(Still) "Teaching,"

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the Torture Apologist Stumps for Trump's Return. Tickets at https://www.cocorepublicans.com/johnyoo

Despite an earlier call for dismissal of his associate, UC Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky expressed "very high regard for John Yoo as a scholar and as a teacher and I know that he's a terrific colleague."



In June 2020, President Donald J. Trump issued Executive Order (E.O.) 13928 enabling sanctions against "officials, employees, and agents, as well as their immediate family members" working at the International Criminal Court (ICC), including potentially its judges. 

The move sparked an outburst of criticism from diplomats, jurists, and members of civil society across the United States and the international community. 

Amnesty International and others have pointed out that the E.O. is so vague and broadly worded that it might reach anyone providing any assistance at all to the Court, including expert witnesses, national human rights researchers, defense counsel, and state parties.

A group of 175 legal scholars, jurists, and lawyers pressed the Trump administration to rescind the E.O., including Ben Ferencz, the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor, and staunch advocate for U.S. support for contemporary international justice efforts.* 

*Ferencz notably condemns Berkeley Law John Yoo's "enhanced interrogation" program and "torture memos" during the Bush administration. 

"Abu Zubaydah is often cited in the vast library of books written about the 9/11 attacks and their legacy, from self-justifying C.I.A. memoirs to angry critiques of the Bush administration," writes Robert Worth. "Yet he remains a mysterious figure, because -- amazingly -- he is still being held incommunicado, in deference to a promise made by the Bush administration to the C.I.A. in 2002.

Although he has never been charged with a crime, he sits in a cell in the American prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, his body and mind permanently scarred."

"Good news from Guantanamo," tweeted Mansoor Adayfi. "After 20 years of indefinite detention."

"The prisoner, Sufyian Barhoumi, 48, was captured in Pakistan in March 2002 and soon taken to Guantánamo Bay, where he never faced trial, writes Carol Rosenberg,


"He was notified in August 2016 that he was eligible for release, but his case was sidelined by a Trump administration policy that generally halted transfers."

Sufyian Barhoumi had been held at the military prison since 2002, even after being cleared for transfer in the last weeks of the Obama administration.
Credit...Barhoumi family


Many of which are available at Revolution Books 
2444 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, California 94704-1611 | 510-848-1196


"For some lawmakers charged with upholding the Constitution, advocating on behalf of clients held indefinitely in horrific conditions in an overseas military prison is apparently disqualifying," writes Yvette Borja.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly deferred to the wishes of the executive branch regarding the rights of people imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay. Department of Defense torture techniques approved by UC Berkeley professor John Yoo included forced nudity and humiliation, prolonged stress positions, and sleep deprivation. 

"The justices have also demonstrated troubling levels of ignorance--or perhaps apathy--about the real-world consequences of their decisions for people whose cases have languished in federal courts for years without resolution," charges Borja. "Jackson's perspective as an advocate for people whom the government deems disposable is, to say the very least, overdue."

This photo on the Arabic language Internet site www.muslm.net purports to show Ammar al-Baluchi. A secret 2008 CIA inspector general report has been published for the first time, documents Spencer Ackerman, as part of a court filing by his lawyers aimed at getting him an independent medical examination.

10 specific coercive interrogation techniques--"the attention grasp, walling, the facial hold, the facial slap (insult slap), cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions, sleep deprivation, use of diapers, and use of insects" with the verbal approval of waterboarding given two days later--subsequently referred to as the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques," were drafted by Berkeley Law's "Torture Professor" John Yoo. His employment continues to discredit UC administration of ethical oversight.


Was John Eastman, former Chapman legal scholar, trying to overthrow  democracy? - Orange County Register

John Eastman conceded that his scheme represented violation of the Electoral Count Act but urged Mike Pence to go ahead anyway, calling it a "minor violation." 

So "minor" that House counsel Douglas Letter quipped "It was so minor it could have changed the entire course of our democracy. It could have meant the popularly elected president could have been thwarted from taking office. That was what Dr Eastman was urging."

Jerry Elsea also hates it when lawyers spin lies for presidents, especially when their "legal" advice "shreds the Constitution and shoves the presidency toward autocracy... 

"When President Biden reviews the election overthrow attempt, will he bring the plotters to justice? Or will he do as Obama did with those who had plunged into the dark domain of torture, simply saying, 'Look forward, not backward?'

