Recently in Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall) Category

"UC Berkeley should fire John Yoo, the legal scholar whose work led to Abu Ghraib and secret spying on Americans."

2011 Berkley Law School Graduation: Protest UC Complicity and War Crimes

Download this flyer by clicking on the image


The Berkeley Says "No" to Torture coalition was joined by the Berkeley City Council with a unanimous vote on their Peace and Justice Commission's resolution "to educate the community about torture."

For detailed information on the growing number of events, participants and other news, go to:

9-26-10,  Contact: Linda Jacobs (415) 410-4484
Berkeley City Council Declares "NO To Torture" Week Oct. 10-16

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...
On 1-27-10, the San Francisco Commonwealth Club nationally syndicated NPR Program featured John Yoo Author of the notorious "Torture Memos" promoting his book about presidential power "Crisis and Command" - was shut down five times by WORLD CAN'T WAIT protesters throughout this program. This NPR program is currently being replayed around the country on NPR radio affiliates. Throughout the evening, many protesters engaged attendees coming in and out of the prestigious Commonwealth Club. The program was moderated by Stanford Law School professor Alan Wiener who was also protested for legitimizing Yoo by participating...regardless of a few hard ball questions at the end of the program. Below are transcriptions of the protesters comments. Protesters start times are indicated because each was spaced 5-15 minutes apart throughout the program. Each protester was quickly and peacefully escorted out by police. This Minnesota Public Radio audio program begins with a brief commentary and is briefly interrupted for commentary.

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.

Rocking direct action in Yoo's classroom by Austrailian blogger 'Young and Grumpy' Read more about it at the blog
Go to the song producers blog to comment and learn more about this Cuban tradition:   Music begins about :55 second into the video.

danner_flyer_final540px-wide.jpgDownload the above flyer(PDF4mg)
For more info, contact Jaime Wright:

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.
New York Review of Books: "U.S. Torture: Voices from the Black Sites"
3-25-09grandlakemarquee-yoo.jpgThe Grand Lake Theater is a historical movie palace located at 3200 Grand Avenue and Lake Park Avenue in the Grand Lake neighborhood of Oakland, California. Kudos to the owner. Support him by taking your friends or family there to see a movie at this wonderfully restored classic! Click here for the current schedule. Maybe a few more business owners in the East Bay near UC Berkeley could show their political awareness and spine and use their storefront so strongly. If you put a political message about John Yoo in your store front or promote the cause in some other way wherever you are, send us a picture and we will probably post it and link to your website. We get lots of hits.

I add this challenge to the question in the following article, "When will you be satisfied?": 

Our movement cannot be satisfied, so long as war criminals walk free.

Law School Dean Christopher Edley enjoys access to President Barack Obama and Mark Yudof, president of the UC system. As an adviser to both, will he continue to defend an advocate of torture (professor John Yoo) or will he urge a return to the rule of law?

Historic Inauguration Provides an Opportunity For the Empowerment of America's Youth

Tuesday January 20, 2009

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.   

UC Berkeley continues to tolerate torture and massive covert domestic-spying as John Yoo remains employed as a Professor of Law at Boalt Hall. UC Berkeley legitimizes John Yoo's Torture Memos and rationalization of secret surveillance with polite academic discourse and arguments of academic freedom, the First Amendment, and Due Process. UC Berkeley continues to do nothing to repudiate John Yoo's deliberate thwarting of professional responsibility. Berkeley Law and Chapman University School of Law provide safe harbor for John Yoo to be shielded from investigation, dismissal, and prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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.
John Yoo wrote the legal rationale that became the basis for state sanctioned torture.

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.

the "Ivory Tower"

| | TrackBacks (0)

With all due respect to Chris Edley, whom I admire, and the University of California, to which I owe a great deal, I think Edley's position on John Yoo gets it exactly wrong--and epitomizes why people deride the "Ivory Tower" as insulated from reality.
Law schools have an obligation to do more than teach lawyers to offer legal advice without regard for the consequences of their counsel. I also think that law schools ought to model behavior for their students and think very seriously about the pedagogical impact of retaining a man on the faculty whose legal advice and scholarship produced such disastrous policy, to say nothing of the suffering of those on the receiving end of Yoo's ideas.
And I think Edley's position wrongfully absolves lawyers, and the legal academy, of responsibility for when they get things wrong--or when their counsel produces terrible outcomes. As my colleague Deborah Pearlstein points out, we wouldn't accept that result in molecular biology or medicine or many other disciplines. I don't think we should accept it in the law, either--not in practice and not in law school, either. Academic freedom should not be a dodge for personal or professional responsibility.

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

Printer-friendly version 


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 .

podcast of The Angie Coiro Show: 08/ 01/2008 

Guests Susan Gluss, Robert Gammon, and Debra Sweet talk with Angie and you to get at the heart of the matter. 

UC Berkeley Billboard

press conference, protest, photos, video, reports

Donations via PayPal
are not tax deductible.

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

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall) category.

Academia is the previous category.

Events is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.