Prof. John C. Yoo Esq.
February 2010: "The department's Office of Professional Responsibility, an internal affairs unit, concluded that former department lawyers John C. Yoo and Jay S. Bybee had committed misconduct in preparation of the memos. But the OPR was overruled by Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis, a 40-year department veteran, who downgraded the recommendation and found that Yoo and Bybee had displayed poor judgment."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/26/AR2010022603765.html
May 2009: "A complaint filed last year against Mr. Yoo, a Berkeley law professor who remains a member of the Pennsylvania bar, was rejected by that state’s bar association, in part because the Justice Department was already investigating Mr. Yoo’s role in the interrogation memorandums."http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/us/19detain.html
June 2008: "In the next few weeks, the House Judiciary Committee is expected to hear testimony on interrogation from John Ashcroft, the former attorney general; John Yoo, the former Justice Department official who wrote legal opinions justifying harsh methods in 2002 and 2003; David S. Addington, chief of staff and legal adviser to Mr. Cheney; and Douglas J. Feith, the former under secretary of defense."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/11/washington/11detain.html
April 2008: 'It sounds awful, and it's almost possible to see John Yoo as the brave individual willing to green-light aggressive interrogation amid all that paralysis. But in hindsight, Yoo has proven himself to be a one-man argument for the wisdom of "lawfare." Those same forces that constrain the executive from acting boldly in a crisis may also keep it from behaving in ways that later shock the conscience. If it's a choice between sober legal reflection and unhinged prisoner abuse, sober reflection also has its advantages.'http://www.slate.com/id/2188008/
April 2008: "Sent to the Pentagon's general counsel on March 14, 2003, by John C. Yoo, then a deputy in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, the memo provides an expansive argument for nearly unfettered presidential power in a time of war. It contends that numerous laws and treaties forbidding torture or cruel treatment should not apply to U.S. interrogations in foreign lands because of the president's inherent wartime powers."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/01/AR2008040102213.html
February 2008: 'The August 2002 memo was addressed to Gonzales, then the White House counsel, and was signed by Jay S. Bybee, then the head of the Office of Legal Counsel and now a federal appeals court judge in San Francisco. The memo's main writer was one of Bybee's deputies, John Yoo, now a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley. The memo was formally withdrawn in 2004 by Jack L. Goldsmith, who succeeded Bybee as head of OLC. Goldsmith concluded that legal opinions on the NSA program, torture and other issues were fundamentally flawed and told the Senate last year that the memos created "a legal mess."'http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/22/AR2008022201643.html
October 2007: That opinion, which would become infamous as “the torture memo” after it was leaked, was written largely by John Yoo, a young Berkeley law professor serving in the Office of Legal Counsel. His broad views of presidential power were shared by Mr. Addington, the vice president’s adviser. Their close alliance provoked John Ashcroft, then the attorney general, to refer privately to Mr. Yoo as Dr. Yes for his seeming eagerness to give the White House whatever legal justifications it desired, a Justice Department official recalled.http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/04/washington/04interrogate.html
October 2006: Much of the debate over interrogation methods has focused on the harshest tactics, like simulated drowning, also called waterboarding, says Mr. Yoo, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law. But interrogators can choose from a range of less extreme tactics, like the kinds of methods used during military basic training, Yoo says. The key is that tactics must not cause 'serious physical or mental harm,' he says.http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1019/p02s01-usju.html
February 2006: John Yoo, the former Justice Department official whose writings justified the administration's treatment of military prisoners and the National Security Agency eavesdropping program, announced that Congress's warmaking powers are just a figment of the 'popular imagination.'http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/22/AR2006022202306.html
December 2005: Author of The Powers of War and Peace: The Constitution and Foreign Affairs after 9/11http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/25/AR2005122500570.html
