It Has To Be Yoo

The President Can Do Anything He Wants.

Thank you, everybody who has worked to bring John Yoo to justice. For those of you who are unaware of what has been going on, John Yoo is the author of the so-called “Torture Memos”. Yoo was a special council to the White House, and his torture memos were the excuse that the Bush Misadministration used to justify torturing prisoners in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo. In other words, according to John Yoo, sexual humiliation, beatings, water boarding, starvation, and sleep deprivation are neither cruel nor unusual.

What’s that you say? The Constitution protects us from cruel and unusual punishment? To this I ask you, what the hell constitutes cruel and unusual punishment? What is the definition of the word cruel as used in the Constitution? What is the constitutional definition of the word unusual? How are those words to be defined in court? According to John Yoo, water boarding is neither cruel nor is it unusual. So what is to keep the county jail from water boarding a suspect into admitting he sold a quarter ounce of pot?

The Constitution was never a planned document. The Founders of this nation envisioned a confederacy. When the confederacy broke down in under ten years, the delegates to the Constitutional convention had little time to create a central government with the powers to enact and enforce treaties as well as the power to levy taxes. This is why there are so many loopholes in the document. This is why cruel and unusual or reasonable were never defined. One delegate would say something, we need protections from unreasonable search and seizure. Another delegate would ask what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Then a third delegate would say, let the courts worry about it later. We need to start raising taxes so we can pay off France.

Thus was born the most confusing and expensive legal system that was ever invented. The Constitution contains language as vague as the I-Ching, and holds as many contradictions as the New Testament. John Yoo presented an opinion that specific acts of torture were not cruel and unusual. This opinion is not unconstitutional because the terms cruel and unusual are not defined. Yoo’s opinion has the force of law until such time as it is challenged by the courts. Lynndie England’s court martial adds sexual humiliation to the definition of cruel and unusual, but water boarding is still perfectly legal.

That’s right, torture is legal and will remain legal until the Supreme Court says otherwise. Torture can remain legal as long as the Supreme Court ignores the situation. After all, the Supreme Court can pick and choose which cases it wants to hear. The Court ignored Jim Crow laws until public opinion became so outraged that the court had no choice but to overrule them.

Public outrage is the only way we are going to stop the United States from committing torture. Protests at UC Berkeley and in front of Yoo’s home forced the attorney general to order an investigation of Yoo and the Torture Memos. Holder has proven himself as loyal a neocon as Alberto Gonzales. The results of this investigation were recently leaked to Newsweek Magazine, and the results were that John Yoo exercised poor judgment but did not commit any wrong doing.

Yoo’s “bad judgment” resulted in the torture of hundreds, if not thousands, of human beings. John Yoo opened the door to the worst barbarisms of the Bush Misadministration. For those of you who value money over human rights, torture has produced no usable information. The question we should be asking the government is, why are we still torturing people? If John Yoo exercised poor judgment, why is Obama still following his advice?

If John Yoo exercised “poor judgment,” then why is he still teaching at UC Berkeley Boalt Hall, the most prestigious law school in California? How competent a teacher can he be if his opinions sparked an investigation that accused him of “poor judgment”? For that matter, why are the regents treating this semi-competent shyster like a rock star? They protect him by keeping his lecture locations a secret. His students find out where he is teaching by secure email. Yoo didn’t even lecture this semester. While protesters and students alike were waiting for his first lecture, Yoo was out promoting that sack of neocon bullshit he calls a book. At the same time, he is still drawing a salary from the California tax payer.

John Yoo is certainly not behaving like somebody accused of poor judgment. He’s out promoting the imperial presidency like it was a fact. As far as I’m concerned he’s the biggest nut since Torquemada. Just as the head inquisitor believed in the ultimate authority of the Pope, Yoo believes in the ultimate authority of the president. That ass-kisser needs to be stopped.

Public outrage forced an investigation and conclusion of “Poor Judgment”. This is not a defeat. We forced the Attorney General’s office to admit that torture was a bad idea. This can be built on, but we have to crank up the volume. We need more and louder protests. We need to send petitions to the UC regents telling them to fire the bastard. We need to get so outrageous that the Supreme Court will have no choice but to ban torture just as they banned Jim Crow. Poor judgment is just the beginning. We won that much, we can win more.

Torquemada Yoo will be doing a book signing in San Mateo, California tomorrow, Thursday, Feb, 12 at Poplar Creek Golf Course from noon to one thirty PM. Code Pink is sponsoring a protest. Be there, be loud, and be angry. Let the Department of Justice know that we don’t want Yoo’s poor judgment to be government policy, and let the UC regents know that anyone who’s judgment is so poor has no place in our university system.

Obama

I Am The State. John Yoo said so.

