January 2010 Archives

"...the claim of "sovereign immunity" and a "state secrets" privilege means that the government can never be held accountable for blatant illegalities under any federal statute. In other words, under such conditions the "rule of law" is a fraudulent exercise and gross criminality, when sanctioned at the highest levels of the state, becomes the norm as formerly democratic and republican forms of self-governance slip ineluctably towards the abyss of presidential dictatorship.

international law cannot be ignored

"Spain's top investigating judge Baltasar Garzon is to probe suspected torture and ill-treatment of inmates at the US prison of Guantanamo Bay, a judical source said Saturday.

The judge will be acting on complaints lodged by a number of associations, focussing on one prisoner, Ahmed Abderraman Hamed, who has Spanish nationality, the source added, confirming a report published in daily El Pais

Three other detainees, Moroccan Lahcen Ikasrrien, Palestinian Jamiel Abdulatif al-Banna and Libyan Omar Deghayes would also be concerned as they had links with Spain.

In 2005 Spain declared itself competent to investigate any crime committed abroad, but after diplomatic problems the scope of the inquiries was reduced in 2009.

Spanish courts can now deal only with cases that have a clear link with Spain, or cases that are not being investigated in countries where the offences are alleged to have been committed.

El Pais said Washington had not replied to a request made seven months ago from Madrid as to whether it was investigating the allegations now being taken up by Garzon, who is best-known internationally for his pursuit of Latin American dictators...

see Spanish judge to probe Guantanamo torture claims

"Torture...is not a polite debate.

Torture is a crime against humanity.

Torture isn't just a war crime.

Torture is an abomination and a crystallization of everything John Yoo stands for...

It is your responsibility here to not sit politely while John Yoo speaks." 

- protester, January 27, Commonwealth Club San Francisco

Code Pink protests John Yoo outside the Commonwealth Club 232957

photo by Steve Rhodes

Wednesday night, January 27, "Torture Memos" author John Yoo was confronted by about two dozen protesters at the San Francisco stop of his national book tour for "Crisis and Command". Joined by Code Pink, We Are Change, 9-11 Truth and others, World Can't Wait flyered outside the Commonwealth Club of California (sponsor of the event) and interrupted Yoo's presentation inside, 7 times over the course of an hour, identifying the speaker as a War Criminal and denouncing the Torture State he continues to advocate, and challenging the event's moderator to take a stand: "Professor Weiner, you may be a good person, an ethical professor... but why are you giving John Yoo legitimacy by speaking on the same stage with him?"

Torture is a war crime, and under Nuremburg lawyers who assist war crimes are guilty of war crimes. Yoo's argument for executive privilege (that the President can do anything he pleases) carefully avoided the real issue of what that power was used for.

The audience response was mixed at first, but more and more applauded the disruptions as protesters were led from the room. I noted about a third of the attendees reading our brochure, which exposes the lies hiding under the guise of  "war on terror" and properly identifies Yoo's work as being a crucial weapon of a War OF Terror. We distributed about 200 brochures in total, and had some good discussions with people after the event, including in particular a Commonwealth Club member who expressed her outrage at Yoo's statements and promised to complain to the Club for giving him a platform.

The event was recorded by NPR for future airing, and should be available as a podcast on the Commonwealth Club website soon.

John Yoo speaks for the criminals who set up a torture state. Who speaks for their victims - who speaks for the detainees at Guantanamo - at Bagram? Fire, disbar, and prosecute John Yoo, Bybee, Addington, and stop the secret renditions and torture NOW!


"While the probe is sharply critical of the legal reasoning used to justify waterboarding and other "enhanced" interrogation techniques, NEWSWEEK has learned that a senior Justice official who did the final review of the report softened an earlier OPR finding. Previously, the report concluded that two key authors--Jay Bybee, now a federal appellate court judge, and John Yoo, now a law professor--violated their professional obligations as lawyers when they crafted a crucial 2002 memo approving the use of harsh tactics, say two Justice sources who asked for anonymity discussing an internal matter. But the reviewer, career veteran David Margolis, downgraded that assessment to say they showed "poor judgment," say the sources. (Under department rules, poor judgment does not constitute professional misconduct.) The shift is significant: the original finding would have triggered a referral to state bar associations for potential disciplinary action--which, in Bybee's case, could have led to an impeachment inquiry...

