Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Protesters Oppose Torture Memo Writer's Hiring
Protesters in Berkeley demonstrated against the hiring by the University of California Berkeley of John Yoo as a law professor there.
Yoo is the former legal adviser to the White House who penned the memo supporting the use of enhanced interrogation techniques - including waterboarding - on terrorism suspects.
While it's understandable that many people disagree with the legal concept, the reality is that Yoo was merely giving his opinion as requested by his boss - the president of the United States. As Harry Truman once reminded us, the buck stops on the Oval Office desk, not on that of the legal adviser.
The protesters may be well intentioned - but their ire is misdirected. Yoo broke no laws. While the memo he penned was part of the administration's due process he wasn't the one who ultimately authorized the enhanced interrogation techniques.
Next thing you know there'll be protests against hiring lawyers who defended accused baby killers. Yoo has the right to employment and as a former legal counsel to the White House he undoubtedly brings credentials and experiences to the classroom students will find invaluable.