Recently in Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall) Category
- 10-10-10 Authors event: Andy Worthington (The Guantanamo Files...) and Justine Sharrock (Tortured: When Good Soldiers Do Bad Things) at Revolution Books).
- 10-11-10 Film and discussion: Outside the Law: Stories from GuantÃ¡namo with co-producer Andy Worthington at the BFUU Fellowship Hall.
- 10-12-10 Day of protest of John Yoo, author of the Torture Memos teaching Law at UC Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall). Also, join World Can't Wait, lawyers and students for a debate over Yoo's theories and legal work defending torture at UC Berkeley.
- 10-13-10 A Round-table of Writers on Torture including Barry Eisler (Inside Out) at the University Lutheran Church. Also, Defying Torture - The Art of Dissent: A conversation with historian/critic/activist Peter Selz and artists Clinton Fein and Richard Kamler at the UC Berkeley Art Museum Theater.
- 10-14-10 Forum on Torture and the Law, Torture and Human Rights: with Marjorie Cohn (past president National Lawyers Guild), Andy Worthington, Shahid Buttar (Bill of Rights Defense Committee) and Debra Sweet (National Director, World Can't Wait)
- 10-15-10 Panel - Psychologists and Torture: Adrianne Aron and Ruth Fallenbaum at UC Berkeley Law school. Also, Readings from "Reckoning with Torture - An Evening of Conscience." An Evening of Conscience with Andy Worthington, Marjorie Cohn, Ray McGovern, Ann Wright, Mimi Kennedy, devorah major, Jeffrey Kaye, Fr. Louis Vitale, Renee Saucedo, Jason Leopold, Kathy Roberts, Abdi Soltani Sponsored by the Boalt Alliance to Abolish Torture (BAAT) and the National Lawyers Guild, Boalt Chapter at UC Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall).
In a move welcomed by civil liberties and human rights groups nationally, last week the Berkeley City Council unanimously approved a resolution declaring "Berkeley Says No to Torture" Week (October 10-16). The resolution emerged from a grassroots campaign supported by many local organizations and leaders.The campaign will present a week of public educational events, featuring prominent writers, attorneys, protest leaders, artists and religious leaders...
1:49 John Yoo is a war criminal. He is directly responsible for the torture of thousands of people, thousands of innocent people all over the world. John Yoo is a war criminal. He should be in prison. He shouldn't be teaching at UC Berkeley. He should be fired, disbarred, prosecuted for war crimes...
13:51 John Yoo is a war criminal. War Criminal! The Nuremberg judgments say attorneys who assist in the commission of war crimes are war criminals. You are a war criminal. Torture is a war crime. A war crime.
19:20 Professor Wiener, you may be a good person. You may be an ethical professor. But, why are you giving John Yoo legitimacy? What you have to make a decision whether you think torture is okay or not. Torture is never okay. It is not okay to torture. He is a war criminal. John Yoo is a war criminal. He should be prosecuted to the fullest...
31:38 Torturer. Torturer. Your victims will have their justice John Yoo. The people of the world will have their justice. You murderer. You murderer. Your victims will have their justice. War Criminal. You murderer. YOU SMUG SMUG MURDERER! Your victims will have their justice.
33:50 Torture is not a polite debate. Torture is a war crime. It's a crime against humanity. Torture is a crystallization of what John yoo stands for. To sit here politely with the most important torturer on earth is wrong.
radicalism.us Music begins about :55 second into the video.
In the days after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and after agreement by the highest government officials, the United States began to torture prisoners. Beginning as far back as late 2002, and especially after the Abu Ghraib photographs were revealed in the spring of 2004, this torture has increasingly become public. Americans have tortured, they had done so officially, and they know they have done so. The question that remains is how the polity - American citizens as a community - will cope with these actions and with their knowledge of them. We have tortured. Now: What is to be done?
Mark Danner is a writer and reporter who for 25 years has written on politics and foreign affairs, focusing on war and conflict. Recently, he broke a story based on a secret document from the International Committee of the Red Cross that concluded that the Bush administration knowingly allowed treatment of prisoners that "constituted torture." Danner is Professor of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley and James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs, Politics and the Humanities at Bard College. markdanner.com
New York Review of Books: "U.S. Torture: Voices from the Black Sites"
On this historic day, Barack Obama will be inaugurated as America's first black president. Congratulations to everyone who fought to win this campaign, who wore campaign buttons and T-shirts, who made phone calls, who walked precincts, who urged friends and relatives to vote.
