Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby prezidentv8 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:45 am

Just something to toss in there...*IF* torture was something that the White House/Army/CIA wanted to do for whatever reason, why couldn't they just have a policy against it, but do it in secret? Is it *that* hard to keep it on the DL?

If you're curious as to what I'm getting at with this, I suggest you watch the episode of South Park where Cartman travels back in time to see the founding fathers.

"It's like having your cake, and eating it too."

User avatar
Rotor
Posts: 917
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:06 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby Rotor » Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:08 am

prezidentv8 wrote:Just something to toss in there...*IF* torture was something that the White House/Army/CIA wanted to do for whatever reason, why couldn't they just have a policy against it, but do it in secret? Is it *that* hard to keep it on the DL?

If you're curious as to what I'm getting at with this, I suggest you watch the episode of South Park where Cartman travels back in time to see the founding fathers.

"It's like having your cake, and eating it too."

Dead men tell no tales. Everyone else calls the New York Times.

As for the post above that countered my argument by saying that our maintaining a moral stand on torture doesn't influence regimes who would torture anyway, I will agree with you in the short term. However, if we would like to lead any nation away from such practices we have to be beyond reproach ourselves. Too often US policies have been do as I say and not as I do; and that is a very hard position from which to lead. If you are happy letting the country slide into a post hegemonic impotence, my argument won't sway you. I for one don't think the era of America being an example of what society CAN be. That's the core reason I disagree with legitimizing torture (and at the same time disagree with the proposal to fire Yoo-- to get back to the original intent of this thread).

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby prezidentv8 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:21 am

Just to be clear, I'm not saying I'm pro-torture; I'm just saying I don't understand how the public discourse got to the point of anyone defending it in public, or Yoo justifying it, or soldiers taking pictures of it, or anything like that - you know? It isn't like the CIA hasn't been able to keep a secret before.

topdawg
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:46 am

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby topdawg » Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:27 am

I love how liberals come out of the woodwork railing against torture, but remain silent on Clinton's use of rendition. Let's be honest, the vitriol and righteous indignation found on this thread and in the media has very little to do with dipping someone's head in water and everything to do with the fact that it is the "evil Bush administration" authorizing it. Being against torture is a laudable position, but to act like it is "sub-human" to debate the merits of using enhanced interrogation methods is disingenuous at best.

Personally, I don't consider sleep deprivation and waterboarding torture. Our own soldiers undergo the same procedures during SERE training, and if you actually read the memos, it is clear that proper measures were in place to prevent crossing the line into torture. Also, the fact that waterboarding was only used on 3 known terrorists demonstrates that the use of the technique was carefully considered and only used when the costs of inaction were great. As far as the idea that "torture" doesn't result in obtaining actionable intelligence, from what I have heard 2 of the 3 terrorists that were waterboarded gave important information that enabled the U.S. government to prevent an attack on LA and better understand how al Qaeda operated.

From a legal perspective, I fail to see how Yoo did anything wrong. Al Qaeda terrorists are not entitled to Geneva Convention protections. They never signed the Geneva convention and the convention actually allows for the execution of combatants who fail to wear a uniform. Even from a moral perspective, it is possible to argue that the use of enhanced interrogation tactics was a far superior outcome than what will likely occur now. Let's be honest, if Obama or any future president gets a high level al Qaeda terrorist, he is not going to allow an attack to occur on U.S. soil and stain his/her legacy. Without these techniques, s/he will simply hand them over to a 3rd party to handle the interrogation while our CIA officers watch. That way his/her hands are "clean", but s/he still gets the needed information. I am willing to bet that the use of rendition is far more inhumane than carefully laid out enhanced interrogation techniques.

Now I agree there are valid arguments against the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, but I fail to understand the left's absolute refusal to have a debate on the issues. I also find it disgusting that Obama released the memos in the first place. As four former CIA Directors argued (appointed by R's and D's), releasing the memos hurts our national security. From my perspective, Obama's release of these memos but not the memos documenting the success of the techniques demonstrates that he is placing politics above national security.

sbalive
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:05 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby sbalive » Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:29 am

I love how liberals come out of the woodwork railing against torture, but remain silent on Clinton's use of rendition.


