Shame on Yoo

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger

We haven’t heard his name for quite some time now, but former Bush-era Office of Legal Counsel attorney, John Yoo is in the news again.  The United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out an appeal by convicted terrorist, Jose Padilla attempting to hold Yoo liable for the torture used on Padilla while in U.S. detention centers.

Believe it or not, the Justices stated that the law on what constituted torture was not clear when Padilla endured the Bush Enhanced Interrogation methods. “A three-judge panel of the court said laws governing combatants and the definition of torture were unclear during the years policies were crafted.  Padilla alleged he was subjected to death threats, given psychotropic drugs, shackled and manacled for hours at a time, denied contact with family or a lawyer for 21 months and refused medical care for potentially life-threatening conditions. “That such treatment was torture was not clearly established in 2001-03,” Judge Raymond C. Fisher, a Clinton appointee, wrote for the court.” LA Times

Is it just me or does it confuse and upset anyone else that Prof. Yoo, as an OLC attorney can decide for the country what actions constitute torture and when sued for those torture techniques, the Court claims that because of those very same rules declared by Emperor Yoo, the methods employed against Padilla were not established as torture?  It sounds like Prof. Yoo made up the rules of the game and is now hiding behind those very same rules.

“The 9th Circuit’s ruling said the U.S. Supreme Court did not declare until 2004 that citizens held as enemy combatants have constitutional rights.  Even now, the 9th Circuit said, “it remains murky whether an enemy combatant detainee may be subjected to conditions of confinement and methods of interrogation that would be unconstitutional if applied in the ordinary prison and criminal settings.”  LA Times

Did the Court forget that Mr. Padilla was a United States citizen when he was detained and tortured by government officials?  Wasn’t it patently unconstitutional to hold a citizen for 21 months without contact with an attorney or family members or a charge?   Here is how the court answered that question.

“The court said that someone designated as an enemy combatant by the president – regardless of whether he is a US citizen or not – is not automatically entitled to full constitutional protections.  “Padilla was not a convicted prisoner or criminal defendant; he was a suspected terrorist designated an enemy combatant and confined to military detention by order of the president,” the court said. “He was detained as such because, in the opinion of the president … Padilla presented a grave danger to national security and possessed valuable intelligence information.”   “We express no opinion as to whether those allegations were true, or whether, even if true, they justified the extreme conditions of confinement to which Padilla says he was subjected,” Fisher wrote. “In light of Padilla’s status as a designated enemy combatant, however, we cannot agree with the plaintiffs that he was just another detainee” entitled to full constitutional protection.”  Christian Science Monitor

I realize that these issues are not new.  Allowing for one person, even any President, the ability to rescind normal constitutional guarantees for United States citizens seems not only dangerous, but unconstitutional.  How can I, as a citizen, lose my constitutional protections just when I need them the most?  I contend that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals missed an opportunity to right a wrong that could impact every citizen.  Prof. Yoo created the rules that these justices used to exempt Yoo from liability for his scurrilous definitions of torture.

Shouldn’t that have rang a warning bell in the minds of these justices?  What do you think?  Did the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals make an error?  Let us know what you think!

The full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision can be found here.

118 thoughts on “Shame on Yoo”

  1. GeneH
    What’s to say. You never back down. That you came running to back up Rafflaw says one thing about you. Isn’t he man enough or do you get involved in everybodies’ battles?

    Secondly I put out a little loose specualtion (3 lines) and Rafflaw jumps on me calling me a tin-hatted nut. How cool is that? And thens ask for proof.
    I should have said go look for it yourself. It will do the best good in the long run if you find it yourself.
    And it could have ended there. Called by him and told him do it yoursslf.

    But I had to answer, old reflex. And then you come in dishing out dirt in your usual way, disparaging things at best and at worst it is catastrophes. Justice and good taste and gentlemanly actions? Forget it.

    If I had proof of my speculations, I’d be sitting incarcerated for revealing it as being against national security interests as to surveillance systems, planned or real or even studies speculating in such systems.
    Or don’t you believe that they DO speculate on what else can be done?

    Silly to ask for proof when someone speculates.

    Am I the only one who specualates without proof.
    Today, MikeS said the President may be Commander in Chief, and he may make promises, but we know that his freedom of action is not determined by himself, but by the corporatocracy.

