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.
When is criticizing a politician racism? When the politician is Barrack Obama, of course. Obama can back away every one of his promises regarding taxation, and anyone who points it out is accused of bigotry. Obama can turn all his promises regarding the economy into a lie by appointing Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury, and I am called a horrible person for mentioning Geithner’s part in NAFTA and outsourcing. Obama can also appoint that war criminal Gates to continue the job he has mishandled for Bush, but Barrack Obama can do no wrong. Apparently I am wrong for pointing out that appointing Gates is a sign that the war is going to continue. The right wing pundits have done their job. Obama can continue the same failed policies of his predecessors, but nobody dares to point this out without being accused of racism.
As a marketing and sales professional, I have to admire the right wing pundits as well as the people who write their scripts. They are brilliant. By carefully mixing truth and psychotic racism, they have made Obama invincible. When one mentions the incestuous relationship between Hillary Clinton and Wal-Mart, one automatically becomes a KKK member. Obama can ask John Yoo to be a member of his national security staff, and I allegedly become Sean Hannity for pointing out that Yoo was the person who advocated the torture of Guantanamo inmates. John Brenner is the CIA executive who oversees torture, and Obama wanted him to head the CIA. Ask how this means change, and cries of racism echo from the hills.
This does not mean that racism does not exist. On the contrary. Hannity’s script writers depend on racism. When Buster Beer-Belly redneck hears Hannity’s rants, all he is going to hear is that the Black President’s middle name is Hussein, and that the good white Republicans are protecting his interests by continuing Bush’s policies. All Mr. Cardboard Liberal is going to hear is the racism, and will associate any criticism of Obama with the racism. Thus, when Obama continues the failed economic policies of his predecessors, it’s all going to be somebody else’s fault. The rednecks will blame the Muslim-loving liberals and the liberals will blame the redneck Republicans.
The amazing thing is that anybody even listens to Hannity, Limbaugh, or the rest of the troupe of right-wing howler monkeys. It’s not as if they have anything worth listening to. I spent my entire life not even knowing what Sean Hannity looked like until I lifted his picture off Google. I could pass him on the street without even recognizing him. I watched some of his stuff from YouTube when I was accused of being him. What person in his right mind would even listen to his shit? Maybe I have been in the business too long, but Hannity is the worst salesman I ever experienced. Yet people on both sides of the political spectrum listen to him as if he even matters.
All Hannity has to do is pick on Nancy Pelosi, and that godless neocon becomes Ms. Super Liberal. Pelosi, who continues to vote in favor of the Iraq war and illegal wiretapping, is a champion of the downtrodden because Hannity says something bad about her. Jesus H. Christ on a crutch! The woman is a bald-faced liar. Check our her voting record. Project Vote Smart records the voting record of every politician in Washington DC. There is no excuse for anybody to fall for Hannity’s tactics. The truth is out there for anybody with enough brains to look for themselves.
Hannity and the rest of the right wing pundits have successfully applied a peer pressure element into American politics. You are now either for Hannity or against him. If Hannity labels somebody a bleeding heart liberal, you have to either condemn him or support him as a bleeding heart liberal. It’s an us or them attitude where truth does not matter a whit. The fact that Pelosi has been an ardent behind-the-scenes Bush supporter seems to be irrelevant in the light of Hannity’s mighty rhetoric.
Perhaps familiarity breeds contempt, so I should not be too terribly surprised that people are falling for the Hannity smoke and mirrors show. How many people in California lost their homes because some stranger called them up during dinner time and offered them a “free, no obligation, assessment of their present mortgage”? Sounds pretty dumb, doesn’t it? There are just some things that people have become conditioned to respond to. The words “free” and “no obligation” are guaranteed to catch one out of every five prospects. This holds true in politics as well. Say the right words and you get people’s money. Say other right words and you get people’s votes. Say other magic words and a politician becomes god or the devil depending on the audience you are aiming for. Sometimes you can accomplish both with the same sentence.
The liberal who has the nerve to criticize Obama becomes the eternal outsider. Even though Obama has already gone back on many of his promises, and made frightening choices for his cabinet, I am called a bigot for daring to mention it. That’s cool. I can live with it. I have received some really nasty email, I have been called a pig on my own blog, and even my wife has been slighted over this. I do not take any of this personally. The unconditional Obama supporters have a hard lesson coming to them. Many of them can see it coming. Really, how smart do you have to be, to know that Rahm Emmanuel is bad news for any sort of positive change? They pick on me for pointing out the obvious.
What bothers me is the opportunity that is being lost. Why is everybody dropping the ball? Why is putting a Likkudnik in as chief-of-staff acceptable? Why is Gates acceptable? Why is pointing out that they are not acceptable labeled racist? Because Sean Hannity opened his mouth? Cut me a break. If Obama’s supporters want actual change, they are going to have to react to what Obama does and not what Sean Hannity says. Hannity is just hot air. Geithner is a danger to our homes, our jobs, and our savings. Don’t fall for the Hannity con game. Get on the web, get on Obama’s site, and remind him that you voted him in for change.