Really? I suppose you don't know liberals very well though, do you?

Also, I'm not really a liberal - or at least wasn't until Bush turned me into one. A lot of conservatives are opposed to torture, and they're angry at what was done by the Bush administration. And, they are opposed to rendition too.

This is not a liberal-conservative or Republican-Democratic issue, even though some would desperately like it to be so. It's about how we interpret and respect the ideals on which our country was founded.

topdawg
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:46 am

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby topdawg » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:00 am

1. I don't think the case has been made that waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and pushing terrorists into walls that give a little is actually torture. When I think of torture, I think of things like beatings, ripping fingernails off, electrocution, etc (you know, the stuff Saddam was famous for). I personally oppose torture, but what we did was not torture in my opinion.

2. I guess I went too far on the liberal thing. I guess I can see how the far left would be opposed to rendition. But, I still think the reaction in the media and among liberal organizations is a direct result of Bush being tied to it. Be honest, replace Obama with Bush and imagine how the left and media would react--certainly their would at least be some discussion to the merits of the decision, rather than the overuse of hyperbole (likewise, I imagine more conservatives would be outraged if Obama had ordered the methods rather than Bush)

3. As far as the ideals that our country was founded on....go read a little history. Look at how we treated Tories, Native Americans, African Americans, etc. Look at Sherman and the South during the Civil War or the use of napalm in Vietnam. Honestly, the tactics that the Bush Administration used were far more humane and limited than those used during most, if not all, previous wars. War is hell and there are definitely moral gray areas. The Founding Fathers provided Constitutional protections for American citizens, but failed to do so for foreign combatants, so I fail to see what ideals you are talking about (I am not saying upholding certain values or ideals is wrong, I am simply saying that the country was not founded on some ideal that limited the ability of the country to defend itself from outside attack). Do you honestly think they would have opposed dipping someone's head in water? I am not accusing you of this by any means, but it is the outrage in the media and on the left about how waterboarding is pretty much the worst thing we have ever done that reveals that hate of the Bush administration has everything to do with this discussion. As a nation, we have done a lot of bad things in our history (and plenty of good things as well), but this is a small blip in comparison with most of those things. Honestly, the fact that we exercised such restraint with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed when he hinted at future attacks demonstrates an amazing level of respect for human rights.

jerwood84
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:10 am

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby jerwood84 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:08 am

Um...haven't read all the replies but Yoo is teaching at Chapman now. So how can he be fired from Berkeley?

JOE!
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:21 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby JOE! » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:51 am

He's visiting at Chapman, but still a faculty member at Berkeley.

ommanipadmehum
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby ommanipadmehum » Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:26 pm

to those interested in this topic i believe this article is very informative. it leaves no room for doubt that waterboarding is torture.

http://www.pegc.us/archive/Articles/wal ... 061016.pdf

ommanipadmehum
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby ommanipadmehum » Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:53 pm

The myth that an attack on L.A. was averted by torture is debunked here: http://www.wral.com/golo/blogpost/5017539/


In part: "What clinches the falsity of Thiessen's claim, however (and that of the memo he cites, and that of an unnamed Central Intelligence Agency spokesman who today seconded Thessen's argument), is chronology. In a White House press briefing, Bush's counterterrorism chief, Frances Fragos Townsend, told reporters that the cell leader was arrested in February 2002, and "at that point, the other members of the cell" (later arrested) "believed that the West Coast plot has been canceled, was not going forward" [italics mine]. A subsequent fact sheet released by the Bush White House states, "In 2002, we broke up [italics mine] a plot by KSM to hijack an airplane and fly it into the tallest building on the West Coast." These two statements make clear that however far the plot to attack the Library Tower ever got—an unnamed senior FBI official would later tell the Los Angeles Times that Bush's characterization of it as a "disrupted plot" was "ludicrous"—that plot was foiled in 2002. But Sheikh Mohammed wasn't captured until March 2003."



