UC Berkeley’s Torturer

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iraq-abu-ghraib.jpg
I’m late to this particular debate, but I wanted to highlight that there is an effort underway to dislodge John Yoo, one of the key enablers of America’s torture program, from his seat at UC Berkeley’s Law School.
Read this bit in Vanity Fair by Philippe Sands who recently spoke at the New America Foundation and authored The Torture Team: The Rumsfeld Memo and the Betrayal of American Values as well as a post by economist, blogger, and UC Berkeley professor J. Bradford DeLong.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

33 comments on “UC Berkeley’s Torturer

  1. Kathleen says:

    pauline..thanxxx..POA.. you da man and tonyh tooo….Carroll.. where are you? We’re getting too tame or should I say lame?

    Reply

  2. pauline says:

    Criminal Rice at her theatric best yesterday.
    “In her most extensive public comments about how the administration dealt with detainee interrogations in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, and the anthrax attacks that followed, [Condoleezza] Rice insisted the methods of questioning complied with both U.S. law and treaty obligations.”
    “The fact is that after Sept. 11, whatever was legal in the face of not just the attacks of Sept. 11, but the anthrax attacks that happened, we were in an environment in which saving America from the next attack was paramount,” Rice said.
    see —
    http://www.rawstory.com/news/mochila/Rice_defends_post_9_11_interrogatio_05222008.html
    Wow, those 19 arabs with boxcutters and knives sure outflanked us on protecting our major cities with the wondeful [non] work of the FAA. “FAA Believed Second 9/11 Plane Heading Towards NY for Emergency Landing” — google that for more.
    The billions spent pre-9/11 for national security and air safety against terrorists sure paid off handsomely, didn’t it? All those 19 low-tech terrorists needed was boxcutters and knives!
    And criminal Rice daring to mention anthrax again?
    “THE 9/11 ANTHRAX FRAME-UP”
    An Army biological and chemical warfare facility in Utah has been quietly developing a virulent, weapons-grade formulation of anthrax spores since at least 1992, and samples of the bacteria were shipped back and forth between that facility and Fort Detrick, Md. … The Utah spores, grown and processed at the 800,000-acre Dugway Proving Ground about 80 miles from Salt Lake City, belong to the Ames strain — the same strain used in the deadly letters sent to media outlets and two senators in September and October. No other nation is known to have made weapons-grade Ames. [Washington Post]
    The anthrax attacks in the United States were probably the work of a member of a U.S. biological warfare program, the magazine of environment pressure group Greenpeace Germany reported Wednesday. .. “The U.S. delegation believe it is an inside job. … Their members also have more information than has been made public,” Kirsten Brodde, a reporter for the magazine, told Reuters. The magazine said: “It seems the attacker … wanted to force through an increase in the budget for U.S. research on biological weapons.” [Discovery Channel]
    Okay, by now you have probably gotten the point. The Anthrax letters came from inside the United States. The letters contained a specific type of weaponized Anthrax made by a United States military lab which had been claiming for a lot of years that it wasn’t doing that sort of thing any more.
    “What? Oh, you mean THAT Anthrax over there! Sheesh, we thought you said ‘Pamflax’ and shuckies but we quit making that stuff a long time ago. Honest. Really. If we’re lying may God strike us… a glancing blow.”
    (Ahem)
    The pattern of the mailings of the Anthrax letters was also suspicious. Congress got their Anthrax letters just in time for the vote on the disingenuously named USA Patriot Act (aka the anti-terror bill) which the terrorized Senators voted into law without bothering to read. How convenient for the bill’s sponsors that there was a terror attack on the Congress just when Congress was about to vote on the anti-terror bill. Eerie timing, isn’t it?
    “After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Bush Administration tried to ram the USA PATRIOT Act through Congress,” [Francis A.] Boyle said in a radio interview with Austin-based talk-show host Alex Jones. “That would have set up a police state. Senators Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) were holding it up because they realized what this would lead to. The first draft of the PATRIOT Act would have suspended the writ of habeas corpus [which protects citizens from unlawful imprisonment and guarantees due process of law]. Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, come these anthrax attacks.”
