Curt Wechsler, The World Can't Wait: September 2009 Archives

Sold to the United States for Cash

By LEONARD C. GOODMAN, IN THESE TIMES

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld bragged that the bounty leaflets were falling from the Afghan sky 'like snowflakes.'

In May, President Barack Obama began floating the idea that his administration might seek the power to "preventatively detain" terrorism suspects who "are deemed a threat to national security but cannot be tried." The rationale is: These folks are bad. We can't tell you how we know this because of national security concerns. So trust us. This is in effect what the Bush administration told us for more than five years, and it is nonsense.

I am an attorney representing one of the 230 remaining Guantanamo detainees who are subject to this preventative detention. Shawali Khan has been imprisoned at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center for more than six years without charges. Khan is a small man with sad eyes, about 40 years old, who comes from a small farming village near Kandahar, Afghanistan.

michael-hayden-mug.jpg

The Hayden Letter

John Prados | September 29, 2009

Editor: John Feffer


Foreign Policy In Focus

Former CIA director Michael Hayden played a key role in organizing support among his predecessors for the letter a group of them sent last week demanding that President Barack Obama end or curtail the Justice Department investigation into abuses by CIA interrogators during the Bush years. This initiative comes on top of months of active campaigning during which Hayden pressed the same point from every soapbox he could find.

Attorney General Eric Holder would be justified in wondering why General Hayden is so determined to suppress this investigation. The public is entitled to ask the same question. Hayden effectively argues for secret government and against accountability. His arguments are a disturbing carryover from the Bush administration and its violation of domestic and international law.


District Attorney Drops Charges Against John Yoo Protesters

By Riya BhattacharjeeTHE BERKELEY DAILY PLANET
Monday September 28, 2009
The THE BERKELEY DAILY PLANETAlameda County district attorney's office announced Wednesday, Sept. 23 that it would not press criminal charges against four protesters cited for misdemeanors during a rally at UC Berkeley's School of Law. 

The Aug. 17 rally called for UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo to be fired, disbarred and prosecuted for war crimes for his role in crafting the Bush administration's torture policies. 

The ACLU, PEN American Center & the Cooper Union present:

Reckoning with Torture: Memos and Testimonies from the "War on Terror"

Writers, artists and others read from recently released secret documents--memos, declassified communications, and testimonies by detainees -- in a public event to promote awareness of acts of torture and abuse carried out by the U.S. since 9/11.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 13 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: The Great Hall, Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street at Third Avenue, NYC

TICKETS: $15/$10 for PEN/ACLU Members & Students w/ valid ID. Purchase online or at the door.

Op-Ed by Adam MarlettaThe Maine Campus

September 28, 2009

Earlier this month, Attorney General Eric Holder launched a preliminary investigation into CIA officials who may have engaged in torture or other heinous forms of "enhanced interrogation techniques" under the Bush administration.

While many progressives, such as myself, believe this urgent investigation into un-Constitutional abuses of power is long overdue, there is growing concern Holder's "torture probe" may be too narrow in scope to amount to anything.

Of particular concern is the announcement Holder's investigation will focus exclusively on low-level CIA interrogators. This ignores administration lawyers and officials who authorized the use of torture in the first place, including Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, both of whom have eagerly confessed to allowing torture on national television within the last year.

In Sept. 14 edition of The Nation, John Nichols effectively sums up the problem posed by such a narrow investigation: "There is nothing Dick Cheney and his allies in Congress and the conservative media would prefer more than a narrowly defined investigation of low-level CIA operatives. The right knows how to make 'heroes' of those who dutifully carry out orders -- even lawless and inhumane ones." Nichols goes on to note the support of Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Sen. Russ Feingold who concur that "a proper investigation must target those who initiated and authorized wrongdoing."

Berkeley would become the first city in the United States to independently try to comply with U.N. treaties on torture, civil rights and racial discrimination, if the City Council passes a measure on the issue tonight.

