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I'm really not the best person (not by a long shot) to write up this diary, as I have zero legal training except being dragged through 4 years of a custody battle.  My only qualification is that I don't like John Yoo.  I don't like that he is a UC Berkeley law professor educating our country's future lawyers.  I don't like his lack of decency and integrity, and I really don't like his lies.  

So, as your talking-head let me present Yoo's 8/19/06 Los Angeles Times OpEd column:


John Choon Yoo, the principal legal author in expanding presidential powers and undermining the Geneva Convention, was at the ready with pen in hand when the Bush administration pushed the British to prematurely expose the recent UK terror plot.  Not one to pass up an opportunity to fuck with the Constitution, Yoo lavishes a little ink on a lie:

...British law enforcement can more easily initiate investigations and obtain search warrants than their American counterparts.

More inky lies:

But increasing detention time or making warrants easier to come by merely extends an old-fashioned approach to catching terrorists. These tools require individualized suspicion and "probable cause"; police must have evidence of criminal activity in hand. Such methods did not prevent 9/11, and stopping terrorists, who may have no criminal record, requires something more.

And more ink, more lies:

American efforts to develop sophisticated data-mining abilities died early in 2003, when criticism killed the Defense Department's Total Information Awareness program. The idea was to develop mining techniques to compare information in government and commercial databases. Civil libertarians engaged in a scare campaign representing the TIA as an unchecked Big Brother. Congress cut off all funding for the program. It was a political defeat early in the war on terrorism, and the president retreated as fast as he could.

Authoritarianism isn't a concept deeply recessed in Yoo's mind, but right in front.  Selling it to the nation requires a bit of a snow job, but Yoo is up for the challenge.  Read the whole column for his evil talking points:

To wrap up my presentation, I'll leave you with...oops!, a John Yoo hybrid blend of truthy-lie:

Right now, we're fighting terror with one hand behind our back by refusing to exploit data-mining tools. [only some of us are refusing] London's success should serve notice that we must use our technological sophistication and reject the sky-is-falling claims of the extreme civil libertarians.

Originally posted to goodasgold on Sun Aug 20, 2006 at 02:22 PM PDT.


Does John Yoo:

61%11 votes
11%2 votes
27%5 votes

| 18 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  This man has aided and abetted (9+ / 0-)

    in taking away my personal rights and has muddied our good name.  An amazing feat for someone under the age of 40.

    I drew a circle. It was blue. And it turned into a circle of gold.

    by goodasgold on Sun Aug 20, 2006 at 02:16:21 PM PDT

    •  And he claims to know more about the (0+ / 0-)

      intent of the Founding Fathers than historians and others who've studied them for decades longer than he's been alive.
       I'm not a Con law expert, but I do know a bit about the Founding Fathers, one in particular.

      My Karma just ran over your Dogma

      by FoundingFatherDAR on Sun Aug 20, 2006 at 03:33:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  John Yoo should be one of those rounded up (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bayside, skywriter, goodasgold, possum

    and held without bail until his trial.
    He is the author of unitary executive policies, a subversive attempt to overthrow the rule of law.
    Maybe we should write to the University where he works and ask them to can his ass.
    A guy who was the architect of an anti-republican legal theory doesn't belong in a university teaching law.
    It's like having a child molestor teaching pre-school.

    •  In the middle of the night, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      abw, bayside, skywriter

      Ted Morgan, author of My Battle of Algiers: A Memoir on CSpan Book TV.  He was comparing the futility of the Iraq war to the Battle of Algiers, and he mentioned the efforts to have Yoo removed from Berkeley.  Even half asleep, I got all excited until I realized that the CSpan program was recorded in March.  I think it is safe to assume, the effort came to naught.

      His professorship at Berkeley is right at the top of bad ideas along with Kenneth Starr at Pepperdine.  Both teach Constitutional Law.

      I drew a circle. It was blue. And it turned into a circle of gold.

      by goodasgold on Sun Aug 20, 2006 at 02:47:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pepperdine admits its right baggage (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and slobbers over Richard Mellon Scaife money.

        UC Berkeley is a publicly supported university.

        Massive difference.

        The New York Times
        December 18, 2005
        This Call May Be Monitored ...

        In Friday's Times, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau reported that sometime in 2002, President Bush signed a secret executive order scrapping a painfully reached, 25-year-old national consensus: spying on Americans by their government should generally be prohibited, and when it is allowed, it should be regulated and supervised by the courts. The laws and executive orders governing electronic eavesdropping by the intelligence agency were specifically devised to uphold the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures.

        But Mr. Bush secretly decided that he was going to allow the agency to spy on American citizens without obtaining a warrant - just as he had earlier decided to scrap the Geneva Conventions, American law and Army regulations when it came to handling prisoners in the war on terror. Indeed, the same Justice Department lawyer, John Yoo, who helped write the twisted memo on legalizing torture, wrote briefs supporting the idea that the president could ignore the law once again when it came to the intelligence agency's eaves dropping on telephone calls and e-mail messages.

        "The government may be justified in taking measures which in less troubled conditions could be seen as infringements of individual liberties," he wrote.

        Let's be clear about this: illegal government spying on Americans is a violation of individual liberties, whether conditions are troubled or not. Nobody with a real regard for the rule of law and the Constitution would have difficulty seeing that. The law governing the National Security Agency was written after the Vietnam War because the government had made lists of people it considered national security threats and spied on them. All the same empty points about effective intelligence gathering were offered then, just as they are now, and the Congress, the courts and the American people rejected them....

