John Yoo: Spearhead or scapegoat? By Glenn Greenwald

Dandelion Salad

By Glenn Greenwald
April 12, 2008

(updated below)

In response to mounting criticisms of its ongoing employment of John Yoo, UC Berkeley School of Law’s Dean Christopher Edley issued a Memorandum — entitled “The Torture Memos and Academic Freedom” — citing the “near absolute” values of academic freedom and tenure to explain why the law school will not dismiss Yoo nor even initiate an inquiry into whether action ought to be taken against him. There are all sorts of interesting exchanges regarding those questions — from academics such as Berkeley Professor Brad DeLong, Marty Lederman, and Henry Farrell. The comment sections to those posts are well worth reading as well.

Some of those commentators argue — persuasively — that mere citation to “academic freedom” does not resolve the question, since Yoo is charged not merely with advocating repellent ideas (something that should never result in dismissal), but far beyond that, was acting as an architect of an actual torture regime. Others raise the concern that Yoo should be entitled to full due process, that all facts ought to be fully investigated and disclosed before one can determine what, if any, action is appropriate. I think all of those concerns are valid, though ultimately, what matters most is that some important American institution — somewhere — meaningfully demonstrate that perpetrating systematic torture and committing war crimes renders one beyond the pale in the United States. It shouldn’t be up to Berkeley to enforce that precept by itself, but if no other institutions are doing so, then (after a full and careful investigation), Berkeley should.


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5 thoughts on “John Yoo: Spearhead or scapegoat? By Glenn Greenwald

  1. Pingback: Torture: Impeachment or Complicity? With Graphic Photos (video; over 18 only) | Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: Berkeley Dean responds to call for Yoo dismissal « Dandelion Salad

  3. Pingback: Cheney, Torture & the Chance to Restore the Rule of Law By John Nichols (Action Alert) « Dandelion Salad

  4. I have no idea why you are having problems with clicking the “continued” links? They work for me. Try refreshing or check out other websites to see if you are having the same problems and check out your computer (don’t know exactly what you would check out, though). But it seems to be only with your computer is what I’m trying to say. ???

    Now, you do realize that all the Greenwald articles on are Salon, and they make you see an advertisement first, then you click to go to the article. I’ve found that it doesn’t work well on Firefox if you have the adblock set to “on”. I use IE for the Salon articles.

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