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John Yoo

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OPINION
July 2, 2009
In their notorious August 2002 "torture memo," Justice Department officials Jay S. Bybee and John C. Yoo defined torture narrowly as pain associated with "organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death." It was a strained and selective reading of the law, and it was rescinded in 2004 by Jack Goldsmith, Bybee's successor as head of the Office of Legal Counsel. But can Yoo, now a professor at UC Berkeley, be held responsible for the actions of others who relied on his legal reasoning?
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 3, 2012 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
A UC Berkeley law professor who helped the Bush administration create policies to justify harsh interrogation techniques and prolonged detention may not be sued by an American citizen detained under those conditions, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said Jose Padilla, an American citizen arrested in 2002 and declared an "enemy combatant," may not hold professor John Yoo liable for "gross physical and psychological abuse" that Padilla said he suffered during more than three years of military detention.
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OPINION
July 12, 2009
Re "Judging John Yoo," Editorial, July 2 Reading your editorial about the lawsuit filed against John Yoo reminded me of a wonderful speech given by Sen. Sam Ervin at the American Bar Assn. Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, in the summer of 1973, following the Watergate hearings. He stated that when a lawyer is requested to give his opinion on a legal issue, two questions must be asked: Is the proposed action legal? And is it the right thing to do? Professor Yoo miserably failed both questions in his "torture memo."
NATIONAL
July 15, 2010 | By Ken Dilanian, Tribune Washington Bureau
The former Justice Department official who co-wrote the so-called torture memos testified that the department did not sanction some of the harsh methods the CIA used against detainees during the George W. Bush administration, including the repeated waterboarding of two suspected terrorists. Jay S. Bybee, former head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, said in testimony released Thursday by the House Judiciary Committee that the CIA went further in its tough tactics than he had outlined as permissible in a widely criticized legal memoranda.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 8, 2005 | Jeff Gottlieb, Times Staff Writer
A former Justice Department attorney who wrote memos that critics say condoned torture of terrorism suspects stood by his work Monday during a panel discussion at UC Irvine, saying the fight against Al Qaeda was a different kind of war, one not covered by the Geneva Convention. John Yoo, who served as deputy assistant attorney general from 2001 to 2003, spoke on campus as part of the Chancellor's Distinguished Fellows Series.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 3, 2012 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
A UC Berkeley law professor who helped the Bush administration create policies to justify harsh interrogation techniques and prolonged detention may not be sued by an American citizen detained under those conditions, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said Jose Padilla, an American citizen arrested in 2002 and declared an "enemy combatant," may not hold professor John Yoo liable for "gross physical and psychological abuse" that Padilla said he suffered during more than three years of military detention.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2010 | By Carol J. Williams
In his slate-blue suit and Republican-red tie, John Yoo stands out as discordantly formal among the denim- and turtleneck-clad faculty at Boalt Hall School of Law. Never mind how his politics play in what he derides as "the People's Republic of Berkeley." The former Bush administration lawyer who drafted what his critics call the "torture memos" is reviled by many in this liberal East Bay academic enclave, a feeling that is mutual though not, Yoo insists, wholly unpleasant. "I think of myself as being West Berlin during the Cold War, a shining beacon of capitalism and democracy surrounded by a sea of Marxism," Yoo observes, sipping iced tea in the faculty club lounge, a wan smile registering the discomfort of colleagues walking by en route to the bar. He sees his neighbors as the human figures of "a natural history museum of the 1960s," the Telegraph Avenue tableau of a graying, long-haired, pot-smoking counterculture stuck in the ideology's half-century-old heyday.
OPINION
June 24, 2005
Re "What Became of Federalism?" Commentary, June 21: Did I just read an article by John Yoo of the American Enterprise Institute criticizing the Bush administration? Has black become white? It just goes to show the repudiation of the conservative principles President Bush espoused during his campaign and the heavy-handed tactics employed by the administration have taken their toll when their previously gung-ho supporters raise their voices in opposition. One only hopes that the rest of the country will follow suit.