Thus, the L.A. attack, if it was ever even intended to be carried out, was averted in 2002 when Americans apprehended the Asian terrorists charged with the task. Official Bush and Intelligence statements even claim that the attack was thwarted back in 2002.



So if Sheikh Mohammed was not arrested until 2003, how on Earth could torturing him have thwarted the plan?



It couldn't."
this is a response to marc thiessens article in wapo, he asserted: Specifically, interrogation with enhanced techniques "led to the discovery of a KSM plot, the 'Second Wave,' 'to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into' a building in Los Angeles." KSM later acknowledged before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay that the target was the Library Tower, the tallest building on the West Coast. The memo explains that "information obtained from KSM also led to the capture of Riduan bin Isomuddin, better known as Hambali, and the discovery of the Guraba Cell, a 17-member Jemmah Islamiyah cell tasked with executing the 'Second Wave.' " In other words, without enhanced interrogations, there could be a hole in the ground in Los Angeles to match the one in New York.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02818.html

User avatar
badlydrawn
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 12:11 am

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby badlydrawn » Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:18 pm

topdawg wrote:1. I don't think the case has been made that waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and pushing terrorists into walls that give a little is actually torture. When I think of torture, I think of things like beatings, ripping fingernails off, electrocution, etc (you know, the stuff Saddam was famous for). I personally oppose torture, but what we did was not torture in my opinion.


Fortunately, we do not look to you as the final authority on the definition.


topdawg wrote:2. I guess I went too far on the liberal thing. I guess I can see how the far left would be opposed to rendition. But, I still think the reaction in the media and among liberal organizations is a direct result of Bush being tied to it. Be honest, replace Obama with Bush and imagine how the left and media would react--certainly their would at least be some discussion to the merits of the decision, rather than the overuse of hyperbole (likewise, I imagine more conservatives would be outraged if Obama had ordered the methods rather than Bush)


You think? Let me quickly disabuse you of that notion: you're absolutely wrong. People on the left don't oppose torture (or if you'd prefer, "enhanced interrogation techniques") because its association with the Bush administration, they oppose the Bush administration because of, inter alia, its association with torture. Frankly, I'm tired of people crying "politics" on this issue. People simply care deeply if our government subjects those in our custody to extreme mental and physical pain and, in some cases, death.

SethD2767
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:20 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby SethD2767 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:42 pm

Esc wrote:
The potential to result in unreliable information does NOT equal torture does not produce credible information. Try again.


Do you fail to see that the very fact that something produces unreliable information means that there is no way to tell whether the information is reliable or not?

God, it is sickening that you are even trying to defend torture


I went to bed before all of you; so, I am just catching up on this now.

In the first place, the fact that something produces unreliable information does not mean that there is no way to tell whether the information is reliable or not. When doing mathematical calculations in my head, my answers tend to be unreliable; however, I can check my results with a calculator.

In the second place, I am wondering: In the article you cited, what does it mean that torture has the "potential to produce unreliable information"? It seems that there are two ways this could be interpreted: (1) some individuals always tell the truth under torture and the rest always or sometimes lie under torture; or (2) all individuals sometimes or always lie under torture.

This is relevant in the following way. If some individuals always tell the truth under torture and the rest always lie, then it is easy to determine whether torture will produce the anticipated results: Ask the one being tortured a question, the answer to which you already know. If he gives a false answer, then you know he cannot be relied on. If he gives a true answer, then you know he may potentially be relied on. This, however, does not hold if there is any group of individuals who sometimes lie and sometimes tell the truth under torture. And, it certainly does not hold if all individuals sometimes tell the truth and sometimes lie under torture.