    “At the time I myself did not know precisely what was going on, either with respect to September 11 or the anthrax attacks, but then the New York Times revealed the technology behind the letter to Senator Daschle. [The anthrax used was] a trillion spores per gram, [refined with] special electro-static treatment. This is superweapons-grade anthrax that even the United States government, in its openly proclaimed programs, had never developed before. So it was obvious to me that this was from a U.S. government lab. There is nowhere else you could have gotten that.” [AfterDowningStreet]
    So now, knowing that the Anthrax letters came from an American source, take another look at the actual letters (click images for full size).
    There are several indications of deliberate deception in these items.
    A terrorist group seeking the maximum number of casualties would not advertise the fact that the letters contained a biological weapon, they would have enclosed an innocuous letter to ensure maximum spread of the agent – the letters are virtually shouting “seal off the area and get a doctor!”
    The addresses are written at a slight slant, oddly enough matching the look of the posters and flyers at the Post Office warning all America to “watch out for these”. While the letters to Congress are intended to appear to be from fourth graders, the letters to the New York Post and Tom Brokaw have no need for such an artifice.
    Dates written by Middle Easterners begin with the day first, then the month, then the year, therefore the date should read 11-9-2001. The above letters follow the American convention for the dates shown.
    One of the letters is a photocopy of another. Most places which have copiers have typewriters or word processors, appliances whose operation is no mystery to the sort of people who go in and out of government laboratories.
    In short, the entire look of the letters is a contrived fake, creating what they thought a letter from a third world middle eastern terrorist would look like, so that the phrases “Death to Israel”, and “Allah is Great” (a real Muslin says either “Allah Achbar” or “God is Great”) would point the finger of blame for the Anthrax at the middle eastern Arabs.
    Except that we know for a fact that the Anthrax didn’t come from the Middle East. It isn’t Saddam’s or Osama’s, it’s the very best high quality mil-spec Anthrax home grown at Fort Detrick, Dugway, and USAMRIID.
    It’s our Anthrax.
    And that means that all the slanted writing, the extra crossings on the “T”s, the references to Allah and Israel are a carefully crafted hoax, designed to trick Americans into thinking that Arab Muslims from the middle east were to blame for the Anthrax letters.
    The above letters are not evidence of a terrorist attack but of a deception against the people of the United States; a deliberate frame-up of middle eastern Arabs perpetrated by the same party who owns the Anthrax.
    That a plan exists to frame Arab Muslims for the crimes of another party is now a proven fact.
    There are two suspects accused of being the source of the Anthrax letters. The first is Dr. Philip Zack, who was caught on camera entering the storage area where the Anthrax was kept without proper authorization.
    Documents from the inquiry show that one unauthorized person who was observed entering the [Fort Detrick] lab building at night was Langford’s predecessor, Lt. Col. Philip Zack, who at the time no longer worked at Fort Detrick. A surveillance camera recorded Zack being let in at 8:40 p.m. on Jan. 23, 1992, apparently by Dr. Marian Rippy, a lab pathologist and close friend of Zack’s, according to a report filed by a security guard. [ctnow]
    The second suspect is the more well known Dr. Stephen Hatfill, accused (and re-accused and re-accused) by Dr. Barbara Rosenberg although no actual evidence of his involvement has surfaced.
    But regardless of whether one thinks Dr. Zack or Dr. Hatfill is the culprit, neither man is an Arab Muslim, which again means that the above letters, written to appear to be from Arab Muslims, are proof of a plot to frame Arabs for terror attacks in the US. The only question is, did that plot extend to 9-11 itself.
    see —
    whatreallyhappened.com/frameup.html
    Criminal Rice, who are you crappin’?

