Curt Wechsler, The World Can't Wait: February 2017 Archives

1485198713984.jpgOf the 41 who remain today -- overseen by some 1,650 troops and civilians -- only 10 have been charged with war crimes. The majority have been detained for more than a decade, and none were captured by the U.S. military. -- Foreign Policy reporter Molly O'Toole 

The $8.4 million renovation of Camp 5 proceeds as planned, presumably to house "bad dudes" of Donald Trump's choosing. Guantánamo supporters argue that the expense is cause to expand use of the American concentration camp. "We've invested a lot of money" in Guantánamo, and it's a "safe place to keep prisoners," says Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "It fits that purpose marvelously well."

Prisoner defense lawyers find a different motivation at work. "Guantánamo is at its core a place to send Muslim men and boys to be abused and forgotten, with only the most minimal judicial oversight and visibility to media," says Shayana Kadidal.

"So of course Trump loves it."

So Who Is John Yoo, Exactly?

| | TrackBacks (0)
"He's a lawyer and professor most famously known for helping give President George W. Bush the authority to torture suspects in the wake of the 9/11 attacks," begins Laura Hankin at Romper... 

Yoo is no liberal "snowflake." This is the guy who, when he served in Bush's Justice Department, authored a series of memorandums providing legal arguments that the torture of detainees in the War on Terror was within the law, and not a war crime. According to tapes of a debate found by The Intercept, Yoo even defended the legal right of a president to torture children. As NBC News reported, he's part of the reason that the United States went to war in Afghanistan, and that Bush was able to open the ethically-dubious detention center in Guantanamo Bay. And when it came to President Barack Obama, Yoo supported his problematic use of drone strikes.

"John Yoo unleashed the 'unitary executive' theory that enabled Bush's torture program," adds Heather Digby Parton at Salon: 

This essentially holds that during wartime a president can exercise virtually unlimited authority, which can be checked by Congress only by using the "power of the purse." Since the "war on terror" was a unique construct that could not possibly have a definitive end, that meant the president was to have nearly dictatorial power for the foreseeable future. Among other things, according to Yoo, the president could suspend the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids the government to deploy the military for domestic police actions, and the Fourth Amendment, which prevents unreasonable searches and seizures, by holding that they don't apply to domestic military operations undertaken during a "war on terror."

Donald Trump's "enthusiastic endorsement of torture," as Parton puts it, mirrors that of members of the last Republican administration. "And they didn't just talk about it; they actually did it." While it is doubtful that the new President fully grasps Yoo's theory, he demonstrates the conviction that 'if the President does it, it's legal'.

Parton notes that "unfortunately, while Trump may not know or care about the legal precedents behind his actions, his lawyers surely do, and you can be sure they'll be citing Yoo's work on the unitary executive theory. No one could have predicted that Trump, of all people, would become president, but that's exactly why the cumbersome checks and balances were put in place to begin with."

The protestations that the "Torture Professor" (who remains in the employ of the University of California, teaching 'ethics' to Constitutional Law students) makes against the way Trump exercises power do not begin to exonerate Yoo's contributions to operation of the State of Horror we suffer.
Why is the media pandering to the opinions of a war criminal? Does it really matter what John Yoo (UC Berkeley Law professor and author of the 'Torture Memos' justifying brutal interrogation practices at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prison camps; more here) thinks?

nobannowall photo copy.jpg
Actually, it does. To give credence to the opinions of torture advocates serves to 'normalize' the insufferable attack on human rights promulgated under pretext of national security by the Bush regime, embraced by Obama, and promised to Jeff Sessions.

How 'bad' is bad? There are no 'lesser evils' of torture; in application or attribution. The idea that American lives are more important than other's must continue to be discredited. Now more than ever.

Past failure to hold torturers accountable demands renewed passion now to halt the fresh assault on immigrants and others denied legal protection from the genocidal policies of the Trump administration, including revival of torture techniques sanctioned by Berkeley Law administrators, and determination to refuse the 10 Point Plan to Put America [as opposed to Humanity and the Planet] First

We say NO! The world can't wait to stop the crimes of the Trump Regime!
The Trump cabal of religious extremists, privatization advocates and racists, as described by Jeremy Scahill, suppresses the science that doesn't fit its agenda, "and that should terrify you," reports Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Hiltzik. "Nearly every day brings a new report of a federal agency told to shut down communications with the public or even members of Congress; tweets about important topics such as climate change removed from the public record; bans on talking to the press."

"Among the first agencies reported to face an information lockdown were the departments of Agriculture and the Interior," continues Hiltzik. "Scientists and other staffers at USDA's Agricultural Research Service, its main scientific arm, were told Monday to stop releasing 'any public-facing documents', including 'news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content ... until further notice', according to an internal email published by BuzzFeed. Following a public uproar, the ban was rescinded a day later."

Donald Trump started with climate change denial, and proceeded, rapidly, to fetter directives of the Environmental Protection Agency. "We're living in a new era, where an unverified report about possible, unsubstantiated rumors of alleged, unconfirmed evidence hacked from an undisclosed source competes on an equal footing with real information," notes Dr. Brian Moench, President of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment and a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "Trump's strategy is clearly an attempt to delegitimize any source of information that has the temerity to challenge or tarnish him."

In keeping with its overall fascist direction and agenda, the new regime is attacking the foundation of the public's ability to engage in critical thinking: a scientific, evidence-based approach to reality. 

The Trump regime's actions to shut down communications by dozens of federal agencies has not gone unopposed. A number of so-called rogue twitter accounts have sprung up to communicate information directly to the public. While all of them can't be verified, an interview has been published with the people behind @ActualEPAFacts, who explained why they took this unprecedented, and potentially career-killing, step: 

We all work on climate change research and grant administration. Knowing that our department is not valued by the person who may be leading the agency worries us. Our jobs are at stake. We wanted to be sure that science, real science, continues to have a voice. When the information was deleted from the Badlands NPS site it felt very Orwellian. 

"The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears," wrote George Orwell in 1949. "It was their final, most essential command."

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 February 2017.

Curt Wechsler, The World Can't Wait: January 2017 is the previous archive.

Curt Wechsler, The World Can't Wait: March 2017 is the next archive.

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