Besides these minor thought experiments, though, there is a more basic issue: While torture may have the potential to produce unreliable information, does it have a greater or lesser potential than, say, simple cross examination?

ommanipadmehum
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby ommanipadmehum » Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:56 pm

heres yoo writing 2 weeks after 9/11 http://www.amconmag.com/article/2006/oct/09/00029/
Yoo suggested that “an American attack in South America or Southeast Asia might be a surprise to the terrorists,” since they were expecting the U.S. to target Afghanistan. Yoo assured the White House that “the President’s broad constitutional power ... would allow the President to [take] whatever actions he deems appropriate to pre-empt or respond to terrorist threats from new quarters.”
so invade columbia to keep bin-laden off balance?

yoo at a debate with a notre dame law prof responding to a question.www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11488.htm

Cassel: If the President deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?
Yoo: No treaty.
Cassel: Also no law by Congress. That is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo.
Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.

scary smart or just scary?

jack goldsmith, a conservative republican who worked at the office of legal counsel on yoos legal analysis:www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/cheney/interviews/goldsmith.html

"Another thing I worried about was the nature of the analysis in the opinions, in addition to their overbreadth. I thought that there were errors in some of the legal arguments, sometimes bad errors. I thought that there were extravagant and unnecessary claims of presidential power that were, again, wildly overbroad to the tasks at hand and had implications for other laws that I just found way too extreme."

more from same interview: (question)... How rare is it that OLC overturned an existing opinion inside the same administration?

(goldsmith)... There was no precedent that I knew of for doing this within an administration. As far as I knew it had never been done, and it had certainly never been done on an issue of this importance. So I really at first didn't know how to proceed. ..."

if his legal reasoning was sound then why would the unprecedented move be made?

yoo broke the law see Marjorie Cohn,president of the National Lawyers Guild, at http://www.counterpunch.org/cohn05062008.html

yoo is an embarassment to boalt hall. war crimes enabler as law professor? wow

ResIpsaLoquitur
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:07 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby ResIpsaLoquitur » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:00 pm

Oblomov wrote:
wrigley wrote:crazy smart...like a fox

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1GT-BZvhrw



Hahahha. "I'm not going to get into semantical games with you."


lol

SethD2767
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:20 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby SethD2767 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:01 pm

ommanipadmehum wrote:heres yoo writing 2 weeks after 9/11 http://www.amconmag.com/article/2006/oct/09/00029/
Yoo suggested that “an American attack in South America or Southeast Asia might be a surprise to the terrorists,” since they were expecting the U.S. to target Afghanistan. Yoo assured the White House that “the President’s broad constitutional power ... would allow the President to [take] whatever actions he deems appropriate to pre-empt or respond to terrorist threats from new quarters.”
so invade columbia to keep bin-laden off balance?

yoo at a debate with a notre dame law prof responding to a question.www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11488.htm

Cassel: If the President deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?
Yoo: No treaty.
Cassel: Also no law by Congress. That is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo.
Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.

scary smart or just scary?

jack goldsmith, a conservative republican who worked at the office of legal counsel on yoos legal analysis:www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/cheney/interviews/goldsmith.html

"Another thing I worried about was the nature of the analysis in the opinions, in addition to their overbreadth. I thought that there were errors in some of the legal arguments, sometimes bad errors. I thought that there were extravagant and unnecessary claims of presidential power that were, again, wildly overbroad to the tasks at hand and had implications for other laws that I just found way too extreme."

more from same interview: (question)... How rare is it that OLC overturned an existing opinion inside the same administration?

