Monday, June 07, 2004


"A GROUP of students at the University of California's Boalt Hall School of Law circulated a petition last week calling on law professor John Yoo to "repudiate" a 2002 memo he had written when he worked for the Bush Justice Department or "resign" his academic post. The memo advised that the Geneva conventions did not apply to al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. Oddly, the petition writers claimed that their attempt to drive Yoo from academia did not "constitute an attack on academic freedom."

"The choice is up to (Yoo). He is free to do what he wants," explained petition circulator Michael Anderson, 35. Besides, he said, the petition concerned what Yoo did as a government official, not for what he said in class. Bunk: The only reason the petition is not an attack on academic freedom is because it didn't work -- a testament to Boalt Hall's commitment to the free exchange of ideas, I might add. There are no faculty committees considering pressuring Yoo to resign, noted Acting Dean Robert Berring Jr. Yoo himself has no such plans. If the students had gotten what they wanted, however, the petition most certainly would send a chill through the halls of academia....

The law students who signed the petition apparently can't fathom that the Justice Department memo made some reasonable legal arguments. To wit: al Qaeda operatives don't qualify for Geneva conventions prisoner-of-war status because they don't fight for a nation, there's no clear chain of command in their organization, they don't wear uniforms and they do not obey the laws of war toward civilians....

The same person also strongly disagreed with Yoo's argument that the Taliban don't fall under the Geneva conventions. He believed the memo failed to explore the repercussions of determining that the international law is not binding. Too bad such meaty criticism was not found in the petition.

Anderson, who just graduated from Boalt Hall, dismissed any legitimacy in the Justice Department argument, instead charging that Yoo "assisted his client in perpetuating illegal acts," and is guilty of "aiding and abetting." So if someone writes an opinion you don't like, they're breaking the law? "We're not trying to make his opinion-espousing illegal. What he did is illegal," Anderson answered. Now I see why Anderson says the petition doesn't limit academic thought. After all, if he had his way, Yoo would be free to think what he wants -- from a jail cell.....

Yoo decided not to attend Boalt Hall's graduation, as more than a quarter of the graduates wore armbands protesting Yoo's "aiding and abetting war crimes." He told me he didn't want to interfere with the commencement celebration".

More here


American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.


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