The measure would require the city to file biennial reports to the United Nations on how - or whether - the city meets international human rights standards. In Berkeley, that could include its record on homelessness, the achievement gap among different racial groups at Berkeley High and the presence of John Yoo, a UC Berkeley School of Law professor and Berkeley resident who authored the Bush administration's justification for torture.

"It's critical that cities and counties, not just nations, make these reports to the U.N.," said Ann Fagan Ginger, head of the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute in Berkeley. "To relate directly to the U.N. is the closest way we have of supporting the rights spelled out in these treaties."

(as in warrantless search)


United States v. Lemus, __ F.3d __, No. 08-50403, 2009 WL 2999361 (9th Cir. Sept. 28, 2009), decision available here.


BYBEE, Circuit Judge: 


"Juan Hernan Lemus appeals the district court's denial of his motion to suppress incriminating evidence discovered during a warrantless search of his apartment following his arrest...

Even assuming that there were no articulable facts which would warrant a reasonably prudent police officer to believe that Lemus's apartment harbored an individual posing a danger to those on the arrest scene, we nevertheless affirm the district court's denial of the suppression motion. Because the area in which the police officers discovered the incriminating evidence 'immediately adjoin[ed] the place of arrest,' the officers were justified in conducting a search of that area without either probable cause or reasonable suspicion, Maryland v. Buie, 494 U.S. 325, 334, 110 S.Ct. 1093, 108 L.Ed.2d 276 (1990), and anything in plain view that they discovered in the course of that search could be seized without violating the Fourth Amendment, Horton v. California, 496 U.S. 128, 136-37, 110 S.Ct. 2301, 110 L.Ed.2d 112 (1990)."

Torture at Guantanamo Bay: Excerpts and Extras Now Online

Preview clips and extras from the upcoming Spectacle film 'Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo', which documents the treatment of those held in Guantanamo Bay prison and other 'dark prisons', are now available to view online. As a lot of the material filmed for 'Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo' will not be included in the final edit, it has been made available on the Project Page and in the Archive pages of the Spectacle website to make it widely accessible. The material includes interviews with lawyers, campaigners and ex-prisoners, plus longer interviews with ex-detainee Omar Deghayes, who describes his interrogation by British intelligence agent 'Andrew', and James Yee, former US Army Muslim Chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, who underwent intense investigation.

 Stumble it

John Yoo's commentary in the Contra Costa Times is ridiculous

By Bob Frank
Guest commentary, CONTRA COSTA TIMES

John Yoo's commentary (Sept. 19) is ridiculous. The man's a former President George Bush appointee, trying cover their tracks. Attacking President Barack Obama's investigations on the one hand, he goes off on a tangent and talks about how Carter eliminated 820 positions in covert operations, which he says led to the fall of the Shah. The Shah was a puppet, held up by American money. But even if cutting the CIA led to his downfall, so what? Obama is not talking about cutting any positions from the CIA. That has nothing to do with the present situation.

Obama merely OK'd an investigation into the illegal activities of the CIA. Yoo would prefer that the CIA be above the law. If he seriously thinks this will improve the CIA's ability to perform, then he is actually against America and the American Way, which all his ilk are so proud of. You can't have a decent law-abiding society built on lies like that.

Yoo is still telling that same old lie, about how our intelligence was wrong about Saddam having WMDs. Our intelligence was a 100 percent dead on. Marine Col. Scott Ridder, on the U.N. weapons inspection team, told Bush before he ever invaded Iraq that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction and no capabilities to make any.

But this was not the information that Bush wanted. So he promptly had Ridder declared a loose canon. Then he trumped up the phony intelligence that created that war.

Not only should the CIA be investigated, Bush and Cheney, et al., should be dragged into court, by their heels if necessary, tried, and condemned to incarceration for setting that tone whereby the CIA was allowed to become America's number one enemy.

Frank is a resident of El Sobrante.

'The Obama Administration Has Completely Failed'

SPIEGEL article c/o Geoff Browning, Campus Minister, Stanford. Thanks Geoff!