Jeff Kaye studies the choice of David Margolis to "defang" the report here. 

John Eastman Resigns as Chapman Law School Dean to Run for State Attorney General

By Matt Coker, OC Weekly, January 28 2010


Controversial conservative legal scholar John Eastman, who brought his buddy and Bush torture memo author John Yoo to Orange County to teach law last year, is stepping down as dean of Chapman University's law school to run for California attorney general...

Will he be joining John Yoo's other cohort at the California Department of Justice?

Program Information
 Howard Zinn on Torture 
 Portraits by Robert Shetterly
 Howard Zinn, David Rovics, Robert Shetterly
 chuck u. rosina  
 Event at Emerson College to honor portrait-artist Robert Shetterly, and his series "Americans Who Tell the Truth."
Special guest - Howard Zinn, who talked about Torture memo and TEA protests
Recorded and written by Chuck U. Rosina
Mixed and edit at W.Bla3, Medford MA
Note to Radio Producers.
Howard's portion is first. I did a tag at the end of his section (13 min)., then left 6 seconds of clapping before resuming script.
Easy to fade there if you only want to use the Zinn part of the program.

 Americans Who Tell the Truth Download Program Podcast
Howard Zinn comments on Torture and TEA protests
 Boston, MA
  View Script
1 Americanswhotellthetruth.org 00:23:24 128Kbps mp3
(14MB) Mono
153Download File...
We must prosecute the offenders including those that at the top who were responsible for creating the atmosphere in which torture was committed in our names. If we don't, this will continue. Although the Obama administration claims they have outlawed torture they still are continuing rendition to countries that do allow torture. - Sandi Crain, c/o helium.com debate 

add your voice here
Torture apologists struggle to excuse the indefensible, citing "the importance of time, place, and manner."

Ahcene Zemiri was one of two Guantanamo prisoners released last week.

On Friday, perhaps as a sop to critics -- myself included -- who have been complaining about President Obama's failure to close Guantánamo by hisself-imposed deadline of January 22, 2010, the Justice Department announced in a press release that two Algerian prisoners had been released.

Releasing prisoners to Algeria has always been a dubious business, akin to Russian roulette, as I explained when two men were released by the Bush administration in July 2008, because there appears to be no way of knowing whether these men will be released on their return or imprisoned and subjected to trials that fail to meet internationally recognized standards of fairness and objectivity.

As a result, frustratingly little is known about the eight Algerians repatriated from Guantánamo between July 2008 and January 2009, although one indication of how the Algerian justice system deals with returned Guantánamo prisoners was provided in November 2009, when the BBC reported that, 15 months aftertwo of these men were repatriated, they had been acquitted after a trial in which the prosecutor had called for prison sentences of 20 years.

The stories of the two men released last week deserve to be heard, because, as so often with Guantánamo, they reveal how shockingly misplaced is the still prevalent rhetoric regarding Guantánamo's role as a repository for the "worst of the worst" terrorists. Just as disturbingly, their stories also reveal how two men, who were unconnected to terrorism, were nevertheless tortured in an attempt to make them admit that they were...

...people should not throw in the towel prematurely. Keep up the pressure, absolutely, but brace yourselves for the long haul. - Elizabeth de la Vega

ACLU Files Suit Seeking OPR Report on Torture Memos

By Ryan J. Reilly, MAIN JUSTICE, January 22, 2010

The American Civil Liberties Union today filed suitagainst the Justice Department, seeking a copy of the department's Office of Professional Responsibility report on the authors of the so-called "torture memos."

The OPR ethics probe is looking into the work of three DOJ attorneys -- Steven Bradbury, John Yoo andJay Bybee.

In June, Attorney General Eric Holder said the OPR report would be available within a matter of weeks, and in November he said it would be available by the end of the month. No further predictions about the timing of the release have been forthcoming from DOJ.

Because the report had not been released, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act Request for the report in December.

"It's now been another six weeks about since we filed the request, and we've seen no progress from the Justice Department on the release of that report, so we're filing suit," Alex Abdo of the ACLU told Main Justice.

Abdo said the ACLU hasn't heard anything from the Justice Department about the status of the release of the report.

