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John Yoo's war crimes

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"Why is one of the central  perpetrators of a systematic torture regime teaching at Berkeley law school and welcomed in our most respectable opinion venues? -- Glenn Greenwald 

KQED interviews Glenn here

"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

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Where's Dante when you need him? The Inferno's epic vision of Christian Hell's violence and poetic genius is actually a political allegory and political critique. For several days, this trend emerging in reporting on John Yoo in the blogosphere is beccoming increasingly traumatic and angry. As the webmaster of, I have been trying to read every headline and scan all the unique articles on Yoo in the mainstream media and online for some time now. From Mainstream media to the littlest bloggers - in regard to the way the validation and vindication of Yoo and the rest of the Bush war and torture team - there is a growing consciousness, impatience and disillusionment with the lack of dignity, integrity and justice from the White House, the Justice Department, Congress, the Senate and the Supreme court in spite of John Conyers proposing his hearing to whitewash this with his Congressional 'good cop / bad cop' game with Pelosi.

The actual blog posts represent a variety of accuracy and quality in line with the breadth of writing professionalism on the net. Scanning the last 300 articles on my John Yoo google alerts news feed from the last 48 hours, here is a sampling of headlines which tell the story in themselves.


"The CIA didn't want to torture." - John Yoo

Absolved of abetting criminal intent
John Yoo, now on book tour, tells us

he only provided legal justification
of various options of interrogation
of war prisoners. Just legal recipes.

Now teaching at Cal (UC Berkeley),
in a protected academic environment

he's safe from waterboarding
by any of his legal colleagues

however much they loathe him,
while no really hard rain falls.

(22 FEB 10, Santa Clara CA)v2

Read more of Bill Costley's poetry on War Criminals and other stuff at his blog:

In Maryland, two Johns Hopkins University students disrupted a lecture Wednesday by former Bush administration attorney John Yoo. Yoo helped author the notorious Justice Department memos justifying waterboarding and other forms of torture. Before Yoo began his talk, students stood at the front of the lecture hall holding a banner reading "Try Yoo for Torture." They refused to move, but agreed not to interrupt Yoo's speech. Yoo then delivered the lecture with the students holding their banner throughout. Protester: "We wanted to make it very clear that John Yoo is not accepted at Johns Hopkins University and that wherever he goes--not simply because of his views, but rather because of his material support for the administration of torture--that it is unacceptable, and we're voicing that quite clearly." -text quoted from
In this song series, Canadian composer Ben Mueller-Heaslip exposes the horror of John Yoo's Torture Memos by setting the text of the Torture Memos to music sung by Kristin Mueller-Heaslip. Listen here to track six:
Medical Personnel are on the Scene

Adobe Flash Player to listen.


From the website; "We just released our new recording of the Torture Memos: a musical reworking of the legal documents that attempted to justify torture. The text is all by John Yoo and his cronies at the U.S. Department of Legal Counsel, taken directly from the documents with no alterations, additions, or misleading combinations. This music says exactly what these criminals intended to say....In lieu of paying our "lyricists" we're donating 15% of the sales of this record to the American Civil Liberties Union." The singer Kristin Mueller-Heaslip said in an email to; "...we definitely want to keep the Torture Memos project moving forward. There's been a fantastic response every time we perform it, and the music brings out the banal evil of the text like nothing else can. We're thinking of organizing a US tour, assuming of course that we can get across the border."

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
A federal judge has ruled that John Yoo, a former Bush administration lawyer who wrote crucial memorandums justifying harsh interrogation techniques, will have to answer in court to accusations that his work led to a prisoner's being tortured and deprived of his constitutional rights. The government had asked Judge Jeffrey S. White of Federal District Court in San Francisco to dismiss the case filed by Jose Padilla, an American citizen who spent more than three years in a military brig as an enemy combatant. Judge White denied most elements of Mr. Yoo's motion and quoted a passage from the Federalist Papers that in times of war, nations, to be more safe, "at length become willing to run the risk of being less free."

Meanwhile in a second case in the 9th Circuit Court, the Obama administration has increased its defense of secrecy surrounding an alleged CIA program of torture flight,

The letters to the editorial page of the Philadelphia Inquirer are on fire. People are writing in, overwhelmingly opposed to the newspaper's hiring of John Yoo as a columnist, the former Justice Department lawyer who helped write what's come to be known as the torture memo that claimed the treatment of prisoners amounted to torture only if it caused the same level of pain as "organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death."
Go to the song producers blog to comment and learn more about this Cuban tradition:   Music begins about :55 second into the video.