REUTERS

Human rights lawyer Tina Foster talks to SPIEGEL about detainee abuses in the US military prison in Bagram, Afghanistan and her disappointment with the Obama administration.
C/o AfterDowningStreet: Go HERE and click on Season 20, Episode 1, "Memo from the Dark Side." You can then watch it on Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, or iReel. Thanks David! 

"Memo From the Dark Side"

Episode Synopsis: LAW & ORDER Season 20 Premiere "Memo From the Dark Side" - The body of a young war veteran is found in a parking garage and the murder is connected to a law professor who used to work for the Department of Justice. 

Ever timely, the durable crime drama kicks off its 20th season with a question raised in the post-Bush Administration era: Should lawyers who green-lit harsh interrogation tactics in the War on Terror face charges for legitimizing torture? The murder of a veteran puts the issue on trial, with McCoy and Cutter on opposing sides of the debate.
If you think Bybee and Yoo and the rest ought to be tried as war criminals, then treat them like people who should be tried as war criminals, not as respectable colleagues with whom you happen to disagree about this or that point of legal interpretation. - Paul Campos 

see Botero in Berkeley
 
link image thumbnailFernando Botero: The Abu Ghraib Series
September 23, 2009 - February 7, 2010
Internationally acclaimed artist Fernando Botero offers a powerful critique of the prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib in a series of paintings and drawings recently donated to the Berkeley Art Museum.
podcast of event here
                
Berkeley... could do us all and itself a favor. Examining and having a public discussion about what Yoo did, and the ethics of it, would serve the purpose of an educational institution like Berkeley, far more than stretching the rationale of "academic freedom" to the point of harming it. - from running commentary on Brad DeLong's blog
9/22/2009 10:00:00 PM 
Join the fight to end torture

Anne Rooney and Richard Means, One View

We have been watching and reading with great interest the discussions about the recent release of the 2004 CIA inspector general's report on the torture practices used and supported by the U.S. government and done in our name. Even though still heavily redacted, what was released was truly appalling: mock executions, waterboarding (simulated drowning), power drills being revved up and held to the head of a hooded detainee, threats of killing children, and raping mothers in front of the detainees. It's as bad as we thought, even worse.

To us, this issue represents what it means to be human - or not. It really doesn't matter if some of these victims of torture were the truly evil ones who have done great harm to the United States and continue to threaten the world. Torture and other human rights abuses bring us down to their basest level, and betray our deeply held values of what it means to be a citizen in a civilized country. We and others have prosecuted past such abuses as war crimes.

A small group of Chicago and Oak Park activists recently organized a "Teach-in to End Torture and Human Rights Abuses." The educational event, which was held Sept. 13 at Unity Temple, was both necessary and timely.

Our goal is to educate and motivate people to understand this issue, including why the Geneva Conventions outlaw this practice under international law and why it has been banned by every civilized society for more than 100 years. Attorney General Eric Holder has now appointed a special prosecutor to investigate these illegal and immoral practices. There is pending legislation in Congress to support an inquiry to fully investigate the facts and circumstances that allowed the U.S. government to perform these activities around the world.

This is not a partisan or strictly political issue, but instead primarily a moral and legal one. We do not want a failure of citizens to speak out against this to serve as an implicit endorsement or a "normalization" of torture and other human rights abuses.

Anne Rooney and Richard Means are Oak Park residents and members of the Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

What do we do about John Yoo?

Law professor John Yoo, author of the infamous Bush administration torture memos, is a controversial presence here at Berkeley. Did Yoo really write those memos in good faith?

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2009
Click here to find out more!
What do we do about John Yoo?

Brad DeLong

BRAD DELONG


The faculty at the University of California at Berkeley does not know what to think or say or do about our colleague, Berkeley law school Professor John Yoo. Universities like ours pride themselves on a commitment to academic freedom. But we also stress our devotion to the rule of law and the primacy of human rights. And therein lies the conflict that roils the Berkeley campus.

