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1-10-10 Human Rights: Activists Protest Yoo Appearance at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club PDF Print E-mail

By Elaine Pasquini

From Washington Report on Middle East Affairs | Original Article

“We must stand up and insist on accountability for people that are responsible for torture—people like John Yoo,” said Giovanni Jackson outside San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club Jan. 27. Inside the Market Street building Yoo, a former Bush administration deputy assistant attorney general and currently a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, was speaking about his new book, Crisis and Command.

Continuing their well-organized campaign to bring the “torture memo writer” to justice for his role in supporting torture, indefinite detention and other violations of the Geneva Conventions on humane treatment of prisoners, members of the World Can’t Wait and Code Pink spoke to the media and handed out flyers to passersby. Several activists displayed a large sign reading “Arrest Yoo,” while others attracted attention by wearing orange jumpsuits and black hoods to resemble prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.

A few blocks away, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will soon begin hearing a lawsuit against Yoo brought by American citizen Jose Padilla. In papers filed Jan. 19, Padilla’s attorneys contended Yoo was “a key architect of the enemy combatant program and a member of the War Council, a select group of policymakers that set operational policy regarding the treatment and detention of suspected ‘enemy combatants.’ Yoo was the ‘go-to’ man on questions like how to justify extreme interrogations.”

Activists also call for the impeachment of Judge Jay Bybee, Yoo’s former colleague in the Bush administration, who sits on the Ninth Circuit Court (see November 2009 Washington Report, p. 65).

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