    Now did MikeS have proof of that? No, he was speculating.
    And he was not called down by anyone for it. Some agree, some disagree.

    So that’s it, that’s all I will say. If you can’t stand speculations then that’s your privilege.
    But my privilege is to use them.


    So I will still be here using these common privileges.

  2. I suggest you put your polemic back and not get your panties twisted when someone questions a crazy assed theory for being a crazy assed theory, id707.

    As for your criticism of my argumentation? If I’m comparing your theory to something ridiculous it is because I think what you are saying is ridiculous and worthy of ridicule.

    Again, either you have proof or you don’t.

  3. It was entirely speculation intended to arouse discussion of the ever-extending surveillance by Big Brother. Get it now? I could be glad for now for your pointing at hystemic reactions, etc.

    I am not so sure thay won’t be able to do it anyway. The telephone companies cooperated with the Feds for years before it became known. And whose to say that it must be scannable and can be detected. The Med chain doesn’t even have to know, it could be a hidden system. But again speculation, so relax.

    We could also start speculating on tracking folks by their cell phones. Or don’t you believe that either. Or we could discuss the profiling by the Google History function, which you can nominally stop.

    Or also take up the many apps and services which download updates which take over executive functions in your laptop, such a one is Active-X in Microsoft lingo.
    Some ask and some don’t. But those are the ones that are using the Microsoft entry point and interface code. Those who do their own are not detected, if you have checked the box for having read the contract terms of service. And who bothers reading those? Do you?
    And thus we leave our doors unlocked, we trust our politicians, and away we go. etc.

    And what do you think caused the vertical drop of the Twin Towers at 9/11? The fires? How many were involved in tgat the site was not handled as a crime site, with all that means? How many were involved in declaring it off limits and forcing rapid transport of all material to be dumped in the ocean or sold as scrap steel for KOrean ships? But that’s another conspiracy story.

    As for comparing my speculation to Big Foot, Elvis and a UFO, that’s your privilege and right here. But maybe says a bit about the level of your argument. My speculation is based on solid technology. It all depends on nano and the right funding and mission assignment.

    And my motives are not speculative nor Chicken Little. The sky has fallen before, or don’t you believe that either?
    I want us to become suspicious of our RWA leaders and the corporatocracy. And not end up like the Soviet citizens of 1934 as detailed in Mandelstam’s biography over her husband.

    I have been suspicious since listening to the McCarthy hearings on the radio. And you?

    As my last line I will point to Monsanto and it’s poisoning of the agro-business. How many know of that? Several times, warnings have been issued by Dept of Ag officials, and their own stats support it in terms of heifer miscarriages and small seed crop yields post glycofosate treatment. And still the US government ignores it all.

    I don’t have to speculate in this case, It is established but ignored. The EU parliament asked and became informed by the leading scientist. Nothing was done. Speculate on that. Is it so that money talks….LOUD?

    Suggest you put your polemic pistols back in their holsters. and talk nice again.
    You’re welcome in my crusade if I can be in yours: using a famous line by Bob Dylan in his WW3 song.

  4. id707,

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Without some proof of your chipping/nano-particle assertion? You might as well be claiming Big Foot is following people around with Elvis in a UFO. At best it is rank conspiratorial speculation and at worst it is some kind of (likely baseless) fear mongering. Raff asked for proof. So am I. Why? Because it’s a crazy idea. Consider how many people it would take to implement a conspiracy on that level let alone attempt to cover it up and then reconsider the likelihood of your statement being even remotely true. Throw in the fact that a certain percentage of the populace will get X-Rays or CT scans or MRI’s that would show chips and a certain percentage of the population are prone to have an adverse reaction of some sort (hystemic reaction or otherwise) from nanite exposure and the discovery certain of such a plot tends toward 100%.

  5. It’s a new world coming best get ready to duck an cover. -MetroCowboy


    And as I’m guessing you already know, even “the best and the brightest” have their blind spots.

  6. “I was given to thinking how Mike Wallace in another time would have handled the interview.” -MetroCowboy


    A friend of mine said the same thing — I’m sure that it would have been a much better interview with Wallace. Having said this, it was still possible to catch the essence of Rodriquez in Stahl’s interview. Anyone with an interest in the torture issue would have found it interesting and enlightening, IMO. I hadn’t watched 60 Minutes for the better part of a decade, but have seen a few shows over the past few months, some of them fairly interesting — a case in point, the F-22 Raptor story this past Sunday night.