We are not altogether certain of what Yoo did as a lawyer in the Bush justice department. We know that he wrote the now-infamous memos providing legal justification for torture. But some suspect that what actually transpired may have been even more disreputable; otherwise, Yoo would have spilled the beans by now in order to salvage his reputation. Or so the theory goes. We will probably never know the full truth; law school Dean Chris Edley has ruled that any inquiry into what Yoo said, thought, and did while he worked for the Bush administration would have an unacceptable "chilling effect" on academic freedom.

Unfortunately, that does not resolve our problem with the rule of law/human rights part of the equation...

Well, since the Abu Ghraib photos were revealed in 2004, but John Yoo continues to advocate for the illegal agenda of the Bush regime, here at Irvine:

Challengers Face Off With Yoo

'As many of the protesters made clear, there is no debating torture; that is, it is not morally acceptable to debate what is 'good' torture and what is 'bad' torture,' Barot said. 'Students, faculty and community members were protesting the hijacking of UC Irvine as a means to raise support for the racist and brutally repressive practices currently being implemented by the United States.' 

By Christine Tsai on Feb. 14, 2005 

The Justice Department announced that it was going to narrow its torture investigation even more than it originally said, likely focusing on only a couple of cases...

"A lot of times cases look open-and-shut because a guy froze to death on a cold cement floor, but these cases are more complicated and involved than that," said a government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "You have to prove the cause of death. How do we know he froze to death? He may have died a natural death from clogged arteries. You have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he died as a result of the actions of the people who tied him to the floor naked. It may be a logical inference, but proving it beyond a reasonable doubt might be a different story."


"If this Justice Department doesn't look into this, eventually someone else will.  When you torture, maim and murder people from all over the world, eventually the repercussions will trickle out. Putting a lid on it would be like putting one on boiling water." - dday

David Cole on DEMOCRACY NOW!


Temp-image_1_148Legal scholar and attorney David Cole looks at the story behind the infamous Bush administration torture memos. Cole argues the memos show that the United States government's top attorneys were instrumental in rationalizing acts of torture and cruelty, employing chillingly twisted logic and Orwellian reasoning to authorize what the law absolutely forbids.


The Obama administration has announced it will introduce a review system for the 600 prisoners at Bagram airbase. But a close look at the plan reveals cause for alarm.



By Andy WorthingtonAndy Worthington's Blog. Posted September 16, 2009.

Following briefings by Obama administration officials (who declined to be identified), both the New York Times and the Washington Postreported this week that the government is planning to introduce a new review system for the 600 or so prisoners held at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, which will, for the first time, allow them to call witnesses in their defense.

On paper, this appears to be an improvement on existing conditions at the prison, but a close inspection of the officials' statement reveals that the proposed plans actually do very little to tackle the Bush administration's wayward innovations regarding the detention of prisoners in wartime, and, moreover, the officials also provided the shocking news that prisoners are currently being rendered to Bagram from other countries...

Condi Can't Shake the Torture Rap

By JESSICA GREENE nbcbayarea.com

NBC Bay Area

Group claims Rice, Cheney, Bush, Yoo are war criminals

Yes, we are debating whether to torture in 2009. This is not right. Torture is morally beyond the pale. Period. Full stop. It is also unambiguously illegal. The Geneva Convention clearly prohibits "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment."

To those who ask "What if it did work?": I ask what does a world look like where you can pretty much do anything you want and justify it as "keeping people safe"? Where do you draw the limits? Is that a world you would want to live in? - Aaron Leonard

see History will judge our torture record

... prosecuting crimes is not an option or a policy choice. If laws have been broken, the culprits must be brought to book. The issue is not one of "criminalising policy differences" but rather of terminating a situation in which torture itself became a policy option and, de facto, legalised. Not investigating (and, thus, sanctioning) such behaviour is to condone it.

Ellsberg eagerly counts off current abuses of power, from CIA torture sites to surveillance ops. Clearly for him, the fight is far from over.

THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH Ellsberg takes a stand.

In this springtime in America, the question grips many minds--not whether "enhanced interrogation," replete with water boarding, wall slamming, and sleep deprivation, is morally defensible in the framework of the American republic. These practices, we are told, have been abolished by the new administration, and the Justice Department memos that authorized such methods in recent years have now come to light. If former Vice President Dick Cheney has his way, classified government documents should also be made available that, he claims, will prove that enhanced interrogations made the nation safer. ... To think about issues of tyranny and freedom in the modern state, and particularly in a modern democracy that still casts itself as a protector of human rights, one must turn to Orwell. No writer has more effectively sliced through the rotten carcass of bad reasoning than St. George, and his classic political allegories,Animal Farm and 1984, hold more political wisdom than any quantity of Justice Department memos can ever hope to match. Read this article

Al Jazeera Debates Torture

Josh Rushing joins a panel of experts in front of a live studio audience for a town hall debate on torture, asking what it will take to dismantle the Bush administration's legacy of torture and if those responsible will be held to account.video here

"...the fate of John Yoo is a rare chance for this state to actually do something good in the global arena." -

Condoleezza Rice has been one of the most consistently duplicitous and dishonest members of the Bush administration, and it has been revealed that Rice not only sanctioned the United States' illegal use of torture in the poorly conceived "War on Terror," but actually chaired the meetings in her capacity as National Security Advisor...

John Yoo's lies of omission
"...what he's frankly admitting is that his legal guidance wasn't worth the paper it was written on -- that it was simply a cover-your-ass document meant to make it seem as though torture had legal justification. In reality, these guys were going to do what they wanted to do, whether it was legal or not."
by Tahir Mustafa

"No prisoner in Bagram has been allowed to see a lawyer, or challenge his detention. The US justice department argues that because Afghanistan is an active combat zone it is not possible to conduct rigorous inquiries into individual cases and that it would divert precious military resources at a crucial time. But Stafford Smith finds this unconvincing. "These men were never in Afghanistan until the UK and the US took them there," he said. "It is the height of hypocrisy to take someone to Bagram and then claim that it is too dangerous to let them see a lawyer. Even Guantanamo Bay is better than this."



Guantanamo Bay is not the only legal black hole created by the US in the wake of 9/11. The prison at Bagram is perhaps even worse than Guantanamo in many respects because no rule of law applies there. Serving as a former Soviet military airbase during the eighties, Bagram have now been turned into a torture chamber where prisoners are not only beaten, tortured and raped but the conditions are so horrible that many prisoners wish they were dead...

Spanish Investigators Push Justice Department On Torture Role; How Will Holder Answer?

By Scott Horton, Special to the Huffington Post

http://thestoneoftear.blogspot.com/2007_04_01_archive.html http://newsformormons.com/category/member-news/ http://www.esquire.com/features/john-yoo http://www.ibabuzz.com/politics/category/civil-liberties/ http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/06/unlimited_government.php http://open.salon.com/blog/saturn_smith/2009/03/28/keep_an_eye_out

Two investigating judges from the Spanish national security court, the Audiencia Nacional, are asking the U.S. Justice Department for details about the role played by Bush Administration lawyers in the development and approval of torture practices that were apparently applied to a number of Spanish subjects held in Guantanamo.

The judges have asked for responses by the end of October, setting up another major test for Attorney General Eric Holder. This time, the question is whether Holder will choose to oblige or stymie international criminal investigations of Bush officials for torture, in the absence of any domestic efforts in that direction...

see also Spanish Judge Presses Ahead With Lawsuit Against Bush Lawyers

Bound, hooded captives, being flown to Guantanamo aboard a cargo plane, looking for all the world like slaves being held in the hold of a ship on the Atlantic crossing to America.
Bound, hooded captives, being flown to Guantanamo.

 photo c/o Examiner.com

The Public Record has an exclusive report from Jeffrey Kaye, an expert in the psychology of interrogations, detailing the findings of the recent Physicians for Human Rights report.

