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The Torture Memos and Academic Freedom UC Berkeley Law School

By Christopher Edley, Jr.  Posted by Ignacio Fresas (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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Just a few days ago, Nearly 7,000 individuals responded to a call urging them to contact the University of California Berkeley Law School about Professor John Yoo.

Because of his direct involvement in the Bush administration's sanctioning of torture by U.S. interrogators, we asked for his dismissal. And it appears as if the outcry had an impact.

Pasted below is a response on the subject from Dean Christopher Edley, Jr., the man to whom E-mails were directed. Although he is refusing at this point to dismiss Professor Yoo, he did provide a long and thoughtful statement.

P.S. -- If you have not already sent an E-mail to Dean Edley and would like to do so, click on the following link:

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http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2165/t/1027/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=24188

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The Torture Memos and Academic Freedom

Christopher Edley, Jr.

The Honorable William H. Orrick, Jr. Distinguished Chair and Dean

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UC Berkeley Law School

While serving in the Department of Justice, Professor John Yoo wrote memoranda that officials used as the legal basis for policies concerning detention and interrogation techniques in our efforts to combat terrorism. Both the subject and his reasoning are controversial, leading the New York Times (editorial, April 4), the National Lawyers' Guild, and hundreds of individuals from around the world to criticize or at least question Professor Yoo's continuing employment at U.C. Berkeley Law School. As dean, but speaking only for myself, I offer the following explanation, although with no expectation that it will be completely satisfying to anyone.

Professor Yoo began teaching at Berkeley Law in 1993, received tenure in 1999, and then took a leave of absence to work in the Bush Administration. He returned in 2004, and remains a very successful teacher and prolific (though often controversial) scholar. Because this is a public university, he enjoys not only security of employment and academic freedom, but also First Amendment and Due Process rights.

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Ignacio is a 47 year old Army Veteran, a father of 2 adults with no grandchildren and a Quality Mgr. for 22 years at a Spring Mfg. Company. He does not really fancy himself a writer...but who knows an intelligent thought may come yet.

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