(goldsmith)... There was no precedent that I knew of for doing this within an administration. As far as I knew it had never been done, and it had certainly never been done on an issue of this importance. So I really at first didn't know how to proceed. ..."

if his legal reasoning was sound then why would the unprecedented move be made?

yoo broke the law see Marjorie Cohn,president of the National Lawyers Guild, at http://www.counterpunch.org/cohn05062008.html

yoo is an embarassment to boalt hall. war crimes enabler as law professor? wow


My personal opinion is that he's the greatest thing since sliced bread. So, so much for personal opinions.

johnlee24
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:02 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby johnlee24 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:06 pm

SethD2767 wrote:
ommanipadmehum wrote:heres yoo writing 2 weeks after 9/11 http://www.amconmag.com/article/2006/oct/09/00029/
Yoo suggested that “an American attack in South America or Southeast Asia might be a surprise to the terrorists,” since they were expecting the U.S. to target Afghanistan. Yoo assured the White House that “the President’s broad constitutional power ... would allow the President to [take] whatever actions he deems appropriate to pre-empt or respond to terrorist threats from new quarters.”
so invade columbia to keep bin-laden off balance?

yoo at a debate with a notre dame law prof responding to a question.www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11488.htm

Cassel: If the President deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?
Yoo: No treaty.
Cassel: Also no law by Congress. That is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo.
Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.

scary smart or just scary?

jack goldsmith, a conservative republican who worked at the office of legal counsel on yoos legal analysis:www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/cheney/interviews/goldsmith.html

"Another thing I worried about was the nature of the analysis in the opinions, in addition to their overbreadth. I thought that there were errors in some of the legal arguments, sometimes bad errors. I thought that there were extravagant and unnecessary claims of presidential power that were, again, wildly overbroad to the tasks at hand and had implications for other laws that I just found way too extreme."

more from same interview: (question)... How rare is it that OLC overturned an existing opinion inside the same administration?

(goldsmith)... There was no precedent that I knew of for doing this within an administration. As far as I knew it had never been done, and it had certainly never been done on an issue of this importance. So I really at first didn't know how to proceed. ..."

if his legal reasoning was sound then why would the unprecedented move be made?

yoo broke the law see Marjorie Cohn,president of the National Lawyers Guild, at http://www.counterpunch.org/cohn05062008.html

yoo is an embarassment to boalt hall. war crimes enabler as law professor? wow


My personal opinion is that he's the greatest thing since sliced bread. So, so much for personal opinions.



I absolutely agree--regardless of how you personally feel about the issue, you cannot discount his intelligence or brilliance. How many summa cum laude graduates of Harvard do you personally know? Plus, they're a bunch of f***in terrorists. Who gives a shit, really?

ResIpsaLoquitur
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:07 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby ResIpsaLoquitur » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:12 pm

"HEY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DOES NOT DO STEROID... I MEAN DOES NOT TORTURE"
(they just hire other people in different countries to do it.) - Raphael Palmiero...uh...wait....

SethD2767
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:20 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby SethD2767 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:19 pm

badlydrawn wrote:
topdawg wrote:1. I don't think the case has been made that waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and pushing terrorists into walls that give a little is actually torture. When I think of torture, I think of things like beatings, ripping fingernails off, electrocution, etc (you know, the stuff Saddam was famous for). I personally oppose torture, but what we did was not torture in my opinion.


Fortunately, we do not look to you as the final authority on the definition.


topdawg wrote:2. I guess I went too far on the liberal thing. I guess I can see how the far left would be opposed to rendition. But, I still think the reaction in the media and among liberal organizations is a direct result of Bush being tied to it. Be honest, replace Obama with Bush and imagine how the left and media would react--certainly their would at least be some discussion to the merits of the decision, rather than the overuse of hyperbole (likewise, I imagine more conservatives would be outraged if Obama had ordered the methods rather than Bush)


You think? Let me quickly disabuse you of that notion: you're absolutely wrong. People on the left don't oppose torture (or if you'd prefer, "enhanced interrogation techniques") because its association with the Bush administration, they oppose the Bush administration because of, inter alia, its association with torture. Frankly, I'm tired of people crying "politics" on this issue. People simply care deeply if our government subjects those in our custody to extreme mental and physical pain and, in some cases, death.


