Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted"

John Yoo's memos authorizing torture on behalf of the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel were released yesterday. As described by Marty Lederman, "It is, in effect, the blueprint that led to Abu Ghraib and the other abuses within the armed forces." If only this were an April Fool's joke...

The full memo can be found in two parts:

Part 1
Part 2

I'll keep adding on notable responses to it as I see them, feel free to send me any you guys see. Wild guess, but somehow I think this will inspire alot of discussion...

The March 2003 Yoo Memo Emerges!: The Torture Memo to Top All Torture Memos by Marty Lederman

Full Employment Memo for Bloggers (and Prosecutors?) by Marty Lederman

Yoo's Utter Glib Certainty by Emily Bazelon

John Yoo's Living Constitutionalism by Orin Kerr

Another Stinkin' Memo by Phillip Carter

John Yoo's War Crimes by Glenn Greenwald

The Legality of Evil: The Torture Memos and the Living Constitution by Jack Balkin (which contains my favorite response so far: "Yoo's torture memo sounds very lawyerly in its arguments. This observation points to an important fact about legal discourse: Lawyers can make really bad legal arguments that argue for very unjust things in perfectly legal sounding language.")

The Payoffs of Defending the Yoo Memorandum by Stuart Benjamin

The Green Light by Scott Horton

The "John Yoo, Let's Pretend We're Lawyers" Game
  1. Open both parts of that opinion in your PDF reader (Part One, Part Two)
  2. Using the search function on your PDF reader, search for the word "Youngstown"
  3. Guess how many citations to Youngstown you find--go on, guess!
Take an 81-page opinion dealing with the degree to which the President's power is bound (or not) by existing laws during war time


And in case you were worried that Yoo simply doesn't know about Youngstown, see this link, that demonstrates that Professor Yoo believes it is the first text to consider in any discussion of separation of powers.

What To Do About You by Christopher Hayes

Memo linked to warrantless surveilance surfaces
by Pamela Hess and Lara Jakes Jordan

This article needs to be quoted in part, because it is fucking terrifying:

For at least 16 months after the Sept. 11 terror attacks in 2001, the Bush administration believed that the Constitution's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures on U.S. soil didn't apply to its efforts to protect against terrorism.

That view was expressed in a secret Justice Department legal memo dated Oct. 23, 2001. The administration on Wednesday stressed that it now disavows that view.

The October 2001 memo was written at the request of the White House by John Yoo, then the deputy assistant attorney general, and addressed to Alberto Gonzales, the White House counsel at the time. The administration asked the department for an opinion on the legality of potential responses to terrorist activity.

The 37-page memo is classified and has not been released. Its existence was disclosed Tuesday in a footnote of a seperate secret memo, dated March 14, 2003, released by the Pentagon in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Yoo/Chertoff/Ashcroft Memo? How Did the OLC Opinion Come to Be Issued from DOJ, Anyway? by Marty Lederman

Outrage at the Latest OLC Torture Memo by Dawn Johnson

There's a War Crimes Tribunal in Your Future by Jack Balkin

Yoo Talkin' to Me? Plausible Deniability, and Other Reasons Why Warfare by Midlevel Legal Memoranda is a Really Bad Idea by Dahlia Lithwick

Stuck on Yoo by Deborah Pearlstein

Actually, the Answer is Rather Easy by Marty Lederman

Simply Mistaken? by Benjamin Wittes

Jonathan Hafetz

1 comment:

ebl2009 said...

will check these out in a bit but initial response: crazy