[Ppnews] National Lawyers Guild calls on Boalt to dismiss John Yoo
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Apr 9 11:55:57 EDT 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 9, 2008
Contact: Marjorie Cohn, NLG President,
<mailto:marjorie at tjsl.edu>marjorie at tjsl.edu; 619-374-6923
Heidi Boghosian, NLG Executive Director,
<mailto:director at nlg.org>director at nlg.org; 212-679-5100, x11
NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD CALLS ON BOALT HALL TO DISMISS LAW PROFESSOR
JOHN YOO, WHOSE TORTURE MEMOS LED TO COMMISSION OF WAR CRIMES
New York. In a memorandum written the same month George W. Bush
invaded Iraq, Boalt Hall law professor John Yoo said the Department
of Justice would construe US criminal laws not to apply to the
President's detention and interrogation of enemy combatants.
According to Yoo, the federal statutes against torture, assault,
maiming and stalking do not apply to the military in the conduct of the war.
The federal maiming statute, for example, makes it a crime for
someone "with the intent to torture, maim, or disfigure" to "cut,
bite, or slit the nose, ear or lip, or cut out or disable the tongue,
or put out or destroy an eye, or cut off or disable a limb or any
member of another person." It further prohibits individuals from
"throwing or pouring upon another person any scalding water,
corrosive acid, or caustic substance" with like intent.
Yoo also narrowed the definition of torture so the interrogator must
kill the person or cause organ failure or permanent loss of
significant body functions in order to constitute torture; Yoo's
definition contravenes the definition in the Convention Against
Torture, a treaty the US has ratified which is thus part of the US
law under the Constitution's Supremacy Clause. Yoo said self-defense
or necessity could be used as a defense to war crimes prosecutions
for torture, notwithstanding the Torture Convention's absolute
prohibition against torture in all circumstances, even in wartime.
This memo and another Yoo wrote with Jay Bybee in August 2002
provided the basis for the Administration's torture of prisoners.
"John Yoo's complicity in establishing the policy that led to the
torture of prisoners constitutes a war crime under the US War Crimes
Act," said National Lawyers Guild President Marjorie Cohn.
Congress should repeal the provision of the Military Commissions Act
that would give Yoo immunity from prosecution for torture committed
from September 11, 2001 to December 30, 2005. John Yoo should be
disbarred and he should not be retained as a professor of law at one
of the country's premier law schools. John Yoo should be dismissed
from Boalt Hall and tried as a war criminal.
The National Lawyers Guild was founded in 1937 as an alternative to
the American Bar Association, which did not admit people of color,
the National Lawyers Guild is the oldest and largest public
interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. Its
headquarters are in New York and it has chapters in every state.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the PPnews