For several hours last night, a loudly chanting line of two dozen protestors marched slowly back and forth across the entry of the Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf.  Some wore the orange jumpsuits and black hoods representing the detainees - some wore giant human billboard signs denouncing torture as a war crime,and John Yoo as a war criminal who should be fired, disbarred, and prosecuted for his role in green lighting torture for the Bush Regime.  The action was planned overnight, with activists learning of Yoo's appearance at this conference only late the previous evening. TV news cameras caught the sunset footage of the demonstration and interviewed World Can't Wait speakers including SF Bay Area KTVU, Fox News, Channel 2. Click the picture below to view:play2.jpgThis TV News coverage aired in juxtaposition with comments by College Republicans praising Yoo and claiming that torture isn't really torture.  (The College Republicans are a campus organizing wing of the David Horowitz school of fascist thought, and actively mobilize for it in this area, for example by promoting the annual Muslim-bashing hate speech of "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" and in flag-waving counter-protests at anti-war events.  They invited John Yoo to their state conference to be greeted as a "hero...(to)...tell behind the scenes stories we really want to hear..."College Republican leader and conference co-organizer Leigh Wolf is pictured here being confronted outside the conference. Leigh Wolf frequently leads bigoted radical-right political demonstration like the 2-18-08 "Battle of Berkeley" where nationally syndicated radical-right shock-jock Melanie Morgan's front-group "Gathering of Eagles" protested the Berkeley City Council taking a principled stand against the Berkeley Marine recruiting Center.

Many of the tourists from other countries who happened upon the scene expressed strong sympathies with World Can't Wait's message, were glad to see the action, and gave words of encouragement.

Although hotel security kept non-Republicans out of the convention proceedings, as Yoo rose to speak to his audience of several hundred, their welcoming applause was disrupted suddenly by thundering chants: demonstrators had discovered a (non-see-thru) glass wall between the auditorium and the street, and aimed their voices straight into the room: "TORTURE IS A WAR CRIME!  JAIL JOHN YOO!" "GUANTANAMO  GUANTANAMO! WAR CRIMES, WAR CRIMES....   ABU GHRAIB, ABU GHRAIB! WAR CRIMES, WAR CRIMES...."  For all of Yoo's 30-minute talk, dismayed College Republicans had to listen to their "hero" against a constant echoing string of truthful, powerful chants.

(Unrelated audio is the falungun club doing a presentation nearby.)

Fire John Yoo and World Can't Wait spoke to hundreds of new students and their families about John Yoo's tenure at UC Berkeley Law (formerly Boalt Hall) demonstrating and providing information about Bush's "Architect of Torture" teaching United States Constitutional Law at the UC Berkeley. Cal Day is a big outdoor celebration centered at historic Sproul Plaza where all the student groups and departments gift food and other stuff, meet and greet the families. John Yoo is perhpas the leading US advocate of torture today. As White House legal counsel under former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Jay "bugs" Bybee, Yoo legally "authorized" torture and actively worked to confuse and distort the law of torture through his notorious torture memos. UC Berkeley Law Dean Edley is dissembling when he says he cannot do anything except defend Yoo's Academic Freedom of speech. Dean Edely has a right to - and a responsibility to - take a public stand against John Yoo perpetuating torture. Yoo participated in and sometimes led the formulation and development of a broad system of torture and Crimes Against Humanity.
caldaymaryannsuperpicket4-19-09.jpgWelcome to UC Berkeley!

The FJY blogger coordinating on cell phone from the Sproul Hall steps

New York Times

April 19, 2009

The Torturers' Manifesto

To read the four newly released memos on prisoner interrogation written by George W. Bush's Justice Department is to take a journey into depravity.

Their language is the precise bureaucratese favored by dungeon masters throughout history. They detail how to fashion a collar for slamming a prisoner against a wall, exactly how many days he can be kept without sleep (11), and what, specifically, he should be told before being locked in a box with an insect -- all to stop just short of having a jury decide that these acts violate the laws against torture and abusive treatment of prisoners.

In one of the more nauseating passages, Jay Bybee, then an assistant attorney general and now a federal judge, wrote admiringly about a contraption for waterboarding that would lurch a prisoner upright if he stopped breathing while water was poured over his face. He praised the Central Intelligence Agency for having doctors ready to perform an emergency tracheotomy if necessary.

These memos are not an honest attempt to set the legal limits on interrogations, which was the authors' statutory obligation. They were written to provide legal immunity for acts that are clearly illegal, immoral and a violation of this country's most basic values.

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