"It seems at this point that the most likely explanation is that typical politics are holding up the report, but that's just speculation," said Abdo...

*the "bottom line" here

Three judges on the federal trial court hearing challenges brought by Guantanamo prisoners are calling on Congress and the Obama administration to enact a law to address one of the nation's most perplexing moral and legal dilemmas: When can the United States indefinitely detain terrorism suspects?

UPDATE: Justice task force recommends about 50 Guantanamo detainees be held 

Determination of guilt or innocence now a "government deliberation"

Matthew G Olsen heads the US task force deciding the fate of the remaining detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Matt Olsen

While hopes of meeting President Barack Obama's January 2010 deadline for closing the camp have ended, Mr Olsen and other US officials have been meeting at secure locations to try to resolve the outstanding cases.

The BBC's Jon Manel met him on the car journey from Washington DC to northern Virginia.

listen in here

How I fought to survive Guantánamo

By Patrick Barkham

From The Guardian | Original Article

Omar Deghayes

Omar Deghayes: 'I gave them a really hard time.' 

Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/REUTERS

It is not hot stabbing pain that Omar Deghayes remembers from the day a Guantánamo guard blinded him, but the cool sen sation of fingers being stabbed deep into his eyeballs. He had joined other prisoners in protesting against a new humiliation - inmates being forced to take off their trousers and walk round in their pants - and a group of guards had entered his cell to punish him. He was held down and bound with chains.

"I didn't realise what was going on until the guy had pushed his fingers inside my eyes and I could feel the coldness of his fingers. Then I realised he was trying to gouge out my eyes," Deghayes says. He wanted to scream in agony, but was determined not to give his torturers the satisfaction. Then the officer standing over him instructed the eye-stabber to push harder. "When he pulled his hands out, I remember I couldn't see anything - I'd lost sight completely in both eyes." Deghayes was dumped in a cell, fluid streaming from his eyes...

continue reading here

watch interview from the film "The Guantanamo Files" here

January 21, 2010 


Francis A. Boyle, thepeoplesvoice.org

Champaign, U.S.A./The Hague, Netherlands (19 Jan 2010). -- Professor Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign, U.S.A. has filed a Complaint with the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) in The Hague against U.S. citizens George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, and Alberto Gonzales (the "Accused") for their criminal policy and practice of "extraordinary rendition" perpetrated upon about 100 human beings. This term is really their euphemism for the enforced disappearance of persons and their consequent torture. This criminal policy and practice by the Accused constitute Crimes against Humanity in violation of the Rome Statute establishing the I.C.C...

When the story first broke, Andrew Sullivan wrote: "This deserves to be the biggest story on the torture issue since Abu Ghraib--because it threatens to tear down the wall of lies and denial that have protected Americans from facing what the last administration actually did."

What's It Gonna Take for America to Shut Down Guantanamo?

By Kevin Gosztola

Flickr photo by Damon Lynch: Amnesty International "Close Gitmo" demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy at Grosvenor Square in London on January 11, 2008. 

When we consider the indignity and inhumane treatment that detainees at Guantanamo have experienced and the torture and abuse which has surely inflamed Islamists who fill the ranks of al-Qaeda-like networks, what is our nation's collective reaction? How do we respond? Does the thought of Guantanamo even matter to us?...

see also Too Terrible To Be True?

peddling torture, part II

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John Yoo to tout book at SF appearance

By Josh Richman
Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 at 5:18 pm in Civil liberties, War on Terror.

John YooIf those activists who've dogged Cal law professor John Yoo - who as a Justice Department lawyer helped build a legal framework for the "enhanced interrogation" techniques many now consider to be torture and for other perceived Bush Administration transgressions - still can't find where he's teaching his current class, at least they'll know where he is for a few hours next week.

Yoo will speak to the Commonwealth Club of California about his new book, "Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush," at 6 p.m. next Wednesday, Jan. 27 at the club's offices on the second floor of 595 Market St. in San Francisco. Tickets are available online and cost $12 for club members, $18 for nonmembers and $7 for students with valid ID; I predict the tickets will sell out and - no, really, I'm a little bit psychic - that the club's security will be expecting protestors to try to disrupt the event.

