Wednesday, March 18, 2009

John Yoo Should Be Disbarred, Continued

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 12:44 PM

The National Lawyers Guild plans to file a legal ethics complaint against UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo, who wrote the notorious "Torture Memos" while working for the Bush Justice Department. According to the Los Angeles Times, the complaint would be filed with the Pennsylvania Bar Association, where Yoo obtained his law license. The lawyer's guild has already filed an ethics complaint with the California bar against William Haynes II, former Defense Department counsel in the Bush regime. Haynes, who with Yoo's assistance, helped authorize torture by military interrogators at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prisons, is now a corporate attorney for Chevron in San Ramon.

If Yoo were to be disbarred, it would place significant pressure on UC Berkeley to fire him. To date, the university has maintained that Yoo's work for the Justice Department was protected by academic freedom. But that could change when the DOJ finally releases its own ethics report. The report, which started and mostly was completed under the Bush administration, is expected to harshly criticize Yoo for writing legal opinions that violated US and international law. The Bush administration relied on Yoo's opinions to authorize torture and warrantless wiretapping. The ethics report also follows a recent release of once-secret DOJ memos, including two from a Bush appointee who strongly rebuked Yoo's work.

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