John Yoo, Newspaper Columnist



UC Berkeley's notorious torture professor John Yoo is now a regular newspaper columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Berkeley law school professor, who grew up in the Philadelphia area, published his first regular column over the weekend, and proceeded to attack President Obama — surprise, surprise. Yoo is upset that the president said he was considering appointing a new Supreme Court justice who can empathize with real people — instead of just viewing the law in the abstract. Hmm, Yoo is arguing against empathy. Again, why are we not surprised that the "legal scholar" who authorized torture in a series of infamous memos he wrote while working for the Bush Justice Department would be uncomfortable with the concept of empathy. Professor Yoo, we've been pretty sure for a while now that we had you figured out, but now we're definitely sure: Waterboarding — good. Caring about people — bad. Got it.

Speaking of former Bush-era lawyers and newspapers. While Yoo was launching his punditry career, the Salt Lake Tribune demanded that his former boss, federal appellate court Judge Jay Bybee resign his post. Bybee was Yoo's direct supervisor in the Bush Justice Department and signed Yoo's first torture memo in August 2002. The Tribune also said that if Bybee refuses to quit, then Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against him. We have to commend the Tribune for its strong stance. So then, what's up with its MediaNews sister papers, the Oakland Tribune and the Contra Costa Times? They both have said in editorials that Yoo's job at Berkeley should be protected, unless he's convicted of a crime. So let's get this straight. The Salt Lake Tribune, serves a conservative community and advocates that the guy who signed the first torture memo resign or be impeached. While its fellow MediaNews papers in the liberal East Bay say the actual author of the memo should be left alone. WTF?