Torturer in Residence

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UC Berkeley has granted torture advocate John Yoo a second secret class. 
Special treatment for war criminals... is this what "academic freedom" is all about?
Human Rights Watch World Report 2010

[Executive Director Kenneth Roth] said that the Obama administration, in particular, faced the challenge of restoring America's credibility on human rights. So far, he said, the results are mixed, with a marked improvement in presidential rhetoric, but an incomplete translation of that rhetoric into policy and practice.

The US government has ended the CIA's coercive interrogation program, but should still uphold domestic and international law against torture by investigating and prosecuting those who have ordered, facilitated, or carried out torture and other ill-treatment, he said. On closing the detention facility at Guantanamo, the deadline has slipped, but the more important issue is how it will be closed. Human Rights Watch and others have urged the administration either to prosecute detained suspects before regular federal courts or safely repatriate or resettle them elsewhere. The Obama administration has insisted on maintaining military commissions that provide substandard justice and on continuing to hold suspects indefinitely without charge or trial, both of which risk perpetuating the spirit of Guantanamo...

for more detailed analysis of US policy go here

"adopt" a detainee

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No More Guantanamos

World Can't Wait is now a colleague organization of the No More Guantánamos campaign to close Guantánamo Bay Prison. Eight years of scare-mongering are enough. If you think it's time the U.S. closed Gitmo, Bagram and other secret, offshore prisons, please join NMG. They are asking local groups to "adopt" a detainee and tell his story locally, so U.S. communities will see the men as human beings who deserve fair treatment, rather than faceless, nameless "terrorists."

For example, the Amherst (MA) group passed the nation's first municipal resolution calling on Congress to lift its ban on allowing cleared detainees to live in the U.S. and welcoming a few detainees when the ban is lifted. Join them as part of an existing or new local group, and use their toolkits, resources, and networking support. Contact Nancy Talanian at info@nogitmos.org

Yoo casts himself here as a mere lawyer, but he was much more (and much less). - Padilla response to Yoo's efforts to dismiss suit

The Senior Editorial Board of The Daily Californian overlooks the human cost of Yoo's "opinions" in their article today: the hundreds of deaths and thousands of disrupted lives resulting from policies he advanced at the Department of Justice. Arguing that "his students deserve to learn", they fail to question just what Yoo is teaching. 

Since the public is kept in the dark about classroom content, we have no way of knowing whether the Torture Professor continues to misinterpret the Constitution with views that have been repudiated by the Bush administration itself. 
  • guardian.co.uk, Monday 18 January 2010 17.20 GMTHuman rights campaigners protest against Guantanamo Bay in front of the White HouseHuman rights campaigners protest against Guantánamo Bay in front of the White House. Photograph: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

US government officials may have conspired to conceal evidence that three Guantanamo Bay inmates could have been murdered during interrogations, according to a six-month investigation by American journalists.

All three may have been suffocated during questioning on the same evening and their deaths passed off as suicides by hanging, the joint investigation for Harper's Magazine and NBC News has concluded.

The magazine also suggests the cover-up may explain why the US government is reluctant to allow the release of Shaker Aamer, the last former British resident held at Guantanamo, as he is said to have alleged that he was part-suffocated while being tortured on the same evening.

"The cover-up is amazing in its audacity, and it is continuing into the Obama administration," said Scott Horton, the contributing editor for Harper's who conducted the investigation...

see also The Guantanamo "Suicides" and the Dishonor Upon Us All

John Yoo's Crisis and Command is a turgid, 524-page love letter to an all-powerful presidency generally and to dictatorship specifically. His theme? More Caesar, less Senate.

Infamous for penning the "Torture Memos" under the Bush administration, where he justified torture under the Bush administration by virtually defining torture out of existence, Yoo's book contends presidential powers are unlimited: "The executive was, rather, the servant of necessity, bound to act in accordance with, in the absence of, or in extraordinary emergencies, in defense of the republic, even contrary to regularly constituted law." Yes, you read that right. Yoo says the President is above the law...

Though this pretty much defines the concept of dictatorship, Yoo claims he's got Founding Fathers who will back him up. He doesn't, but it is a bit of fun to look a little further into his blatant dishonesty.

see John Yoo Again Defends Torture and an All-powerful Presidency

peddling torture

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As Yoo makes the rounds pushing his new book, protesters expose his work at every stop (see the War Criminals Watch website for a complete listing of appearances).

