John Yoo at UVA on March 19, 2010

John Yoo at UVA
By David Swanson

Noted war criminal and torture lawyer John Yoo is scheduled to speak at UVA law school on March 19, 2010.

The day we go into year eight in the illegal occupation of Iraq that Yoo and Jay Bybee provided “legal” justification for, this “legalizer” of torture and other war crimes will be speaking at a law school, our law school, in our town.

John Yoo is a Professor of Law at Boalt Hall School of Law in Berkeley, California. I’ve joined in protests at his home at 1241 Grizzly Peak Blvd., Berkeley.

He is a lawyer with the Pennsylvania bar from which he should be disbarred and would be if enough people demanded it. Support: DisbarTortureLawyers.org.

Yoo counseled the White House on how to get away with war crimes, wrote this memo promoting presidential power to launch aggressive war, and claimed the power to decree that the federal statutes against torture, assault, maiming, and stalking do not apply to the military in the conduct of war, and to announce a new definition of torture limiting it to acts causing intense pain or suffering equivalent to pain associated with serious physical injury so severe that death, organ failure or permanent damage resulting in loss of significant body functions will likely result.

Yoo claimed in 2005 that a president has the right to enhance an interrogation by crushing the testicles of someone’s child.

Yoo has been confronted in his classroom: video, and again confronted in the classroom.

He should not imagine he can seek shelter from protests of his open criminality by coming to lecture at the University of Virginia.

Yoo this week told the New York Times that he had worked, not for the law, but for his “client” the president, and that he had no regrets about pretending to legalize torture.

Let’s change that.

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PS: The next day, March 20, I’ll be speaking on a panel at the Va Festival of the Book.

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