 JEFFREY KAYE @ THE PUBLIC RECORD 09/09/2009:  A number of new articles highlight evidence of illegal human experimentation on U.S.-held "terrorism" prisoners undergoing torture. The articles follow the release of a "white paper" by Physicians for Human Rights [PHR], Aiding Torture: Health Professionals' Ethics and Human Rights Violations Demonstrated in the May 2004 Inspector General's Report.

This article looks at those recent charges, and reveals that experiments by a CIA researcher on human subjects undergoing SERE training went unreported in the legal memos the Bush administration drafted to approve their torture program. It will also connect major military and intelligence figures to the SERE experiments, and tie some of them to major science and "experimental" directorates at the CIA and Special Operations Command.

a message from Ramsey ClarkSeptember 8, 2009 
c/o Information Clearing House 


In-Depth Filmed Interviews of Former Guantanamo Detainees

Peter Jan Honigsberg

Peter Jan Honigsberg

Posted: September 7, 2009 
The Huffington Post

"The first day I was at Guantanamo, they put me in a little cage. There was a toilet hole and I thought this is the bathroom and they will then take me to my cell. Later, they brought me food. 'Why food?' I thought, 'This is a bathroom.' Only the next day did I realize this was my cell where I was to stay." -- Ayub Muhammed

How Far Have We Come Since September 11th?

Most Americans are looking back at the handling of the 'war on terror' with new eyes.

By Pacific Citizen Staff and Associated Press 
Published September 4, 2009


Almost eight years after the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, the man credited with crafting legal theories for waterboarding, maintains his position on harsh interrogation techniques and warrantless wiretapping.

"To limit the president's constitutional power to protect the nation from foreign threats is simply foolhardy," wrote John Yoo in a July 16 Wall Street Journal opinion piece, a rare and selective breach of his routine of silence. He did not, however, respond to the Pacific Citizen's requests for comment.

Yoo, 42, says the controversial interrogation techniques were needed to protect the country from terrorist attacks like the ones on Sept. 11, 2001 -- the second date in U.S. history that lives in infamy. Eight years after two hijacked airplanes flew into the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center, the sights and sounds of the attacks are still ingrained, but the way Americans are thinking about them is evolving. 

"The public has moved on from the initial concern of another terrorist attack," said Larry Oda, JACL national president. The focus now seems to be how "the government has eroded our civil liberties to 'protect us.'"

Did the Defense Department Stop Reporting Deaths of Detainees in U.S. Custody?

By DAPHNE EVIATAR 9/4/09 4:40 PM

Dr. Steven Miles, a professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School and faculty member of its Center for Bioethics, for years tried to track the deaths of "war on terror" detainees being held in U.S. custody. The author of the book "Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity and America's War on Terror," published in 2006 by Random House, has been monitoring the role physicians and psychologists have played in government-sponsored interrogations, observing that they were often there to serve the interrogators rather than the subjects.

In the process, he came across a curious fact. About three years ago, he says, the "entire prisoner death reporting system was turned off in Afghanistan." And in Iraq, it was "turned off" at the beginning of 2008...

see also Obama's torture hangover

Bush Regime Attorney General can be held personally responsible for misuse of material witness law

By Kenneth J. Theisen

In an important development, a federal court has ruled that a Bush regime official can be held civilly accountable for his abuse of the law in the U.S. war of terror. This ruling may send chills down the spine of many Bush administration officials that conspired to misuse their powers to violate the rights of their victims during the eight years of the Bush administration. There is even the possibility that more civil lawsuits against Bush regime officials could lead to later criminal prosecutions...

"How in the world did anyone hire John Yoo? He's a complete and utter disgrace to the legal profession. He should be prosecuted, incarcerated and disbarred." - CheneyWatch1 

video here
this_modern_world.jpg
this_modern_world.jpg
*http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/09/03/18620617.php 
An image of President Barack Obama is put up at Guantanamo Bay.