"We have three demands," asserted Debra Sweet, protest organizer and director of the organization The World Can't Wait. "One: that he should be prosecuted for war crimes; two: that he should be disbarred from the bar; and we think that he should be fired from Berkeley law school."

Secreting Yoo

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Concealing class location may be a first for CAL, but harboring war criminals sometimes requires drastic measures.

"This is interesting--I'm not aware of any other situation where the school has withheld this kind of information," said Stephen Rosenbaum, a lecturer at Boalt Hall. "I understand there have been disturbances, but this is highly unorthodox."

Cites Obama's Use Of Drones

By Ryan J. Reilly | January 14, 2010  MAIN JUSTICE

John Yoo at AEI on Wednesday (photo Ryan J. Reilly / Main Justice).

John Yoo, the former Office of Legal Counsel deputy who wrote the so-called "torture memos," appeared at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday to discuss his new book about executive power, "Crisis and Command." He said in some areas, PresidentBarack Obama has gone beyond George W. Bushwhen it comes to the use of executive power.

Yoo pointed towards the Obama administration's increased use of predator drones overseas as an example.

"If we were still in peacetime, and this were the criminal justice system, police are not allowed to shoot missiles at people who might be criminals, might be about to commit a criminal act or might have committed a criminal act, even if we have a hard time finding and arresting them," said Yoo, adding that this is one area where Obama has gone beyond Bush...

Abdul Aziz Naji - imageAbdul Aziz Naji describes his situation as "dancing between fires." If he were returned to Algeria, he would face threats to his life and safety from both the Algerian government and from fundamentalist insurgents. He was brought to Guantánamo as the victim of a Pakistani house raid in the chaotic aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Yet, he remains in Guantánamo because no country will advocate for his release.

Newton offers home to Guantanamo detainee

By Associated Press Thursday, January 14, 2010

NEWTON -- A second Massachusetts community is considering offering a Guantanamo Bay detainee a permanent home.

The Newton Board of Aldermen is considering a resolution that would invite Algerian native Abdul Aziz Naji to resettle in the Boston suburb if Congress lifts its ban on allowing Guantanamo detainees to move to the United States.

The Boston Globe reports that the resolution, sponsored by Alderman Stephen Linsky, was unanimously approved by a committee and will go before the full board on Tuesday.

Naji is one of about 60 of the detainees who have been cleared of wrongdoing but remain at Guantanamo because they have nowhere to go. His lawyers are from Newton.

A Town Meeting in Amherst in November offered to resettle two Guantanamo detainees if Congress lifted the ban.

more here

the idea that America can handle one of the worst stains on our nation's legacy through a late-night comedy show is the biggest joke of all - Will Bunch

"Torture memo" author John Yoo has nothing to hide, except John Yoo

Updated 1:15 PM PST, Tue, Jan 12, 2010
John Yoo, the former Department of Justice attorney who crafted the legal memorandum the Bush administration used to justify waterboarding terror suspects, is out on a charm offensive.
Well, correctly it's a book tour for his tome "Crisis in Command," and last night it stopped at the pinnacle of wonky political book promotional venueThe Daily Show With John Stewart, where Yoo once again distanced himself from former President George W. Bush by pointing out that he never met the man. 
The interview was long, and Yoo affable whileStewart seemed confused. After the interview, Stewart declared it "pretty unsatisfying." The whole interview, unedited (and possibly not safe for work) is available on the Daily Show's Web site in three parts. 
Meanwhile, anti-torture protestors at theUniversity of California at Berkeley announced in an email statement that a scheduled protest will be held at the Office of the Dean of the Boalt School of Law at 3 p.m. this afternoon.
Yoo will be teaching a course on the California State constitution with a co-teacher and 24 students, but surprisingly, the school has not listed the location of the class in its course catalogue. The course is scheduled to begin Tuesday evening.
Ironically enough, Monday was the eighth anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, where some of Yoo's legal theories were put into practice.
In an incident last semester, a protestor interrupted class, and protests have also been held at Yoo's home as well as other campus locations.
It can be argued that the protests are an assault on the academic freedom of the professor and students -- and certainly few professors are as familiar with the legal details of hampering freedom as Yoo.
Maybe he could write a memo?
Jackson West isn't really sure what Cal was thinking when they hired Yoo in the first place.

see also NYTimes blog, here


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updated Jan 18


witness against torture processionOver one hundred and fifty people have spent the last seven days fasting, vigiling, lobbying, and calling for a closure of Guantanamo and an end to all torture. We are only five days away from the one year anniversary of President Obama's Executive Order calling for the closure of Guantanamo. 

