November 2011 Archives

Will the U.S. find torture allegations a pretext for military action? 

Friday, a United Nations human rights panel expressed alarm at reports of executions and torture of civilians. The Committee Against Torture said it had received "numerous, consistent and substantiated reports" of widespread abuse in the country. Panel chair Claudio Grossman cited his "particular concern" over allegations of child torture.

People should be outraged when any state brutalizes its citizens. And call out the crimes of their government wherever they occur. The U.S. has zero legitimacy on the issue of torture.

Down By Law

| | TrackBacks (0) of the best ways to understand John Yoo's advocacy for waterboarding not being torture is not simply through a political lens, but also as someone who was an academic and not a real lawyer. Academics don't get exposed to what law really is: the exercise of imperative force by the state against a private person, or by a corporation or private person against another. Contracts or rules of procedure are not simply ideas. They are ways to get things from others, or to have things taken from you. These actions help and hurt real people, sometimes very deeply. Yoo's torture opinion is absurdly academic hair-splitting, reaching conclusions that are not only wrong as a matter of law, but which ignore willfully the fact that real people are on the receiving end of Yoo's tortured logic: the recipients of waterboarding, and to a lesser extent, the equally real people whose lives and values are compromised by being directed to inflict it. Lawyers understand these realities better than academics, because they have that "practical" thing the academy so abhors.


Trial of Bush, Blair

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photos from the hearings 

Following a two year investigation (more here), the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission heard charges brought against the two former heads of state and their accomplices Rumsfeld, Cheney, Gonzales, Addington, Haynes, Bybee and Yoo. Professors Gurdial Nijar and Francis Boyle lead the prosecution. Guilty parties will have their names entered in a Register of War Criminals, publicized worldwide.


would be to Fire John Yoo.

The chancellor's approval of torture advocacy by Berkeley Law School dean 
Christopher Edley and professor John Yoo, and more particularly the adoption of the 
latter's martial law policy, has fed violent crack-down on free speech and challenges 
the legitimacy of the entire university system's claims to "academic excellence, 
social equity and public service".

Protest and resistance against John Yoo and his accomplices must expand. The 
"Torture Professor's" first day of class will be here before we know it. Check back here, 
soon, for action plans.

To the tune of "Resign!", "What's your excuse?" and "Not enough!", the tearful UC Davis administrator gets chased off campus.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
"[The Obama administration's] challenge was not only to stop the American government from torturing detainees, but to institutionalize the legal infrastructure that would prevent the resumption of torture. President Obama had the opportunity to leave an unambiguous legal legacy that prohibited torture and inhibited the torturers of tomorrow from finding legal cover. Instead, we may reap the whirlwind of his timidity, and soon. -- Eric Lewis, New York Times

chronicling the dark side

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"If they were going to make a prison and a court out of reach of the American people, we're not going to allow it to be out of the reach of American journalism -- human rights reporter Carol Rosenberg shares insights on Guantanamo 
he System of Capitalist Imperialism is the most destructive force 
in the world. And as we're seeing, violence is the only tactic 
that system has at its disposal to deal with the threat that Occupy 
poses to the 1% that rule the planet.
0518_03_1-thumb-350x336.jpg A snapshot of how the head of a reasonably prestigious legal program views issues of law, responsibility, accountability and the role of educational institutions in society.

The Berkeley Law dean (pictured here outside 2008 commencement ceremonies) has a disgraceful history of defending Bush regime war criminal John Yoo's continued employment at Boalt Hall.

A battle is raging right now over the future of the University of California. But the question should be not only about whether education will be affordable, but what kind of education it will be.
...instead of a pre-established battlefield, the US War on Terror has created a battlespace spanning the entire globe. This lack of geographical limit has led former chief prosecutor for the United States at Guantanamo Bay Morris Davis to declare that the Obama administration is attempting to operate in a "law-free zone".

John Yoo did not limit his legal opinions to torture issues. In 2002, some in the Bush regime wanted to test the Constitution by using the military to make arrests in the war of terror within the U.S.  

Yoo's legal memos provided material support. See 
which is the greater crime against the Constitution... waterboarding Al Qaeda suspects or killing US citizens?

hint: you're not likely to find them at Berkeley Law
1.jpgThe former Secretary of State might have improbably risen out of segregated Birmingham, but for what?

trailer to Sebastian Doggart's documentary film

John Yoo's war crimes

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"Why is one of the central  perpetrators of a systematic torture regime teaching at Berkeley law school and welcomed in our most respectable opinion venues? -- Glenn Greenwald 

KQED interviews Glenn here

UC Berkeley Billboard

press conference, protest, photos, video, reports

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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

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