For today is not only a day to celebrate this milestone in the struggle for racial equality-it is also a day to celebrate yourselves. Obama's victory would never have been possible without the determination and idealism of the students and young people who infused the campaign with leadership and energy, who made it different from other electoral campaigns and a genuine mass movement.
The Obama movement has succeeded at awakening a new sense of hope that America can be a land that realizes its principles of democracy and equality for all. Your actions have shown that, indeed, "Yes we can."
In addition to celebrating your historic accomplishment on this day, you should begin to determine among yourselves how you are going to preserve the accountability of President Obama to you.
All arguments against this consciousness of your own role and of your own right to stand up for what you believe are merely arguments that Barack Obama, as president, should only be accountable to the wealthy elite whose money fueled his entry into the primaries but could not have advanced him one practical step toward the presidency without the passionate response of rank and file progressive Democrats to his message of new hope for America.
What is most important on this triumphant day is that you recognize your own importance in history more than the importance of the particular candidate whose electoral cause you have embraced.Â Â Â
John Yoo did not take orders from the top to legalize and implement a domestic spying program and state torture--John Yoo is the principal. The secret collection and data-mining program and secret surveillance were instigated and implemented by John Yoo, who argued that the president's constitutional powers as commander in chief trumped the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.
As the legal profession and academia accept John Yoo as providing "the other side of the debate," they neglect confronting reality and the dire consequences for the future of legality. The 'Ivory Tower' and the American Bar Association send the message that illegality can be sanctioned and protected no matter how gruesome and long-lasting the consequences. UC Berkeley has sent the message that tenure outlasts rampant illegal, immoral, and illegitimate decisions to be carried out in creating new standards in which surveillance and torture are viewed as normative. UC Berkeley stands for strengthening draconian laws for empire and shielding John Yoo from accountability and repudiation.
The immediate source of deliberate mis-governance began with John Yoo's radical, and doubtfully constitutional, interpretation of the "unitary executive," propounded when he served in the Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel-the office that prepares legal opinions for the White House, in this case for the disposition of suspected terrorists captured after 9/11. Yoo's interpretation of an all-powerful executive was carried over the course of two presidential terms to its illogical, baseless unconstitutional extremes.
Having successfully completed that task, he returned to UC Berkeley to teach students about the law, its place in a global society, and the role of the lawyer in constitutional structure. Is John Yoo teaching future lawyers to act as he has acted? To put the needs of their client above the demands of the law? To do whatever is necessary to make sure that their client gets their way? And is that what Berkeley Law wants its faculty to teach the future power elite? Are those the values that people in power for the future of legality should be taught? To usurp professional responsibility and legal obligations? Are there no limits according to UC Berkeley, no legal methods which are out of bounds? Is Ethics no part of the curriculum taught at Berkeley Law?
See Mis-governance: Cleaning Up After the Bush Administration and Berkeley Defends John Yoo With Nonsense.
Unfortunately, the world now thinks of Cal as the place where the man who justified torture for the Bush administration has tenure.
John Yoo Again Reminds Us of His Charms, East Bay Express, April 9, 2008
Nuts & Boalts , Monday, July 28, 2008
My thought is that Boalt dropped the ball. Think about it: John Yoo, a tenured professor at Berkeley Law, took a political bullet for the President because he was the President's lawyer. Talk about a teachable moment in legal professionalism! Academic freedom; service to country; legal ethics; politics; war; tenure -- all these issues were floating around our hallowed halls last spring, yet if you asked most of our professors whether Yoo made the correct ethical or moral decision, you would have had better luck listening for a pin drop than an answer. In substance, it matters little to me what Boalt professors and faculty think about Yoo or Bush or torture. But the fact that they bit their lips and held their tongues in front of 800 soon-to-be lawyers seems disappointing. What could have motivated that silence? Political nonchalance? Adademic courtesy? Decorum? What kind of message did Boalt send to a rising generation of America's attorneys? That niceties are more important in the law than frankness or moral compass?
read full commentary at http://tinyurl.com/6768zp .
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Important ReadingPhysicians for Human Rights
Broken Laws, Broken Lives
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ON THE LAW OF TORTURE...
The President's Executioner
Detention and torture in Guantanamo