Instead of celebrating a year marked by progress made towards the closure of Guantanamo, we find ourselves marking a time of "Broken Promises - Broken Laws - Broken Lives." 

watch videos thumAs we enter into the second week of our "Fast for Justice," we invite you to read through these brief synopses (click on the link for the full reports) of our days and some reflections thus far, and ask you to join us in working towards an end to Guantanamo and all it represents. 

videos or photos of our activities in Washington, D.C. For reflections by the fasters, click on the link to full report for each day.

on-going reports here

TruthForce on Torture

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where's Waldo Yoo?

The Torture Professor has double-booked his first Spring Semester class with 
a book-signing appearance in New York...

can David Carrillo fill his shoes?

The Berkeley anti-torture community will be there to find out. Check back here 
(or better yet, call the Boalt Hall Dean's Office directly) for time and location.

new Guantanamo film

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It's about us. What kind of society we want to live in, the kind of cultural values we want to embrace, whether we see the rule of law as a cornerstone of our society or a pretty inconvenience to be circumvented whenever we're frightened or angry. - response to

I often wonder, especially when I'm trying to fade into sleep, if many Americans are considering the collide-with-disaster tragedy our leadership is directing. It seems the majority go about their lives as if the most important contemplation is selecting a fast-food joint to patronize or what to watch on television. - Missy Beattie 

Posted by David Swanson, democraticunderground.com
Thu Jan 07th 2010, 09:54 AM
An organization of attorneys, journalists, and advocates today filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act requesting the long-suppressed report from the Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) regarding the conduct of President Bush's top lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel who authored memos purporting to authorize torture and aggressive war.

The request, reproduced below along with a transmittal letter, asks for the OPR report that has long been promised by Attorney General Eric Holder, as well as an earlier OPR report completed during the last months of the Bush administration. The request also seeks the 10 page rebuttal of the 2008 report by then- Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

Members of the Robert Jackson Steering Committee (RJSC) filed the request...
read letters here
torture, once rationalized to prevent the fantasy scenario of a "ticking bomb" from going off, has now been accepted as a standard interrogation technique 

In case you're wondering why "some nice liberal guy from the AG's office" is sleeping with the devil, the answer may be as simple as self-advancement: 

David Carrillo ['91, JD '95, LL.M '07] 

David Carrillo


David A. Carrillo is a Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of 

Justice, where as a member of the Employment, Regulation, and Administration Section 

(ERA) he represents state agencies in civil litigation, writs of mandate and 

administrative proceedings on issues of statewide importance in state and federal court. 


Before joining the Attorney General's Office, Mr. Carrillo served as a Deputy City 

Attorney in San Francisco and as a Deputy District Attorney in Contra Costa County, 

and worked as an associate in private practice. In addition to earning B.A., J.D., and 

LL.M. degrees from UC Berkeley, currently Mr. Carrillo is preparing a dissertation on 

California constitutional law in the J.S.D. program at the UC Berkeley School of Law.  

Whether this teaching gig was initiated by the Torture Professor or Carrillo himself, it represents a case of shameless opportunism. IF the guy still has a moral compass, he should come to his senses and take heed of a plea from students.  

The Associated Press reports that threat of arrest "has crimped the travel plans of many [Israeli] officials and put Israel on the defensive in international bodies."

more on the principle of universal jurisdiction here
Photo by Fibonacci Blue

[New York Times Magazine Q&A writer] Deborah Solomon lets her subject dial up the affability a tad high for the interest of a serious reading public. - Peter Jamison, sfweekly.com

In times of hardship and ease, it is of utmost importance that we protect the values that make America great, and stay focused on upholding the rule of law.