I can see now that you have an all-or-nothing approach to this issue. Unfortunately, political life does not afford us with the opportunity to cling to absolute principles (such as a principle opposed to torture). The highest principle in political life is prudence and even then there is a higher principle, a higher prudence, which can call itself into question. Imagine a person on a boat, who shifts his weight from left to right according to how the boat is affected by the waves. If he were to stand still--stand firm, if you prefer--he would be thrown off. It is a similar situation in the case of torture. No one advocates torture in all cases except the extreme; but, you won't even accept it then! To fight a war like gentlemen, I'm afraid, is a luxury that we cannot always afford. In order to save the world from the specter of National Socialism, for instance, we had to in some sense fight like the Nazis. Had we lost, many of our own generals would have likely been tried for crimes against humanity.

User avatar
dresden doll
Posts: 6802
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:11 am

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby dresden doll » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:21 pm

badlydrawn wrote:
topdawg wrote:1. I don't think the case has been made that waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and pushing terrorists into walls that give a little is actually torture. When I think of torture, I think of things like beatings, ripping fingernails off, electrocution, etc (you know, the stuff Saddam was famous for). I personally oppose torture, but what we did was not torture in my opinion.


Fortunately, we do not look to you as the final authority on the definition.


topdawg wrote:2. I guess I went too far on the liberal thing. I guess I can see how the far left would be opposed to rendition. But, I still think the reaction in the media and among liberal organizations is a direct result of Bush being tied to it. Be honest, replace Obama with Bush and imagine how the left and media would react--certainly their would at least be some discussion to the merits of the decision, rather than the overuse of hyperbole (likewise, I imagine more conservatives would be outraged if Obama had ordered the methods rather than Bush)


You think? Let me quickly disabuse you of that notion: you're absolutely wrong. People on the left don't oppose torture (or if you'd prefer, "enhanced interrogation techniques") because its association with the Bush administration, they oppose the Bush administration because of, inter alia, its association with torture. Frankly, I'm tired of people crying "politics" on this issue. People simply care deeply if our government subjects those in our custody to extreme mental and physical pain and, in some cases, death.


Well said. Badlydrawn owns this thread.

aer
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:04 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby aer » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:32 pm

topdawg wrote:3. As far as the ideals that our country was founded on....go read a little history. Look at how we treated Tories, Native Americans, African Americans, etc. Look at Sherman and the South during the Civil War or the use of napalm in Vietnam. Honestly, the tactics that the Bush Administration used were far more humane and limited than those used during most, if not all, previous wars. War is hell and there are definitely moral gray areas. The Founding Fathers provided Constitutional protections for American citizens, but failed to do so for foreign combatants, so I fail to see what ideals you are talking about (I am not saying upholding certain values or ideals is wrong, I am simply saying that the country was not founded on some ideal that limited the ability of the country to defend itself from outside attack). Do you honestly think they would have opposed dipping someone's head in water? I am not accusing you of this by any means, but it is the outrage in the media and on the left about how waterboarding is pretty much the worst thing we have ever done that reveals that hate of the Bush administration has everything to do with this discussion. As a nation, we have done a lot of bad things in our history (and plenty of good things as well), but this is a small blip in comparison with most of those things. Honestly, the fact that we exercised such restraint with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed when he hinted at future attacks demonstrates an amazing level of respect for human rights.


The ideals this country was founded on include the idea that all people deserve rights and protections. The fact that these ideals have not always been followed does not change the fact that we should follow them and when the government fails to they should be held accountable.

That said, even though I am repulsed by Yoo and his legal opinion, since his actions don't meet Berkeley's requirements for firing him he should not be fired. However, he should be disbarred and prosecuted.

Tacitus
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:14 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby Tacitus » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:33 pm

Esc wrote:Berkeley should fire him and he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He willingly and knowingly broke the law. He needs to, at the very least, go to jail.

Yoo is one of the reasons I did not consider going to Berkeley. I would not pay money to a school that would employ such a man.


Which one(s)? Serious question.

Tacitus
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:14 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby Tacitus » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:40 pm

JJim1919 wrote:
Lowndes wrote:
Tave wrote:
Esc wrote:He willingly and knowingly broke the law.