December 2005: "The NSA program highlights an ongoing and often tense legal debate over the boundaries of presidential power. John Yoo, the former Justice Department lawyer whose legal opinion helped support the creation of the NSA surveillance program, was also instrumental in the preparation of other memos that argued that Bush had nearly unfettered authority in areas related to the war on terrorism."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/16/AR2005121601825.html
Role Name Type Last Updated Supporter of (past or present) American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, The (AEI) Organization Dec 26, 2005 Member of (past or present) Federalist Society, The (for Law and Public Policy Studies) Organization Oct 4, 2007 Student/Trainee (past or present) Harvard University Organization Dec 26, 2005 Organization Executive (past or present) Justice Department/Department of Justice (DOJ) Organization Dec 18, 2005 Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) Organization Dec 26, 2005 Member of (past or present) Republican Party (U.S.) / Republican National Committee Organization Dec 26, 2005 Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) University of California - Berkeley (UC Berkeley) Organization Dec 18, 2005 Cooperation (past or present) David S. Addington Esq. Person Oct 4, 2007 Colleague/Co-worker of (past or present) John R. Bolton Esq. Person Dec 26, 2005 Supported by (past or present) Robert H. Bork Esq. Person Dec 26, 2005 Subordinate of (past or present) Judge Jay S. Bybee Esq. Person Feb 25, 2008 Opponent (past or present) Prof. David D. Cole Esq. Person Dec 26, 2005 Friend (past or present) Prof. Jack Landman Goldsmith Esq. Person Oct 4, 2007 Subordinate of (past or present) Sen. Orrin Grant Hatch Esq. Person Dec 26, 2005 Friend (past or present) Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia Person Dec 26, 2005 Subordinate of (past or present) Judge Laurence H. Silberman Person Dec 26, 2005 Subordinate of (past or present) Justice Clarence Thomas Person Dec 26, 2005
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Feb 27, 2010 Inquiry sought into disappearance of e-mails in interrogations case
QUOTE: Senior Democratic lawmakers and watchdog groups demanded Friday that the Justice Department investigate the disappearance of e-mail messages written by Bush administration lawyers who drafted memos blessing harsh interrogation tactics, saying their absence cast doubt on an ethics report that cleared the lawyers of professional misconduct.
Washington Post Aug 25, 2009 Our laws condone torture: Investigations into torture can only do so much. The U.S. needs laws that more clearly forbid brutality
QUOTE: It is the ambiguity of U.S. law on these matters that allowed John Yoo to offer those bizarre opinions, as White House counsel, as to what interrogators could do. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is toothless and largely ineffectual except as a vague set of ideals. It needn't be that way.
Salon Jul 10, 2009 Bush’s Secret NSA Spying May Have Tainted Prosecutions, Report Warns (Threat Level Privacy, Crime and Security Online)
QUOTE: The Justice Department needs to investigate whether the secretiveness of Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program tainted terrorism prosecutions by hiding exculpatory evidence from defendants, an oversight report from five inspectors general warned Friday.
Wired Jun 19, 2009 Compensation Nation: It's time to formally compensate the victims of overzealous counterterrorism policies.
QUOTE: What are we doing to compensate the people harmed by our overbroad security policies? Shouldn't a national accounting do more than just burnish our nation's standing—and make up to those actually harmed by overzealous counterterrorism policies?
Slate May 18, 2009 Advocacy Groups Seek Disbarment of Ex-Bush Administration Lawyers
QUOTE: A coalition of left-wing advocacy groups filed legal ethics complaints on Monday against 12 former Bush administration lawyers, including three United States attorneys general, whom the groups accuse of helping to justify torture. The coalition, called Velvet Revolution, asked the bar associations in four states and the District of Columbia to disbar the lawyers...
New York Times Jun 27, 2008 Two Testify on Memo Spelling Out Interrogation
QUOTE: Two Bush administration lawyers who provided important legal justification for harsh interrogation methods that critics denounce as torture made a rare public appearance on Thursday to defend their actions...Both men made clear that a controversial torture memorandum of Aug. 1, 2002, was reviewed at the White House and in the office of Attorney General John Ashcroft and was by no means a renegade initiative of Mr. Yoo, its chief author. The memorandum, which said pain had to reach the level produced by “death or organ failure” to be illegal torture, was later withdrawn.