    Reply

  3. Rusty Rosenberger says:

    By John Yoo’s definition of torture (only that which produces death through organ failure), we must now conclude that Senator John McCain was never tortured in Vietnam as he claims.

    Reply

  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “In my view, ot would be inappropriate to remove professors on the basis of professional advice rendered outside the university. That’s a slippery slope we just don’t want to go down”
    I agree. Surely theres a way that he can continue to teach from his cell at Abu Ghraib. Perhaps teleconferencing. Between his turns at being waterboarded.

    Reply

  5. Mr.Murder says:

    Nuremberg precedent. Lecture us on other topics.
    The man naked bitten by dogs, Yoo made all Americans party to this act. His enabling such acts question his standing in the community of mankind, much less his authority to be considered post for any learning institution.

    Reply

  6. Boalt alum says:

    I’m a Boalt alum. In my view, ot would be inappropriate to remove professors on the basis of professional advice rendered outside the university. That’s a slippery slope we just don’t want to go down. Yoo’s scholarship is well-written, and he’s fantastic in the classroom, willing to mentor students of all sorts of political persuasions.

    Reply

  7. TokyoTom says:

    Steve, certainly Yoo is worthy of attention – but he was just one of many individuals working within the Administration who were happy to enable its worst policies.
    Morevoer, let’s not forget that it was Congress that, after the first of Yoo’s memos, crafted laws at the Administration’s behest that specifically provided legal cover for anyone who relied on a Yoo memo:
    http://michaeldorf.org/2008/04/john-yoo-and-congress.html

    Reply

  8. TonyForesta says:

    Does the Constitition hold any value or veracity or authority in America, or is it just a “goddamn piece of paper”?
    We either live by laws, and particularly our own laws, or we don’t. The Bush government spurns, dismisses, mangles, perverts, betrays, ignores, and repudiates the Constitution, and the rule of law repeatedly and insistently.
    The American landscape is torn and tattered; trillions in debt, monstrous deficits, a housing crisis, a credit crisis, a possible recession, a radically widening divide between thehaves and thehavenots, the bloody costly noendinsight burdens and hazards of the horrorshows in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the socalled neverendingwaronterror – and there are no missions accomplished, and there are no noble causes, and there are no demacracies aborning in the ME, and is no end in combat missions and the queues of soldiers dead or maimed streaming back to the homeland, Obama, Omar, Maktadar, Nasrallah, and many other top commanders remain at large, training, planning, financing, and prosecuting operations countering American objectives.
    The Bush government, and all the appeasers, defenders, excusers, and complicit partisans involved with the Bush government are responsible, culpable and accountable for the many crisis confronting America, and the next leadership.
    Curiously, no matter how costly, bloody, terrible, or unholy the warmaking enterprise might be, the oil, energy, and private military, intelligence, and pr oligarchs, and cronies with deep tentacles into the “Bush Crime Family Cabals”, and the predators, supremists, pathological liars, wanton profiteers and fascists in the Bush government reap obscene outrageous offshore fortunes either way, coming or going, right or wrong.
    IMPEACHMENT is our only hope!

    Reply

  9. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi says:

    The wanton, the barbaric , the demoralised application of the torture laws does sufficienttly serve the evidence that what is the actutal standarad of civic and social moralities that America preaches in the 21st century.

    Reply

  10. TonyForesta says:

    The Bush government, and all their legal appeasers and enablers, and all those in the predator class that aid and abet them, and all the profiteers funneling billions of the peoples dollars into various offshore accounts are supremists and fascists. The Bush government conjures its own laws, and its own rules, and its own universe. Reality, history, facts, basic math are simply dismissed as quaint and irrelevant distractions from the unholy work of neverendingwar and wanton profiteering.
    Yoo, Feith, Addington, the entire Bush government crime family fascists promoting cabals have no place in any legitimate university anywhere on earth, and especially here in the land of Oz. These people should be in jail and their perfidious conduct the study of the academics of ruthless corruption. The Bush government ways and means are anathema to every law and principle that America formally honored, and once defended.
    The Democratic Party perpetrated the most grievous injury to America since Ford pardoning Nixon, by taking IMPEACHMENT off the table.
    Now we all have to pay the terrible price including witnessing our once proud and honorable universities besmirched, shamed, and dishonored by employing the architects of the 4th reich, and the perversion and betrayal of everything that once defined America.
    We are equally responsible for the horrors wrought by the criminals, pathological liars, supremists, wanton profiteers and fascists in the Bush government, – because we allowed these shaitans to commandeer and reengineer America out fear and cowardice.
    The people’s only hope for restoring any legitimacy, credibility, and honor to our once more perfect union is to demand immediate initiation of IMPEACHMENT proceedings against the criminals, pathological liars, supremists, wanton profiteers, and fascists in the Bush government.
    “Deliver us from evil”

    Reply

  11. Paul Norheim says:

    Feeling bored tonight, Tahoe?
    Anything interesting to say about Yoo?
    Or maybe it would be a better idea to watch a movie?

    Reply

  12. Tahoe Editor says:

    arthur: explain to me how “responding in a thoughtful way” jives with “you and anyone who agrees with you are retarded”
    bwahaha
    pardon the “interruption”

    Reply

  13. cebm says:

    Scott Horton at No Comment also has a very good interview with Mr. Sands.