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4 Comments on “It Has To Be Yoo”

  1. Bob says:

    Wish I could be there, Bill, but it’s a long trip from Florida, even if I had the money for a plane ticket, even if I could get the time off from work without facing bankruptcy, etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

    I confess to a tendency toward gullibility. I’ve always thought the Constitution was written in clear, easily understood English, such as was spoken and written in the 18th century. I don’t really understand how anyone can reasonably conclude that we don’t know what “torture” means simply because it is not defined in the Constitution. Anyone who can’t see torture for what it is without a precise, legally-detailed definition seems to me to be lacking in common sense and simple humanity. The law has defined “reasonable doubt” as “doubt that would occur to an ordinary, sensible man of adequate education” or words to that effect. I don’t understand why the same kinds of standards can’t be used for terms left undefined by the Constitution, especially when it seems the authors didn’t bother with definitions when the meaning seemed to them to be clear to any reasonable person. Perhaps we need to campaign for clear, uncluttered language in our laws and our courts. It’s a sad day when any law, even the supreme laws of the nation can be set aside by weasel words used in weasel arguments by weasel lawyers who are hired by felons and traitors to prove that the words of the laws have to be carefully parsed and nuanced to support cruelty and tyranny.

    Maybe it’s time for a demand for clear language from our government and public speeches should be monitored for fuzzy logic and misleading arguments. Could we get a volunteer watchdog committee to point out language that fails to inform, but instead covers up?

    With love under will,

    Bob, Adastra,
    The Wizzard of Jacksonville

    • billdunlap says:

      Actually, I am glad you were not there because it is much more important for you to give the war criminal a warm welcome when his book tour brings him to Jacksonville. I will be posting his itinerary in my next blog post. So gather up your friends, and I will be happy to forward you the chants and songs we have been using so Yoo will feel right at home.

      I don’t really understand how anyone can reasonably conclude that we don’t know what “torture” means simply because it is not defined in the Constitution. Anyone who can’t see torture for what it is without a precise, legally-detailed definition seems to me to be lacking in common sense and simple humanity. The law has defined “reasonable doubt” as “doubt that would occur to an ordinary, sensible man of adequate education” or words to that effec

      The problem is that language is limited to world view, and the Constitution was written by 18th Century people whose world view is seen as barbaric when viewed with a 21st Century perspective. The stock and pillory were not considered torture by the framers of the Constitution, nor was it considered cruel or unusual to have the death penalty for theft. No reasonable person would ever consider that women had the right to vote, or that people of African descent were as intelligent as white Europeans. Some of the nastiest racial stereotypes in this country stem from Tom Jefferson, who held his own children as slaves and used his own sister-in-law as an owned concubine. It would never occur to the Founders that indentured servants would have the same rights as they do, because God almighty himself appointed them as the rulers of this country. God did so by making them rich. To this day there are people like the Bushes and the Kennedy’s who consider themselves our rulers by right of wealth.

      Perhaps we need to campaign for clear, uncluttered language in our laws and our courts. It’s a sad day when any law, even the supreme laws of the nation can be set aside by weasel words used in weasel arguments by weasel lawyers who are hired by felons and traitors to prove that the words of the laws have to be carefully parsed and nuanced to support cruelty and tyranny.

      While you have a good point, I cannot help but feel that this would only freeze us into a 21st Century mind set and cause problems fifty to a hundred years down the road. Because the courts have the latitude to redefine words and phrases, we have been able to progress from the days when reporters were jailed because they criticized the president, and Tom Paine was silenced for the last twenty years of his life because of the Sedition Act. By the middle of the eighteenth Century the courts were forced to end the stocks and pillories as cruel and unusual punishment, and by the early twentieth century, indentured workers were granted the same rights as American Citizens.

      Now you are beginning to see my argument against the American Injustice system, and that argument is to end the barbaric British Common Law system. It is an antiquated system that grants judges the same rights as British Barons. Judges are not limited by the law, they create the law and are answerable to only their own prejudices. Thanks to British Common Law, American Air Force officers are losing their religious rights due to an 1836 Supreme Court decision that declares the First Amendment only applies to Protestant Christian denominations. Thanks to several 19th Century decisions, wealthy people can buy their way out of any crime. British Common law is a chain that shackles us to the barbarism of 18th Century colonial law. As has been shown by the last twenty years of neocon rule, it is easier to digress to the time when employees were corporate property than it is to progress to populism and equality. Under British Common Law, we have the best legal system money can buy, and the more money you have, the more justice you can afford. Right now, John Yoo is justifying torture through several 18th and 19th century precedents that legitimize the imperial presidency. We may not like the imperial presidency, but thanks to British Common Law, we are stuck with it.

  2. Deiter says:

    It’s a wonderful idea to define more specifically what constitutes cruel and unusual. To do such a thing would far reaching consequences and this may be the problem. I for one would consider the rape and other sexual abuse in our prisons cruel and unusual. Law enforcement and military would be held accountable for a wide range of questionable practices. It would unloose a cataract of lawsuits, etc. I say, open the floodgates!

  3. billdunlap says:

    The Constitutional Convention was at major loggerheads. They had to start collecting taxes, and the regulators and the federalists were not really talking to each other. So a lot of shit was put into the constitution without anybody agreeing to their meanings.


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