New York Times Jun 11, 2008 Elusive Starting Point on Harsh Interrogations (News Analysis)
QUOTE: In a flurry of oversight that some critics say comes years too late, Congress is pressing Bush administration officials on a still-unanswered question: How did the United States come to embrace harsh interrogation methods it had always shunned?
New York Times Apr 02, 2008 Memo: Laws Didn't Apply to Interrogators: Justice Dept. Official in 2003 Said President's Wartime Authority Trumped Many Statutes
QUOTE: "If a government defendant were to harm an enemy combatant during an interrogation in a manner that might arguably violate a criminal prohibition, he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the al Qaeda terrorist network," [John C.] Yoo wrote. "In that case, we believe that he could argue that the executive branch's constitutional authority to protect the nation from attack justified his actions."
Washington Post Apr 02, 2008 Yoo Talkin' to Me? Plausible deniability, and other reasons why warfare by midlevel legal memoranda is a really bad idea.
QUOTE: What's going to happen to John Yoo is pretty much what has happened to every other lawyer who ever offered a plausible-sounding legal opinion about how to break the laws in pursuing the war on terror. Nothing. He was just doing his job. The worst thing that will happen to Yoo may be that he has to teach the dreaded 8:30 a.m. Friday class at Berkeley next year. It's the lawyers who wrote the "no" memos who lost their jobs.
Slate Feb 23, 2008 Justice Probes Authors Of Waterboarding Memos
QUOTE: An internal watchdog office at the Justice Department is investigating whether Bush administration lawyers violated professional standards by issuing legal opinions that authorized the CIA to use waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques...
Washington Post Oct 04, 2007 Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations
QUOTE: But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.
New York Times May 17, 2007 Nixon Rides Again: It's only illegal when the president agrees it's illegal.
QUOTE: The story isn't who picked on a sick guy or even who did or didn't break laws. The story is who gets to decide what's legal. And the president's now-familiar claim, a la Richard Nixon, is that it's never illegal when he does it.
Slate Oct 19, 2006 Torture of detainees? No. 'Coercion'? It depends. New detainee law gives the White House and the CIA most – but not all – of the authority they wanted for interrogations.
QUOTE: legal and other experts say the new law does not give the White House - and the CIA - the clear and broad authorization the president had requested....What the president won was a congressional endorsement of the concept of using coercive interrogations - provided the techniques are not too extreme.
Christian Science Monitor Feb 23, 2006 A War of Words: 'Declare' vs. 'Make' and Its Allies
QUOTE: "I don't think if you look at the constitutional text carefully that it carries that expansive reach," he asserted. "Note that the declare-war clause uses the word 'declare.' It doesn't use the word 'begin,' 'make,' 'authorize,' 'wage' or 'commence' war." Thus did Yoo reduce Congress's warmaking authority to a ceremonial role, much like its authority to declare a national Boy Scout recognition month.
Washington Post Dec 26, 2005 Scholar Stands by Post-9/11 Writings On Torture, Domestic Eavesdropping: Former Justice Official Says He Was Interpreting Law, Not Making Policy
QUOTE: Widely considered the intellectual architect of the most dramatic assertion of White House power since the Nixon era, he has seen constitutional scholars skewer his reasoning and students call for his ouster from the University of California at Berkeley. Civil liberties advocates were appalled by a memo he helped draft on torture. The State Department's chief legal adviser at the time called his analysis of the Geneva Conventions "seriously flawed." Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote, in a critique of administration views espoused by Yoo, "a state of war is not a blank check for the President when it comes to the rights of the Nation's citizens."
Washington Post Dec 17, 2005 On Hill, Anger and Calls for Hearings Greet News of Stateside Surveillance
QUOTE: Congressional leaders of both parties called for hearings and issued condemnations yesterday in the wake of reports that President Bush signed a secret order in 2002 allowing the National Security Agency to spy on hundreds of U.S. citizens and other residents without court-approved warrants.
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