        Here's a long article on who Yoo is:
        and if that link goes bad, it's also here:

    •  Here's one to make your head spin (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bayside, goodasgold

      John Yoo is also a member of the "Distinguished Scholars Advisory Panel" at ... wait for it ...

      The National Constitution Center

      Within a stone's throw of Ben Franklin's grave, the Liberty Bell, etc. It turns my stomach.

      Speaking as a scientist, etc.
      12,390+ days without shooting anybody in the face.

      by abw on Sun Aug 20, 2006 at 03:10:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The ironic quote marks that gall me most of all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    These tools require individualized suspicion and "probable cause"; police must have evidence of criminal activity in hand. Such methods did not prevent 9/11, and stopping terrorists, who may have no criminal record, requires something more.

    That other boldface part is also sickening. What could "something more" mean? Hmm....

    A dictator?
    Thought police?
    Psychic police?
    Breaking a few eggs?

    I quote this column every time Yoo (or one of that crowd) pukes up another bolus of this unamerican crap. From reformed Watergate criminal, John W. Dean:

    The co-author of the memo was Bybee's deputy, John Yoo, now a law professor at Berkeley's Boalt Hall Law School.


    In fact, not a single person connected, or formerly connected, with the Bush Administration has, to my knowledge, publicly defended the memo -- with the single exception of Bybee's co-author, law professor John Yoo.

    Little wonder. There is good reason to keep a distance from this memo. It is "smoking gun"-level evidence of a war crime.


    Other international law, and law of war, experts tell me that Bybee's memo (not to mention a few others) is damning evidence suggesting a common plan on the part of the Administration to violate the laws of war. Strikingly, such a "common plan," or conspiracy, is itself a war crime.

    And the guy who signed off on the memo, Jay Bybee, currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He should be a federal judge.

    Speaking as a scientist, etc.
    12,390+ days without shooting anybody in the face.

    by abw on Sun Aug 20, 2006 at 03:04:14 PM PDT

  •  Communism? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Mother Nature bats last.

    by pigpaste on Sun Aug 20, 2006 at 03:15:26 PM PDT

  •  Wonder what George Lakoff is doing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to get his fellow Cal professor called on the carpet.  Though the law school is probably independent enough it doesn't have to answer to other departments.

    Terence Chea, "Berkeley Professor Denounced for POW Memo," (,0, ory?coll=sns-ap-nation-headlines) Newsday, May 23, 2004: "Some graduating University of California law students used their commencement Saturday to denounce a professor who helped the Bush administration develop a legal framework that critics say led to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. ... About one-quarter of the 270 graduates of Berkeley's Boalt School of Law donned red armbands over their black robes in a silent protest of a legal memo law professor John Yoo co-wrote when he served in the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. ... Outside the ceremony, they also passed out fliers denouncing Yoo for 'aiding and abetting war crimes.' Yoo said beforehand he didn't plan to attend the graduation. ... A petition signed by nearly 200 law students and alumni since Thursday alleges that Yoo's memo 'contributed directly to the reprehensible violation of human rights in Iraq and elsewhere.' ... The student petition urges Yoo to repudiate the memo, declare his opposition to torture and encourage the Bush administration to comply with the Geneva Conventions that protect the rights of prisoners of war. Otherwise, he should resign, the petition says. ... Yoo said he had no plans to resign."

    Most troubling for Yoo's thesis, his account renders the power to "declare War" a meaningless formality. At the time of the Constitution's drafting, a formal "declaration of war" was not necessary for the exercise of war powers under either domestic or international law, so Yoo's hypothesis that the declaration served that purpose fails. Yoo's further suggestion that the clause recognizes a distinction between "total wars," which must be declared, and lesser wars, which need not be, has no historical basis. Despite his ostensible commitment to originalism, Yoo cites no evidence whatever to suggest that any such distinction existed for the founding generation. Nor does he ever explain what the distinction might mean today. And the fact that the text grants Congress both the power to "declare War" and to issue "Letters of Marque and Reprisal" strongly suggests an intent that Congress decide on all forms of military conflict other than repelling attacks. Once these explanations evaporate, all that is left for Yoo's theory of the war clause is that it gives Congress the power to provide a "courtesy to the enemy" -- hardly a persuasive refutation of the clear language of the framers quoted above.

     A Consideration of John Yoo's The Powers of War and Peace: The Constitution and Foreign Affairs After 9/11

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Sun Aug 20, 2006 at 03:26:42 PM PDT

    •  Ahhh, that's the name, Lakoff, that (0+ / 0-)

      Ted Morgan mention last night on CSpan Book TV.  According to Morgan, Lakoff drafted a letter and sent it to all of the law professors.  The Book TV segment was filmed back in March.  As I mention in a comment above, Lakoff's efforts must have been futile, as Yoo is still at Berkeley.

      I drew a circle. It was blue. And it turned into a circle of gold.

      by goodasgold on Sun Aug 20, 2006 at 03:42:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Would love to see Yoo deported.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Yoo is an american citizen? Hope when war crimes day comes, Yoo is right there with most of 109th..

  •  Yoo, Addington, Gonzales (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goodasgold, possum

    The Moe, Shemp, and Curley of torture.

    But remember, Gonzales is pushing for new rules to allow people to be imprisoned (and no doubt tortured) based on hearday evidence. This probably an effort to cover their ass for cases where people have died under interrogation.

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