OPINION
September 9, 2005
Who is John Yoo, himself a Bush lackey, to decide that William H. Rehnquist was "one of the great chief justices in American history" (Opinion, Sept. 5)? The Rehnquist court will be remembered more for the harms it prevented him from doing than for those he managed to push through. Unfortunately, he succeeded in the greatest travesty of justice of any Supreme Court -- the appointment of George W. Bush to the presidency instead of allowing a lawful election to take its proper course. JEAN AND SAM SAPIN Sherman Oaks
OPINION
August 11, 2008
Re "Mixed verdict at terror tribunal," Aug. 7 Congratulations to The Times on its fine article describing the mixed verdict in the first Guantanamo military tribunal. The officers charged with acting as jurors were given a difficult job of participating in a seriously flawed system -- but their verdict, finding Osama bin Laden's driver guilty of "providing material support to terrorism," remains hard to accept. Essentially, they have found grade-school dropout Salim Ahmed Hamdan guilty of working as a chauffeur.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2010 | By Carol J. Williams
In his slate-blue suit and Republican-red tie, John Yoo stands out as discordantly formal among the denim- and turtleneck-clad faculty at Boalt Hall School of Law. Never mind how his politics play in what he derides as "the People's Republic of Berkeley." The former Bush administration lawyer who drafted what his critics call the "torture memos" is reviled by many in this liberal East Bay academic enclave, a feeling that is mutual though not, Yoo insists, wholly unpleasant. "I think of myself as being West Berlin during the Cold War, a shining beacon of capitalism and democracy surrounded by a sea of Marxism," Yoo observes, sipping iced tea in the faculty club lounge, a wan smile registering the discomfort of colleagues walking by en route to the bar. He sees his neighbors as the human figures of "a natural history museum of the 1960s," the Telegraph Avenue tableau of a graying, long-haired, pot-smoking counterculture stuck in the ideology's half-century-old heyday.
OPINION
February 23, 2010
Arespected career Justice Department official has concluded that two George W. Bush administration lawyers who wrote memos authorizing the physical and psychological abuse of suspected terrorists didn't commit misconduct that would justify disbarring or disciplining them. But Associate Deputy Atty. Gen. David Margolis' report is far from a vindication for John C. Yoo and Jay S. Bybee's shamefully narrow interpretations of laws against torture and extravagant views about presidential power.
OPINION
July 12, 2009
Re "Judging John Yoo," Editorial, July 2 Reading your editorial about the lawsuit filed against John Yoo reminded me of a wonderful speech given by Sen. Sam Ervin at the American Bar Assn. Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, in the summer of 1973, following the Watergate hearings. He stated that when a lawyer is requested to give his opinion on a legal issue, two questions must be asked: Is the proposed action legal? And is it the right thing to do? Professor Yoo miserably failed both questions in his "torture memo."
OPINION
July 2, 2009
In their notorious August 2002 "torture memo," Justice Department officials Jay S. Bybee and John C. Yoo defined torture narrowly as pain associated with "organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death." It was a strained and selective reading of the law, and it was rescinded in 2004 by Jack Goldsmith, Bybee's successor as head of the Office of Legal Counsel. But can Yoo, now a professor at UC Berkeley, be held responsible for the actions of others who relied on his legal reasoning?
NATIONAL
May 6, 2009 | Josh Meyer and Julian E. Barnes
Justice Department investigators have concluded that three Bush administration lawyers who wrote controversial interrogation memos should not face criminal charges, but that conduct by two of them was problematic enough to merit possible state disbarment or other disciplinary action, according to two sources familiar with a draft report.
OPINION
April 13, 2009
Re "Lowering the bar?" Opinion, April 9 What Chapman University School of Law Dean John C. Eastman doesn't differentiate is that, while visiting professor John Yoo's positions on torture are debatable, Yoo was not invited solely to debate his legal advice to the Bush administration, but to instruct potential lawyers in contextual and practical application of the law. Although working backward from a policy and subsequently finding a scrap of...
OPINION
December 26, 2005
Re "A president can pull the trigger," Opinion, Dec. 20. John Yoo gives an interesting history lesson on wars. However, I think we need to take a broader view. Yoo writes: "The framers understood that war would require the speed, decisiveness and secrecy that only the presidency could bring." President Bush not only attacked Iraq with speed and decisiveness, he declared victory there with equal haste. As far as secrecy goes, ask Valerie Plame about that one. The framers couldn't have foreseen an administration so riddled with contradictions.
OPINION
March 25, 2007
Re "Break up the FBI," Opinion, March 21 How wonderful -- advice on how to run the FBI from John Yoo, the Bush administration's former torture cheerleader. Yoo ascribes the failings of the FBI's process for issuing national security letters to agency management. However, administration officials to whom the FBI director ultimately reports have made no secret of their belief that Americans can be placed under surveillance without requiring a warrant. If the administration respected legal requirements for obtaining warrants before surveillance, I would think the FBI would be run in a manner consistent with that belief.
OPINION
April 9, 2009 | John C. Eastman, John C. Eastman is dean at Chapman University School of Law and a professor of constitutional law.
When I became dean of the Chapman University School of Law almost two years ago, I made a commitment to pursue a mission of ideological diversity at the school. One way to fulfill that mission is through the appointment of visiting professors. For 2008-09, I asked Richard Falk and John Yoo to accept one-semester positions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2009 | Susannah Rosenblatt
In Berkeley, city leaders branded him a war criminal and human rights activists put up a billboard to denounce him. But in suburban Orange County, Professor John Yoo -- the primary architect of the Bush administration's policy on harsh interrogation techniques that many consider torture -- has found relatively calmer waters. Yoo is a visiting professor at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, on leave from his tenured post at UC Berkeley to teach foreign relations law.
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