Which law would that be?


Yes, please state the law he broke.


He broke the Convention Against Torture, which was signed by the US, and ratified as law. The question is, of course, whether water boarding and the stress positions actually constitute torture. Nevertheless, as my previous post states, he would have to be found guilty in a criminal court before he could be ousted from berkeley.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nat ... ies_of_CAT


"Part I (Articles 1-16) defines torture (Article 1), and commits parties to taking effective measures to prevent any act of torture in any territory under their jurisdiction (Article 2). These include ensuring that torture is a criminal offence (Article 4), establishing jurisdiction over acts of torture committed by or against a party's citizens (Article 5), ensuring that torture is an extraditable offence (Article 8), and establishing universal jurisdiction to try cases of torture where an alleged torturer cannot be extradited (Article 5)."

We basically promised to pass some laws, but did we? Again, serious question so that I can look at our current statutes. There was no model code attached to this Convention, and there would have to be a separate Act passed by Congress to give it statutory teeth.

Edit: Found link to Cornell's LII in thread. Never mind.
Last edited by Tacitus on Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SethD2767
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:20 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby SethD2767 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:42 pm

dresden doll wrote:
badlydrawn wrote:
topdawg wrote:1. I don't think the case has been made that waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and pushing terrorists into walls that give a little is actually torture. When I think of torture, I think of things like beatings, ripping fingernails off, electrocution, etc (you know, the stuff Saddam was famous for). I personally oppose torture, but what we did was not torture in my opinion.


Fortunately, we do not look to you as the final authority on the definition.


topdawg wrote:2. I guess I went too far on the liberal thing. I guess I can see how the far left would be opposed to rendition. But, I still think the reaction in the media and among liberal organizations is a direct result of Bush being tied to it. Be honest, replace Obama with Bush and imagine how the left and media would react--certainly their would at least be some discussion to the merits of the decision, rather than the overuse of hyperbole (likewise, I imagine more conservatives would be outraged if Obama had ordered the methods rather than Bush)


You think? Let me quickly disabuse you of that notion: you're absolutely wrong. People on the left don't oppose torture (or if you'd prefer, "enhanced interrogation techniques") because its association with the Bush administration, they oppose the Bush administration because of, inter alia, its association with torture. Frankly, I'm tired of people crying "politics" on this issue. People simply care deeply if our government subjects those in our custody to extreme mental and physical pain and, in some cases, death.


Well said. Badlydrawn owns this thread.


She reminds me of Colonel Blimp.

Tacitus
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:14 pm

Re: Should Berkeley Fire John Yoo???

Postby Tacitus » Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:06 pm

18 U.S.C. §2340

As used in this chapter—
(1) “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
(2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—
(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
(B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
(C) the threat of imminent death; or
(D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality; and
(3) “United States” means the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the commonwealths, territories, and possessions of the United States.

That's pretty inclusive language--hate to admit it. And with the threat of imminent death produced by water-boarding (would it really work if the detainee knew that each time the operative would bring him/her back up?), this looks to fit neatly within §2340's confines.

Another instance of the Bush Administration bending the rules when it could have just played by them--Cf. FISA Court & wire-tapping warrants.

Although, the utilitarian in me thinks that roughing up a terrorist to save thousands of lives in LA and elsewhere just might be worth it, but the universalist in me says the most powerful country in the world using people as means to an end just might set a bad example. I think the truth is somewhere in between those two. We definitely can't put up terrorists in Hotel Fed with a lawyer, full-service gym and Internet access and expect them to spill the beans--but we also can't attach electrodes to genitals, tear off finger-nails, etc...

Long story short, the only reasons I can see for water-boarding not being labeled out-and-out torture (and prosecuted as such) are public policy considerations, which the CIA, to its credit, attempted to understand and comply with by holding briefings with key U.S. Congressmen and Congresswomen--including Nancy Pelosi.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: taxman14 and 5 guests