Friday, February 19, 2010

Hopkins studensts say no to Yoo/Does Dick Cheney Want to Be Prosecuted?

from: William Hughes



Video: John Yoo’ Speech Disrupted at Johns Hopkins University


On Wed. evening, Feb. 17, 2010, John Yoo gave a talk on the campus of the Johns Hopkins U., in Baltimore, Md. Before the controversial law professor could get into his talk, however, it was interrupted by two activists. They stood to his right in front of the auditorium and held a banner, which read: “Try Yoo for Torture!”  The protesters refused to sit down, but they were not arrested and remained in the same position during Yoo’s entire speech. Yoo had served in the administration of the Bush-Cheney Gang in the Justice Department. He authored two dubious legal memos which claimed sweeping presidential power to commit torture. The two memos are referred to by his critics--and there are many--as the “torture memos.” For background on Yoo, see: and and and

Does Dick Cheney Want to Be Prosecuted?

By Scott Horton

After he was indicted for the murder of Alexander Hamilton, vice president Aaron Burr fled to South Carolina, to hide out with his daughter. Another vice president, Spiro Agnew, kept completely silent before pleading nolo contendere on corruption charges. Former vice president Dick Cheney, on the other hand, seems proud of his criminal misadventures. On Sunday, he took to the airwaves to brag about them.

“I was a big supporter of waterboarding,” Cheney said in an appearance on ABC’s This Week on Sunday. He went on to explain that Justice Department lawyers had been instructed to write legal opinions to cover the use of this and other torture techniques after the White House had settled on them.

Section 2340A of the federal criminal code makes it an offense to torture or to conspire to torture. Violators are subject to jail terms or to death in appropriate cases, as where death results from the application of torture techniques. Prosecutors have argued that a criminal investigation into torture undertaken with the direction of the Bush White House would raise complex legal issues, and proof would be difficult. But what about cases in which an instigator openly and notoriously brags about his role in torture? Cheney told Jonathan Karl that he used his position within the National Security Council to advocate for the use of waterboarding and other torture techniques. Former CIA agent John Kiriakou and others have confirmed that when waterboarding was administered, it was only after receiving NSC clearance. Hence, Cheney was not speaking hypothetically but admitting his involvement in the process that led to decisions to waterboard in at least three cases.

What prosecutor can look away when a perpetrator mocks the law itself and revels in his role in violating it? Such cases cry out for prosecution. Dick Cheney wants to be prosecuted. And prosecutors should give him what he wants.

© The Harper's Magazine Foundation


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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


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