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Honestly, Paul, for the brass tack technicalities and observations about issues such as Yoo and the criminal sanction of criminal acts, I tend to rely on TPMuckraker, ass they are quite adept there at breaking things down to terms that a layman can get ahold of.
    However, it is a hard site emotionally, as it is truly dispiriting to see Conyers jump up and down in indignation, issue subpoenas, then fail to enforce them. He is now threatening Rove with arrest, which will undoubtedly be yet one more empty threat. The same ineffectiveness and lack of “follow through” is evident if one watches the machinations of that little rat faced actor Waxman, who talks hugely and carries a little stick.
    As far as “ten years ago” is concerned, there is a daily parade of egregious abuses of power described on TPMuckraker, that would have certainly been front page news a decade ago, few of which now make it onto the back pages of our nation’s newspapers now.
    To state that “things have gotten worse” over the last decade is a tremendous understatement, and belies the gravity of the current state of the union.

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Anyone that imagines any aspect of current national and international events as being “far better than many imagined 10 years ago” must surely be an advocate for those intent upon dismantling our democracy, killing Muslims, and furthering the aims of the far right zionists and their neocon co-conspirators.
    Its truly telling that when one gets past the cheerleadeing subterfuge of the rabid Hillary supporters, they find rhetoric, motives, alliances, and rationales that closely mirror those of the ruling junta of the last eight years.

    Reply

  16. Paul Norheim says:

    Unfortunately, we got off the track now. Do anybody have
    anything interesting to add to the issue of this post: torture, John
    Yoo, UC Berkeley Law School and things related?

    Reply

  17. john yoo shame on yoo says:

    Shame on Yoo!

    Reply

  18. Paul Norheim says:

    Well, Tahoe,
    in the Huckabee post above this one, there was a commentator
    who said:
    “a few of us astrologers are concerned about this very thing in
    the time window around the end of may – may 31st area…”
    When I saw your comment just after reading about his –
    apparently serious – concern, I just got curious. I mean: I have
    an open mind…
    BTW; the Billy Joel quote may be right in a general sense, but it
    does not contribute to anything regarding the discussion that
    was going on when you interrupted it. If your quote of POA,
    seen isolated, may show that he is painting a somewhat rosy
    picture of the past regarding this issue, this does not imply that
    things have not got much worse during the last years.

    Reply

  19. arthurdecco says:

    It would have done credit to you, Tahoe Editor, if you had managed to respond to POA in a thoughtful way, instead of confirming his worst criticisms of you with your typically vacuous response to any and all criticism. I share his frustration with your questionable character and your unending self-serving braying but unlike him, I’m not very polite.
    Shut up, already! The only people who ever agree with your opinions have IQ’s my shoe size – so what good do you think you’re doing? (Not that I care a whit for what I already know will be a dim-witted answer.)
    Sadly, the only important part of this communication is my exhortation to you to STFU(!) and leave the conversation to the adults in the room. …And ask you to consider what we all could have done with the bandwidth you’ve wasted on this and every other thread you’ve polluted with your contributions.

    Reply

  20. Tahoe Editor says:

    I thought you had nothing to say to me.
    If I believed America was once a nation that “dispensed justice equally among all men,” I’d be pretty pissed off, too.

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I’ve got nuthin’ to say to you, Tahoe. I’m sorry man, but I think you are a total jackass, and a part of the problem, not part of the solution.
    Your cheerleading offends me, as does your “they all do it” attitude. I apologize to Steve for being so candid here towards you, but it is sincere, and exactly how I feel.
    And yes, Tahoe, there was a time when the checks and balances of our system of government at least attempted to rein in governmental abuses of power. But those times are over, thanks in no small part to the ignorant complacent mewlings of a large segment of our population that shares your “they all do it” form of acceptance, coupled with the cowardice and complicity of these posturing frauds like Hillary Clinton, who has made NO substantive attempts to hold the Bush Administration accountable, and has ignored the efforts of those that have sought to pursue accountability.
    So Tahoe, lets just do our best to avoid directly addressing each other, because quite frankly, when I respond to your comments, I feel less than honest if I haven’t told you what a jackass I think you are. And in defference to Steve, and my own enjoyment of this blog site, I would prefer we just agree to disagree, and keep our comments focused away from each other.
    BTW, Tahoe, trust me when I tell you the expletive “jackass” is far less descriptive than I would prefer to be. Again, in defference to Steve, I have tempered my commentary to achieve a degree of civility towards you that I not only do not feel, but consider myself less than honest in attempting.

    Reply

  22. Tahoe Editor says:

    It’s a Billy Joel lyric. Lighten up.
    No doubt the various imagined worlds of the future run the gamut. Today is far worse and far better than many imagined 10 years ago.
    I’m still chuckling at POA’s “We are no longer a nation that dispenses justice equally among all men.”
    Ta

    Reply

  23. Paul Norheim says:

    And Tahoe Editor, isn`t TODAY far worse than most people could
    have imagined 10 years ago?