An image of President Barack Obama is put up in the lobby of the headquarters of the US naval station at Guantanamo Bay. Photograph: Brennan Linsley/AP

While Obama battles in three courts to keep secret the Bush CIA's abductions, he has begun his own renditions and actively defends the extralegal practice. - Roger Fitch Esq

"Our Man in Washington" 

Latest John Yoo Protest at UC Berkeley Passes Without Arrests

torture.jpg
He didn't get the memo
Would you like to see the next generation of American jurists learn their trade at the feet of a war criminal? Most citizens of the modern world outside Zimbabwe -- and parts of New Jersey, strangely enough --  would likely answer that question with a resounding "no." But in the world of legal academia, nothing is simple -- especially when it's open to question whether the alleged war criminal is just your garden-variety conservative with a penchant for provocative opinions.

UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law has been convulsed in recent months with debate over whether there's room in the academic community for John Yoo, the professor and former Bush Administration Justice Department official who authored an infamous memo justifying the torture of American-held detainees. We reported recently that Boalt administrators were adjusting this year's class schedule following complaints from students who didn't want to enroll in Yoo's class. On Aug. 17, a big protest took place outside Yoo's classroom, which culminated with the arrests of four demonstrators.

Another demonstration took place this afternoon -- and was a much more low-key affair, according to Stephanie Tang, an organizer with World Can't Wait, the group that put on the protest. (Tang was among those arrested on charges of trespassing and disturbing the peace at the August rally.) Nobody was thrown in the police wagon today. Instead, Tang said, a group of demonstrators provocatively dressed in orange jumpsuits and hoods resembling those of suspected terrorist prisoners hung out on Berkeley's Sproul Plaza, talking to passing students about their opinion that Yoo should be fired, disbarred, and prosecuted.
  
"We're going to try to keep the protests frequent," Tang said. "Sometimes they'll be bigger and more dramatic, and sometimes they'll be basic and trying to communicate with students." She added, "A lot of the people on the campus don't even know who John Yoo is."

The question of Yoo's culpability in the Bush Administration's torture practices is certainly an interesting one. As a senior lawyer in the Office of Legal Counsel, he wrote a highly controversial opinion -- called a "golden shield" by administration officials -- authorizing wide latitude for interrogators. Some argue that his opinion was responsible for subsequent abuses of detainees at overseas prisons, while others say he shouldn't face criminal penalties for offering professional legal advice.

Some light may be shed on this question as the Obama Administration's Justice Department commences its recently announced investigation into detainee interrogation practices. In the meantime, expect more protests.

Photo   |   Jim Linwood
German war crimes were characterized by methodical precision, the application of "rational" technology to increase efficiency, the veneer of legality and the perversion of medical science.
Nazi crimes were also marked by public indifference, which amounted to tacit support.Ted Rall

subsection (d)(1)(C) Performing biological experiments.-- The act of a person who subjects, or conspires or attempts to subject, one or more persons within his custody or physical control to biological experiments without a legitimate medical or dental purpose and in so doing endangers the body or health of such person or persons.
Gallery Guantanamo Bay : an interrogation room inside Camp Delta 5 on US Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay

An emergency duress button mounted on the wall of an interrogation room

Photograph: Shawn Thew/EPA
Jack Healey @ Groundwork And, whether you like it or not, the citizens of the U.S. will be implicated in the post-crash police report. It is now time to remove ourselves from this list. - Jack Healey, Founder of the Human Rights Action Center

CIA refuses to release torture documents

*Alex Abdo, ACLU National Security Project
Delahunty was a mature lawyer who had a position as a senior public servant when he wrote his opinions. He did not have to sign those documents. His peers, including William Taft IV, in the administration dissented. Delahunty has a right of free speech -- but the debate is not about free speech. It is about the quality of Delahunty's work, the sycophancy of his service, and the destructive impact of his work on the edifice of law itself. For these, he does not merit the honor of being a professor of law. - Dr. Steven H. Miles