  7. BettyKath,
    Glad IBM Sweden turned me down. They said that my taking a year off to enjoy myself as a tourist and a year at Stockholm University to change from engineering to data systems made me unacceptable. Who knows what they actually thougt. No more sour grapes.
    Congratulations holding out so long. You were a witness.

    Who knows, IBM might have been the first to establish “CORPTHINK” and “CORPSPEAK” outside of WS.

    Warning JOKE: What sort in industrial injury did you not get compensation for there?

  8. Raffig,
    Implying I am a nut with a tinfoil hat was a well done piece of charactter assassination. Did you study that or were you born with it?

    However that may be, there is alraady ample proof in countless journals and articles and are to some degree already imtegrated into the existng infrastructure. Follow the tech section of any reputable newspaper, NYTimes for ex.
    Chipping is already practiced on animals. RFIDs are so
    small that they are injectable. The matter of arranging injections I have tested on medical personnel, etc. So what do you expect from me? A CIA document and/or an IBM one?
    Read AN’s comments and get the deeper meaning of the IBM ad. That should do it. Or don’t you believe in domestic drones, or body screening, or…….?

    I suggest that you take off your tin hat instead, as it seems to protect yur from external info. It’s not dangeraous per se.

    Since you get down to a personal level, I will to. I think your father and his comrades should have been accorded a monumant at Arlington. And Obama should have been there. A national shame must be righted. Have you seen the statue with the Vietnam Wall on the Mall? Someting like that.

  9. raff,

    Same here, just annoying. It has been signing me up for emails I don’t request and not following threads I ask it to. I’m sure it’s like the text box issue and password issue. They seem to do a bit of de-bugging as they incrementally drop code. I don’t think they do a lot of offline testing before they drop code live.

  10. TD,

    WordPress has been making changes to the email notification system. It may not even be something you’ve done or not done. I’ve had a few issues over the last 4 or 5 days myself. I suggest just going through and resetting your notification options manually. Hopefully they will be done dropping new code before too long.

  11. Idealist: “I can just imagine Watson drooling at his profits.

    Was he anti-semitic?”
    I worked at IBM for several years (mid-60s to mid-80s). I was “the first woman who” in many categories but left when the testosterone became so thick I had trouble breathing… and the plans for databases and telecommunication products had me thinking of “1984”. White men were the employees of choice. With the women’s movement more women were hired but their upward movement was close to non-existent. Jews and Blacks were certainly in the minority, as were other non-whites. It probably wasn’t a deliberate policy, but rather those who made hiring and promotion decisions tended to see those most like themselves as the most qualified and the most likely to expand their own power base. Double standards were common. The overriding corporate interests were expanding market share and making a profit.

  12. TalkinDog, did you accidentally unclick the box at the bottom when making a comment? The one that puts you on the email list?

  13. Mike S believe me Ive got a big mouth and am not afraid to say what I think, but I have to say there are people on this blog who I think are brilliant and I love following what you guys say…. your so much more eloquent than me Thank you professor for having this group and I really do love being a small part of it.

  14. This blog cut me off the email list. Four legs good, two legs baaaad. I guess I will four leg it to another blog. Tanks.

  15. “I don’t watch 60 Minutes anymore. Too much of their corporatist ownership was showing and has been for some time now, but that’s just me.”

    It’s not just you, Mike. I don’t think I’ve watched 60 Minutes in 12 or 15 years and for that very reason.

  16. Anon, L Stahls performance on Sixty Minutes was at best half-hearted..most probably it was the best she could do under the circumstances of her corporate employment,.. I was given to thinking how Mike Wallace in another time would have handled the interview.

    It’s a new world coming best get ready to duck an cover

  17. AN
    looked at the IBM ad. Clever.
    and the thought goes to the Holocaust connection and IBM. Wouldn’t chipping the jews have been sooooooo efficient.
    I can just imagine Watson drooling at his profits.

    Was he anti-semitic?

    BTW, the shelf price tag took a picture of his irises for account check and product registration.

    Booster shots (routine vaccination) will include later model chips with the expansion of the surveillance net with new devices, etc.

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