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, the Egyptian group chiefly responsible for the assassination of Anwar el Sadat in 1981. Nasr was living in Italy to avoid arrest following the designation of al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya as a terrorist organization by the Egyptian and American governments.

On Feb. 17, 2003, while he was walking to his mosque in Milan, Nasr was kidnapped by several CIA agents working in concert with Italian agents. Nasr was subjected to "extraordinary rendition," the illegal practice, utilized by the CIA since the Clinton administration, of kidnapping individuals and rendering them to other countries for imprisonment, and, usually, interrogation and torture by local officials not covered by American prohibitions against torture or illegal imprisonment. Nasr was flown from Italy to Germany through Swiss air space on what was one of at least 1,245 secret C.I.A. flights, some of them involving rendition, during the Bush administration, according to a European Union report...

see also US 'disappointed' at convictions 

and Convicted CIA Spy Says "We Broke the Law", video here

Arar v. Ashcroft et al

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Victim of U.S. torture state gets a taste of "American Justice"

By Kenneth J. Theisen

 On November 2, 2009, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in a 7-4 decision dismissed Canadian citizen Maher Arar's law suit against various U.S. officials for their illegal role in sending him to Syria to be tortured and interrogated for a year.  Arar is a victim of the U.S. government's kidnapping and torture program known as extraordinary rendition. He is now also a victim of "American Justice"...

How can this be?

By Jill McLaughlin 

A man hangs suspended from bars of his cell. His feet barely touch the floor, the cord used to tie his wrists digs in deeper each time he moves. Every muscle in his body twists and contorts. His blood is rushing and building in several places inside his anatomy - it is starting to clot. If this goes on much longer he will surely die.
 
He barely slept the night before as his tormentors allowed him only moments of sleep. They have done this numerous times before. The music will blare and blare until it is imprinted in his brain. Then it goes off and he falls to sleep - til the music soon starts again.

One eye is swollen shut from the thousandth beating. The other is wide open. It is the only window into his physical and emotional suffering - except for when he moves to try to get some relief. Then his mouth opens wide and contorts and he lets out a scream. That too tells a story.

A man with a stethoscope and a funny looking machine enters the cell with two other uniformed men. The uniformed men untie his cords and the prisoner drops to the floor. The man with the stethoscope hunches down next him and begins listening to his heart. He then places a cuff around his upper arm and begins to pump the cuff. It is squeezing the captive's already tenderized muscle and he groans.

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