So the big question when John Yoo speaks at Chapman University next week about presidential power is: Will he be shackled? Probably not, seeing as how this is not Spain, but were Orange within the Iberian Peninsula nation and NATO ally, he'd be under criminal indictment for sanctioning torture at Guantánamo.
The Fletcher Jones Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law's presence at Chapman certainly has sparked debate, and not just the one he's participating in Tuesday morning.
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The National Lawyers Guild hosts a teach-in titled "National Security and Torture: Human Rights, Rule of Law, and War Crimes; The Torture Memos of John Yoo" from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in Chapman University School of Law's Kennedy Hall, Room 237. Panelists include Oil, Power and Empire author Larry Everest and Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute president Ann Fagan Ginger. For more information, email Shirly Peng.
Yoo, a professor at UC Berkeley's School of Law at Boalt Hall, will be alongside John C. Eastman, dean and Donald P. Kennedy Chair in Law at Chapman's School of Law, debating Chapman law professors Katherine Darmer and Larry Rosenthal on "Presidential Power and Success in Times of Crisis." The fun begins at 11 a.m. in the big room, Memorial Hall, but you need tickets available through Chapman's ticket office or by calling (714) 997-6812.
Yoo is among "The Bush Six" targeted in Spain's criminal investigation, the others being: former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; Federal Appeals Court Judge and former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee; former Defense Department general counsel and current Chevron lawyer William J. Haynes II; Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff David Addington; and former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith.
Prosecutors accuse The Bush Six of having given the green light to the torture and mistreatment of prisoners held in U.S. detention in "the war on terror," in the context of a pending proceeding before the Spanish court involving terrorism charges against five Spaniards formerly held at Guantánamo.
"The Bush Six labored at length to create a legal black hole in which they could implement their policies safe from the scrutiny of American courts and the American media," writes Scott Horton, a law professor and legal affairs writer for Harper's, The American Lawyer and other publications, on his blog, The Daily Beast. "Perhaps they achieved much of their objective, but the law of unintended consequences has kicked in. If U.S. courts and prosecutors will not address the matter because of a lack of jurisdiction, foreign courts appear only too happy to step in."