For the last few years, we've wondered openly about why there hasn't been a bigger outcry over UC Berkeley employing the architect of the Bush regime's torture program. After all, the United States likely could not have tortured prisoners or conducted warrantless wiretaps, for that matter if it had not been for Boalt Law School professor John Yoo. Yet Yoo had somehow escaped the wrath of a massive protest, as activists instead chose to seriously misplace their anger and shut down the City of Berkeley over of a military recruiting station. But on Monday, some of those very same protest groups that made national headlines in Berkeley last year finally turned their focus squarely on Yoo. It's about time.
According to the Associated Press, UC campus police arrested four people during the large protest in front of the law school on the first day of fall classes. Activists called for Yoo to be fired, disbarred, and prosecuted for war crimes. Dan Siegel, an Oakland civil rights attorney and former president of the Oakland school board, correctly noted at the event that Yoo had "created the ideological, political, and legal basis for the torture of innocent people," while working for the Bush Justice Department from 2001 to 2003.
Yet despite the welcome protest, the university appears intent on protecting Yoo's job. Law school dean Christopher Edley Jr. reiterated his stance that UC Berkeley, one of the great academic institutions in the world, doesn't have the capacity to conduct an investigation into the notorious tenured professor -- even though there are reams of records about what he did already available in the public domain.