Talk:John C. Yoo
I created John Choon Yoo, without realising this stub existed.
- merged Artificial Intelligence 08:27, 3 January 2007 (EST)
A Legal Theory of Justified Torture
John Choon Yoo is a law professor from the University of California, Berkeley, who is credited with penning one of the torture memos at the behest of Douglas Feith at the Pentagon, who was unhappy with the military's attitude regarding the legal standing of Afghanistan captives. Yoo has also been cited as a source of extensive input during the creation of the Patriot Bill. He has vocally defended the concept of a President's constitutional right to detain humans without due-process of law for indeterminate lengths of time, and believes that the Supreme Court has overstepped their authority deciding that these detainees deserve access to Federal Courts.
The "memo" is actually a forty-two page report in which a determination was made that the Taliban Government in Afghanistan was a "failed government", undeserving of the Geneva Conventions' protection and foreign fighters within Afghanistan were not soldiers, and as such were not covered under the accords either. Counsels for both the State Department and the Military vigorously disagreed with the determination, but it was embraced by the Bush Adminstration anyway.
Protests Calling for Yoo's Censure
At the UC, Berkeley Law School commencement cermony on May 22, 2004, it was reported that one quarter of the graduating class wore armbands protesting Yoo. There have opinions expressed and petitions circulated at Berkeley calling for his censure and even the revocation of tenure by university reagents. His Feb. 7, 2005 speech at UC Irvine’s University Club, was repeatedly interrupted by persons in the audience. It is the same tactics used against Ward Churchill with only a change in political polarity. A main difference is that Yoo's musings became government policy, while Churchill's have changed little of America's foreign policy, if anything at all. Still, believers in free speech should be greatly troubled by the attempts to remove both professors for their written commentaries.
Yoo remains unapologetic for his role in creating a legal justification for the environment of abuse. He claims that the world changed on 911, and the Geneva conventions' protection of detainees was untenable when dealing with terrorists. Very few of his arguments supporting this position are grounded in constitutional law. Most are anecdotal and rely upon the American government's previous wartime behaviours, even ones which were subsequently determined to be unconstitutional.
Yoo is not simply a modern conservative yes man. Prior to the 2000 election, he stated, to a much more limited degree, that Bill Clinton, in his position of United States President, had a right to engage in the War on Serbia without Congressional approval. He also has publicly declared that mistreatment of prisoners in Iraq is unequivocally a violation of Genveva Conventions not covered in his determination, and has recently written that a constitutional ammendment banning same sex marriage is ill-advised and not pure conservative ideology. This determination should be left up to each individual state.