"A weaseling out would signal further erosion of justice and a move toward autocracy under a reinstalled Trump or one his acolytes. With the help of crafty attorneys, of course."

* i.e. those "enhanced interrogation techniques" drafted by "Torture Professor" John Yoo

An image drawn by Abu Zubaydah, a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay, shows how the C.I.A. applied an approved torture technique called

 Courtesy Mark P. Denbeaux  

On March 3, 2022 in a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court dismissed Abu Zubaydah's petition, reversing the Ninth Circuit's 2019 decision, requesting the testimony of psychologists James Mitchell and John Jessen, whom the CIA hired to orchestrate his torture at a secret CIA prison ("CIA black site") in Poland from December 2002 until September 2003,  reported yesterday. Zubaydah was transferred to other CIA black sites before being sent to Guantánamo in 2006, where he remains today with no charges against him.


Guantánamo: 20 Years After

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Online Conference
12th to 13th November 2021

11th January 2022 will mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantánamo Bay.

779 men (and boys) have been held at the prison by the U.S. military since it opened, and 39 are still held, mostly without charge or trial. Those who have been charged face trials in the much-criticized military commission trial system.

The conference asks: How did the prison at Guantánamo Bay come to exist, and why is it still open? Why aren't those responsible for violating prisoners' fundamental human rights being held accountable for their actions? What part did the UK government play in enabling US rendition programmes to the CIA's notorious "black sites", where prisoners were tortured?

The conference brings together academics, researchers, activists, practitioners and students. By scheduling the conference to take place over two days the organisers aim to create an international forum for all those active in discussing Guantánamo's origins and its history over the last 20 years, demanding accountability for the human rights abuses inflicted there, and proposing legal and political paths towards its final closure.

From Guantanamo:

Two extraordinary developments happened days ago inside the US torture camp at Guantanamo.

One: For the first time ever, a prisoner testified in military court, with reporters present, on his torture at the hands of the C.I.A. in "black sites." Carol Rosenberg of The New York Times reported that, at his sentencing hearing October 28, Majid Khan spoke of the violence that C.I.A. agents and operatives inflicted on him in dungeonlike conditions in prisons in Pakistan, Afghanistan and a third country, including sexual abuse and mind-numbing isolation, often in the dark while he was nude and shackled. He read his statement aloud for two hours.

The U.S. has never acknowledged its cooperation with third countries in "black sites," and for two decades has refused prisoners to be tried, or even charged, lest they reveal details of torture by the U.S. or military. No prisoners have been allowed to get their stories heard from inside the prison. The military prosecutors declined to comment specifically other than conceding that Khan suffered "extremely rough treatment."

Two: After hearing Khan's testimony, including his admission of joining AlQaeda as a teenager, the military jury sentenced him to 26 years, the least he could have received. Then "In a stark rebuke of the torture carried out by the C.I.A. after the Sept. 11 attacks, seven senior military officers who heard graphic descriptions last week of the brutal treatment of a terrorist while in the agency's custody wrote a letter calling it 'a stain on the moral fiber of America.'"The military jurors' public opposition to actions by the C.I.A. and military is notable because it stands out from the actions of millions -- yes millions -- of those activated during the so-called "war on terror." It's good they wrote their letter; and more should follow their example. But this stain on the "moral fiber" of the empire is never going to be washed out.

Khan is represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights; under a previously secret agreement, he could be released in 2025.  More on his case.

The US supreme court is set to hear arguments about the government's ability to keep what it says are "state secrets" from a Palestinian man who endured brutal torture at Guantánamo Bay...


Dean Chemerinsky flaked out on firing The Torture Professor, https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/prosecute-john-yoo-says-law-school-dean-erwin-chemerinsky/, but here is another chance to hold his feet to the fire; it's time for our student mentors to walk the talk:

Comment to: New York Times GUEST ESSAY
"There Is a Problem With California's Recall. It's Unconstitutional."
Aug. 12, 2021
By: Curt Wechsler

Is anyone challenging the legitimacy of the recall provision itself? Because I think this is what we should be campaigning against. NOW, before the election. The Berkeley Law school dean's voice carries a lot of weight, and would be a good source to solicit for inspiration and approach. He's probably around for the start of fall classes. Better yet, make this a school project, for credit.

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