stevenjamar at gmail.com
Fri Dec 5 10:25:29 PST 2008
There is a distnction between advocating the official government
position be it is ok to torture from within the justice department and
committing illegal acts as an outsider.
Nonetheless, I'm hopeful that the city council will not pass such a
foolish resolution trampling as it would both on free speech and
Sent from Steve Jamar's iPhone
On Dec 5, 2008, at 1:14 PM, Scott Markowitz <redbeard at ufl.edu> wrote:
> I wonder if Worthington, et al, would support a similar measure
> toward Bill Ayres and his classes if he was a prof at Cal instead of
> Robert Sheridan wrote:
>> UC professor under fire for White House memo
>> Carolyn Jones, Chronicle Staff Writer
>> Friday, December 5, 2008
>> John Yoo wrote memos offering legal justification for tor...
>> (12-04) 18:02 PST -- Berkeley's City Council will delve into national
>> policy again next week when it votes whether to demand the United
>> States charge Berkeley resident and former Bush adviser John Yoo with
>> war crimes.
>> Yoo, a tenured professor at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law,
>> wrote the memos offering legal justification for torture while he
>> worked for the White House from 2001 to 2003.
>> The five measures attacking Yoo were drafted by the city's Peace and
>> Justice Commission, the same group that recommended that the city
>> the Marines they were "unwelcome intruders."
>> The City Council will vote Monday on the five measures. In addition
>> demanding that Yoo be charged with war crimes, the city will decide
>> whether to order Boalt to offer alternatives to Yoo's courses, so no
>> student is forced to take a class from him if they don't want to. Yoo
>> has taught constitutional and international law at Boalt since 1993.
>> Several professors teach constitutional and international law each
>> semester, and no student would be forced to enroll in Yoo's class,
>> said Boalt spokeswoman Susan Gluss.
>> "We respect the politics of Berkeley, home of the free speech
>> movement, and their right to debate this issue," Gluss said. "They
>> pass this measure, but it won't have any bearing on the university's
>> Yoo is a well-liked professor who encourages a wide range of thinking
>> in his classroom, she said. As a tenured professor, he is protected
>> the university's academic freedom policy unless he's convicted of a
>> crime and sent to jail.
>> Yoo could not be reached for comment, but he has been a source of
>> controversy because of a 2002 memo he drafted that was signed by his
>> boss, former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, providing the
>> basis to justify torture in interrogating terrorism suspects. Among
>> other things, Yoo argued that habeas corpus and other legal
>> protections don't apply to CIA detainees because Guantanamo Bay and
>> Abu Ghraib are not on U.S. soil.
>> Yoo's torture memo was later rescinded by the Department of Justice.
>> In 2004 and 2006, in two lawsuits challenging the legality of the
>> torture policy, the U.S. Supreme Court voided many of Yoo's
>> At least two councilmen are less than enthused about the measure.
>> "I certainly am not in agreement with this professor's justifications
>> for torture, but this measure seems to fly in the face of a good
>> liberal arts education," said Councilman Laurie Capitelli. "Taking a
>> course from a professor with whom you disagree is a healthy
>> intellectual challenge."
>> Capitelli also said the city council should be devoting its time to
>> issues within its own borders, such as crime and zoning, instead of
>> national and international affairs.
>> Councilman Gordon Wozniak agreed.
>> "I don't think we should be telling the university what courses they
>> can and can't teach," he said.
>> Councilman Kriss Worthington said the measure does not restrict
>> academic freedom.
>> "It gives students with a conscience the freedom to exercise their
>> options," he said. "You shouldn't be punished academically because
>> have a moral compunction about taking a course from someone who says
>> it's OK for the U.S. to torture people."
>> For more information, see the city's staff report on the issue:
>> E-mail Carolyn Jones at carolynjones at sfchronicle.com.
>> This article appeared on page B - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
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