Tag: John Yoo

9th Circuit Rules John Yoo has Immunity in Torture Suits

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a district court ruling that the lawsuit filed by former detainee Jose Padilla can proceed against Bush Administration official John Yoo, who authored the infamous torture memos.

The memos authorized CIA interrogators to use waterboarding, keep detainees naked, hold them in painful standing positions and keep them in the cold for long periods of time. Other techniques included depriving them of solid food and slapping them. Sleep deprivation, prolonged shackling and threats to a detainee’s family were also used.


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Hypocritical Prosecution for War-Crimes in Miami

From the Guardian...

The American-born son of former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor has been ordered to pay more than £14m in compensation to five people tortured during the West African country's civil war.

A judge in the US made the order a year after the same Miami court sentenced Charles McArthur Emmanuel Taylor, known as Chuckie, to 97 years in prison for his role in one of Africa's bloodiest chapters; he was the first person to be convicted by a federal court of committing offences outside the US.

The 32-year-old led the notorious Anti-Terrorist Unit, a band of pro-government paramilitaries nicknamed the Demon Forces who carried out murder and torture during his father's presidency from 1997 to 2003.

Witnesses at his criminal trial in 2008 spoke of hearing him laugh as prisoners were abused and how the Anti-Terrorist Unit "did things like beating people to death, burying them alive, rape - the most horrible kind of war crimes".

A spokesman for United States immigration and customs enforcement said that it was a "clear message the US would not be a safe haven for human rights violators."

The US isn't a safe haven for war-criminals?


Remember these fine words from Barack Obama?

In releasing these memos, it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution.

And Eric Holder...

In releasing these memos, it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution.

The torture memos from Bybee and Yoo cover everybody else, and Bybee and Yoo aren't guilty either! It was just a "bad judgement!"


Everybody walks! Nobody goes to jail!

So forget about the "clear message the US would not be a safe haven for human rights violators."

The real message for the torturers of tomorrow is...

Get some wh*re of lawyer (like John Yoo) in your local DOJ to opine that whatever you do is legal, and then you can chop up your victims with no more fear of prosecution than if you were chopping onions.

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Final OPR Report to Clear Yoo and Bybee on Torture Memos

The Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility report on whether the authors of the Bush era torture memos violated professional ethical standards is going to reverse course and absolve John Yoo and Jay Bybee of wrongdoing. Now, it will say they simply exercised poor judgment.

Newsweek broke the story. How the change came about: [More...]

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John Yoo Defends Himself

John Yoo defends himself against malpractice allegations in the Inspector General report on warrantless electronic surveillance in an op-ed today's Wall St. Journal, Why We Endorsed Warrantless Wiretaps. He says the IG report " ignores history and plays politics with the law."

Anonymous Liberal breaks it down and says Yoo is not being truthful. (h/t to Peter Daou's tweet.)

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Judge Rules Jose Padilla Can Sue John Yoo in Torture Suit

U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White in San Francisco yesterday ruled Jose Padilla can sue former Bush terror policy maker John Yoo.

Mr. Padilla was held as an “enemy combatant” in solitary confinement for more than three years in the Navy brig in Charleston, S.C. Mr. Padilla, who was convicted of supporting terrorism and other crimes, demands that Mr. Yoo be held accountable for actions that Mr. Padilla claims led to his being tortured.

....In the 42-page ruling, Judge Jeffrey S. White of Federal District Court in San Francisco characterized the conflict as one that embodies the tension “between the requirements of war and the defense of the very freedoms that war seeks to protect.”

Judge White refused all but one of Yoo's immunity claims, finding "Yoo set in motion a series of events that resulted in the deprivation of Padilla’s constitutional rights.”

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John Yoo's Interview: His iPhone Contents and Gym

The Orange County Register yesterday interviewed John Yoo. Of all the questions I might have for him, what's on his iPhone would not be one. Nor do I care that he's been getting in shape by going to the same gym as Kobe Bryant.

As for whether he has any regrets about the torture memos he authored, he mentions one: that they were published. Not because of their content, but he would have "polished them differently." He adds, " I don't think I would have made the basic decisions differently."

This interview is a joke.

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David Addington and John Yoo Testify on Torture

David Addington, Dick Cheney's former legal counsel and current Chief of Staff (post Scooter Libby) testified before a House subcommittee today on the Administration's interrogation practices and torture.

Crooks and Liars has some thoughts as well as videos of Addington's testimony and the law profs at Balkanization have lots to say about John Yoo's testimony.

Human Rights First has the lowlights of both men's testimony. John Yoo's prepared testimony is here.

In other torture news, the American Civil Liberties Union is calling on the United States government "to appoint an independent prosecutor for U.S. torture crimes, to put an end to practices that involve torture and abuse and to fulfill its obligations under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). "

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Justice Dept Releases John Yoo Torture Memo

The Justice Department today released John Yoo's 2003 torture memo to Congress. This is the infamous memo that the Bush Administration relied on in justifying it's "harsh interrorgation techniques" on prisoners overseas. This was the memo that was in force when the Abu Ghraib detainees were subjected to cruel treatment and torture.

Part One of the memo is here, and Part Two is here (pdf.)

Shorter version: Yoo wrote the Constitution is not in play.

In the March 14, 2003 memo, Yoo says the Constitution was not in play with regard to the interrogations because the Fifth Amendment (which provides for due process of law) and the Eighth Amendment (which prevents the government from employing cruel and usual punishment) does "not extend to alien enemy combatants held abroad.":

The memo goes on to explain that federal criminal statutes regarding assault and other crimes against the body don't apply to authorized military interrogations overseas and that statutes that do apply to the conduct of U.S. officials abroad pertaining to war crimes and torture establish a limited obligation on the part of interrogators to refrain from bodily harm.

The memo also says the Geneva Conventions don't apply al-Qaida and the Taliban. [More...]

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