"Dean of Denial" Christopher Edley shirks professional responsibility

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Contrary to what Dean Edley claims, the conclusions of the OPR report, rather than exonerate John Yoo, make the case for disciplinary action...

CodePink member Toby Blome holds up her hand covered in red paint at a protest inside Boalt Hall. Anti-war activists are protesting at UC Berkeley to demand the removal of  John Yoo, a law professor who crafted legal theories for the Bush administration on waterboarding and other torture techniques.  Jeff Chiu c/o Sacramento Bee

AP gets 'poor judgment' conclusion on Yoo wrong

By: George Cammarota

19 Aug 2010

Challenging John Yoo on the first day of Fall 2010 classes at UC Berkeley School of Law, attorneys, Peace and Justice leaders and activists, and students held a successful press conference and protest action on the steps of Boalt Hall. [1]  The AP followed up with a report entitled "Berkeley Protesters Call for John Yoo's Removal." [2]  In the report, the AP incorrectly states that the "Justice Department investigation ... found that Yoo ... showed 'poor judgment' but did not commit professional misconduct."

Sadly, the large majority of news reports ran with the AP theme and even expanded on it.  For example, the Oakland Tribune informs us that the "Department of Justice ... clear[ed] Yoo and the Bush administration's Office of Legal Counsel of any professional wrongdoing," and without challenge quotes Dean Edley going so far as to say, "I hope these new developments will end the arguments about faculty sanctions." [3]

The fact of the matter is the Justice Department OPR report found that Yoo "committed intentional professional misconduct when he violated his duty to exercise independent legal judgment and render thorough, objective, and candid legal advice." [4]  It was DOJ attorney David Margolis who stated his opinion, ostensibly speaking for the entire Justice Department and contrary to the conclusions of its own report, that Yoo and Bybee merely exercised "poor judgment." [5]

Contrary to what Dean Edley claims, the conclusions of the OPR report, rather than exonerate John Yoo, make the case for disciplinary action against John Yoo.

"Intentional professional misconduct" is grounds for Yoo's disbarment and dismissal from the UC Berkeley faculty. Why the DOJ is tripping over itself to protect Yoo and Bybee is a question worth pondering.  But justice demands the immediate dismissal, disbarment, and, I dare say, criminal prosecution of John Yoo for war crimes.


  1. http://www.worldcantwait.net/index.php/press-site-map-193/press-releases-site-map-194/6587-back-in-monday-august-16-protest-against-torture-author-john-yoo
  3. http://www.insidebayarea.com/my-town/ci_15794112
  4. http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/pdf/OPRFinalReport090729.pdf
  5. http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/politics/20100220JUSTICE/20100220JUSTICE-DAGMargolisMemo.pdf

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This page contains a single entry published on August 23, 2010 3:42 PM.

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