Which reminds us: where's that Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) report? You know, the internal Justice Department watchdog report that criticizes the work of former Office of Legal Counsel lawyers and torture memo authors John Yoo, Steven Bradbury and Jay Bybee? - Suzanne Ito, ACLU

see Another New Month, and Still No OPR Report

John Yoo - architect of the torture memos approving waterboarding and torture of children, the PATRIOT act, and the Bush lawyer who believes the Geneva Convention does not apply - returns to UC Berkeley on Jan 12 [ http://tinyurl.com/yaxjyde ]. Come out and say hi.

to join the conversation see reddit


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It's worth remembering that Yoo, now a law professor at University of California - Berkeley, is the subject of a still-unreleased ethics investigation as well as a pending lawsuit, both of which address charges that he not only misconstrued the law but was actively involved in breaking it. His aggressive defense of limitless executive authority sounds even shadier when read in that light. -  DAPHNE EVIATAR

Torture does not only apply to those who are prisoners of war but also to all persons who are kept imprisoned, including those in mental health institutions, and rehabilitation treatment centers where disabled, children and elderly persons are detained, isolated from the outside world and dependent on their captors. 

In Annex IV to the Declaration, Theresia Degener stated "It is no secret that the most vulnerable members of society [lately those identified as Muslim or "illegal aliens"] are most likely to be affected by torture and ill treatment. While the average non-disabled white man is only vulnerable when deprived of his freedom and weapons, most persons with disabilities are vulnerable everywhere and at all times."
or "No Facility more humane than Gitmo".

Network news promotes distortions of reality when it does not challenge blatant lies, like senator Lieberman's interview on ABC today: 

Of course, it doesn't help when false statements come directly from the top: 

In describing efforts to send some detainees home or to third-country hosts, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters, "More of those transfers have taken place in the past eight months than have taken -- than took place in the previous eight years."

In fact, in the last eight months, 31 detainees had been transferred from Guantanamo to other countries. In the eight years before that, more than 520 detainees were sent home or to third countries. 

Gibbs also claimed that the White House has complied with all court orders to release detainees who won their habeas petitions in U.S. courts. See Say What? White House Errs on Guantanamo Facts. 

Bagram justice

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Thursday, January 7, 2010 Washington, DC: Support Bagram Detainees for Habeas Rights

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit 333 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington @ 3rd Street NW. 

Hearing begins at 9:30 a.m.  Vigil by the CUNY Law Students for Justice at Bagram begins 8:30am   Hearing in Ceremonial Courtroom (Room 20) There will be a rally/vigil after the hearing

More information: bagramjustice@gmail.com and the International Justice Network representing 3 men detained without charges in Bagram

John Yoo scheduled to return to the classroom. Be there! To participate in plans to "greet" him, phone (415) 777-8623. UC students welcome. 

Noted war criminal and torture lawyer John Yoo is scheduled to speak at the University of Virginia law school on March 19, 2010.

The day we go into year eight in the illegal occupation of Iraq that Yoo and Jay Bybee provided "legal" justification for, this "legalizer" of torture and other war crimes will be speaking at a law school, our law school, in our town. - David Swanson

Over 100 personal narratives written by lawyers, translators, and others who have represented and assisted the detainees at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, have been collected in "THE GUANTANAMO LAWYERS: Inside a Prison, Outside the Law."

The question remains: What are the rest of us doing?  -  

Constitutional lawyer Stephen Rohde reviews the book.
...corruption of our legal system, if history is any guide, will not be reserved by the state for suspected terrorists, or even Muslim Americans. In the coming turmoil and economic collapse, it will be used to silence all who are branded as disruptive or subversive. Hashmi endures what many others, who are not Muslim, will endure later. Radical activists in the environmental, globalization, anti-nuclear, sustainable agriculture and anarchist movements--who are already being placed by the state in special detention facilities with Muslims charged with terrorism--have discovered that his fate is their fate. Courageous groups have organized protests, including vigils outside the Manhattan detention facility. They can be found at www.educatorsforcivilliberties.org or www.freefahad.com. - Chris Hedges

UC Berkeley Billboard

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Physicians for Human Rights
Broken Laws, Broken Lives

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The President's Executioner

Detention and torture in Guantanamo

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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