John Yoo Has No Place Among UC Faculty





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At long last, the 2003 torture memo of Boalt Hall Professor John Yoo sent to Congress has been released by the White House under FOIA.

The memo attempts to justify torture using a bizarre self-defense theory: that injuring or killing an enemy combatant during interrogation is justified because said injury or death prevents further attacks on this country.

Thin on logic and ethics, in my opinion, but probably a good illustration why Yoo was known as "Dr. Yes" when he worked at the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel.


Jean Miyake

Scottsdale, Ariz.

I find it hard to believe that this prestigious university can continue to support and employ a person like Jon Yoo, who has been so detrimental to the constitution of the United States.

Yoo's legal renderings to the president have placed our troops and future troops in real peril, as well as instigating the loss of international moral leadership.

Our responsibilities and standards as a civilized society have never been set so low. I move for censure or replacement in order to restore the dignity and faculty standards at UC Berkeley.


Stephen Hayes

Milly Valley, Calif.

I obtained my PhD in chemistry from U.C. Berkeley in 2007. I was disturbed to read about the role John Yoo, now a law professor at Berkeley, played in supporting the Bush administration's policies on torture.

This doesn't seem like the kind of influence that a prestigious in institution like UC Berkeley should harbor, but I am, admittedly, not aware of Yoo's work outside of this article or of a Daily Cal opinion piece by Yoo himself. I am simply writing to express concern to organizations I feel could pursue this if it is a worthwhile cause.


Jared Lewis

Pasadena, Calif.

As a Cal alumnus (masters program in journalism, 1985), I continue to be shocked and dismayed that the law school employs John Yoo, the legal architect of Bush's Final Solution that cleared the way to torture terrorism suspects while keeping Administration officials clean of the legal consequences.

Yoo is a scary, dangerously partisan nutjob who justified the most heinous offenses against often-innocent suspects.

I can't believe Yoo is teaching in one of the nation's premier law schools. This is an embarrassment and a permanent stain on Cal's reputation.


Jim Epes

Seattle, Wash.

I was pretty astounded to do a search on your site and find that the only article about John Yoo was his own apologia for why torture is a good thing.

The university law school has given a full professorship to the author and architect of the Bush administration's torture rationale, and the paper not only makes no comment, it gives him a forum to air his criminal views.

Even tenured professors can be fired for moral turpitude, and Yoo's actions are as immoral as if he had personally hung the chancellor's wife from the Campanile and waterboarded the dean of letters and science.

There is a huge difference between free speech ("I hate America" or whatever) and writing an opinion that gives the president of the United States the green light to torture innocent (as well as guilty) people (and indeed, to do whatever he wants because as president, he's "above the law"). The first guy is a blabbermouth; the second is a war criminal, pure and simple.

Do something.


Marie Burns

Fort Myers, Fla.

Shame on this fine, reputable university for having a professor teaching impressionable minds that is a total fascist and advocate of torture.

Professor Yoo has provided the anti-American Bush administration with a flimsy legal justification for its most horrible acts.

If Professor Yoo was at Bob Jones University or Liberty University, I would think, "Fine, that's where he should be-teaching other bigots and fascists." But why tear down the reputation of a fine university by employing such a despicable human being?


Edward Gordon

Bellows Falls, Vt.

Why are students seemingly so comfortable with John Yoo on the faculty? This isn't a First Amendment issue. The man has deliberately denigrated 250 years of America's heritage of fairness, due process and more.

Why aren't you leading a protest at least?


George Duncan

Peterborough, N.H.

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Following the declassification last week of a 2003 federal memo on torture, alumni and other readers from across the country have written to condemn the university's employment of former deputy assistant attorney general John Yoo. Yoo currently teaches



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