    Reply

  24. Paul Norheim says:

    POA, focusing on Yoo would at least be a small, but significant
    start. As you say, investigating the events is crucial. But also to
    get a clear picture of the whole machinery, including the highly
    important legal framework.
    In any case: little will happen before the November elections, or
    before Bush leaves office. Thus, I believe the most important
    issue to focus on during the weeks and months from now and
    till january, may be a possible attack against Iran. That
    adventure, which may also take place under McCain or Clinton
    after january 09, may have consequences far worse, and more
    far reaching, than the decision to attack Iraq, especially in
    combination with the consequences of that first adventure.
    BTW, Tahoe Editor — “tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems”… do
    you have access to interesting information regarding the future
    that you are willing to share with the readers of TWN?

    Reply

  25. Tahoe Editor says:

    The good ‘ol days weren’t always good, and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems. Think about that, maybe you won’t be so pissed off.

    Reply

  26. Tahoe Editor says:

    In which decades did the United States “dispense justice equally among all men”? Maybe I wasn’t around.

    Reply

  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Actually, Paul, not only do we need to investigate the players, but we need to get to the bottom of the events as well. I do not believe the wink and a nod we gave to Saddam about his plans for Kuwait were an accident, or unconnected to the series of events since, namely stolen presidential elections, 9/11, the pasasage of the Patriot Act, the politicization of the Justice Department, the invasion of Iraq, and the passage of “signing statements” and executive fiats that even our own Congress do not know the true extent of.
    However, Bush has successfully dismantled the machinery that such investigations might be pursued through, with the willing complicity of our so called “representatives” on both sides of the aisle.
    The United States, as we once purported ourselves to be, is no longer in existence. We are no longer a nation that dispenses justice equally among all men, nor are we a moral leader in the world community. Quite the contrary. I suspect, prior to the November elections, that we will have this point driven home to us in a very painful and enlightening manner. Failing that eventuality, I think that we can rest assurred that the incoming President will emit the same odor that Chavez so accurately discerned while standing before the podium at the UN.

    Reply

  28. Paul Norheim says:

    In other words: I believe that you have to investigate the
    Haldemans, Ehrlichmans, Mitchells, and others of this case, not
    only it`s Nixon, to see the depth and reach of the crimes
    committed against your Constitution. If not, even George W. Bush
    may end up as a scapegoat – and most people will never get a
    clear picture of what really happened to your country.

    Reply

  29. Paul Norheim says:

    “yoo is a reflection of the whole bush admin.. bush/cheney are
    the 2 most responsible and who need to be held accountable..
    anyone else further down the chain while worth pursuing, is still
    not getting at the source of the crap they are responsible for..”
    Yes, and no. Cheney, Addington, Yoo and others constituted a
    team in these crimes. Cheney ordered Yoo to start working on a
    set of crucial legal issues just hours after WTC was destroyed,
    regarding declaration of war, where to put the detainees, their
    legal status, interrogation methods etc. He also suggested that
    the President had the right to do anything to anybody anywhere,
    if he so decided in the fight against the enemies. This indeed
    makes him (and Addington) the perfect “reflection of the whole
    bush admin”, and a window from where you can see their
    crimes clearly. It is also a perfect pedagogic illustration of how a
    country can be destroyed from within.

    Reply

  30. DonS says:

    Such an embarrassment to those lawyers with ethics, in a profession that suffers image problems anyway.

    Reply

  31. ... says:

    yoo is a reflection of the whole bush admin.. bush/cheney are the 2 most responsible and who need to be held accountable.. anyone else further down the chain while worth pursuing, is still not getting at the source of the crap they are responsible for..

    Reply

  32. David Richards says:

    I’ve heard people now refer to Berkeley as “The New School of the
    Americas”. Quite a turnaround from how they were perceived in the
    60s.

    Reply

  33. Dirk says:

    I completely agree with P. Sands’ and B. DeLong’s articles. Yoo’s legal work may be entitled as opinions but they go beyond that to a complicity in a crime.
    It is a tricky thing regarding tenure and freedom of speech but as someone graduated from UCSC I am ashamed to be associated with this “professor” from UCB. Let the dean form a committee to to at least investigate whether he breached his contract.
    Surely if Georgetown can offer a position to D. Feith they have a position for J. Yoo…or perhaps he can just expand his sinecure at AEI.

    Reply

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