Theodore's World: Judge: Terrorist can sue over torture memos

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June 14, 2009

Judge: Terrorist can sue over torture memos

Judge: Terrorist can sue over torture memos

First time a government lawyer has been held potentially liable for abuse


A convicted terrorist can sue a former Bush administration lawyer for drafting the legal theories that led to his alleged torture, ruled a federal judge who said he was trying to balance a clash between war and the defense of personal freedoms.
The order by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White of San Francisco is the first time a government lawyer has been held potentially liable for the abuse of detainees.

White refused to dismiss Jose Padilla's lawsuit against former senior Justice Department official John Yoo on Friday. Yoo wrote memos on interrogation, detention and presidential powers for the department's Office of Legal Counsel from 2001 to 2003.

Padilla, 38, is serving a 17-year sentence on terror charges. He claims he was tortured while being held nearly four years as a suspected terrorist.

White ruled Padilla may be able to prove that Yoo's memos "set in motion a series of events that resulted in the deprivation of Padilla's constitutional rights."
"Like any other government official, government lawyers are responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their conduct," wrote White, a Bush appointee.

Yoo did not return telephone and e-mail messages Saturday.

White ruled that Yoo, now a University of California at Berkeley law professor, went beyond the normal role of an attorney when he helped write the Bush administration's detention and torture policies, then drafted legal opinions to justify those policies.

Yoo's recently released 2001 memo advised that the military could use "any means necessary" to hold terror suspects. A 2002 memo to then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales advised that treatment of suspected terrorists was torture only if it caused pain levels equivalent to "organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death." Yoo also advised that the president might have the constitutional power to allow torturing enemy combatants

Enemy combatant

Padilla is an American citizen who was arrested in Chicago in 2002 and accused of conspiring with al-Qaida to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb."

He was held in a Navy brig in Charleston, S.C., for three years and eight months as an enemy combatant. Padilla's lawsuit alleges Yoo personally approved his time and treatment in the brig.



Wild Thing's comment.........

“This lawsuit poses the question addressed by our founding fathers about how to strike the proper balance of fighting a war against terror, at home and abroad, and fighting a war using tactics of terror.”

Wake up, judge, and smell the green tea. The Founding Fathers had no clue about this war on terror conducted by savage animals bent on destroying our whole country. But there IS plenty of stuff and warnings about a president like Obama and how to protect our country from someone like that if SOMEONE would READ our CONSTITUTION!

Posted by Wild Thing at June 14, 2009 05:48 AM


Having to read Miranda rights to war prisoners and this crap. Gives a new meaning to "take no prisoners."

BTW Chrissie, I'm having strange computer problems, hope I can get this through. My computer locks up every ten minutes whether I'm on the net or doing other computer stuff. It's like devine intervention to get my arse out of the

So I'm just not around much or for very long. I still love your articles and you are a peach, dear!

Posted by: Eden at June 14, 2009 06:48 AM

Said judge should be removed from office summarily and tried for giving aid and comfort to enemies of The United States. Even though Padilla may be a US Citizen, he is still our enemy for planning to use a dirty bomb on our soil. And then take him out in a mike boat, wrap him in tiedown chains and throw him overboard.

Posted by: Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET at June 14, 2009 10:55 AM

Turn some of his terrorist friends loose inside that judges chambers. Never has a person enjoyed more public anonymity or public protection than a judge.
Then the above the law bastards have the unmitigated gall to demand respect, f'k 'em!!!

"For those that will fight for it...FREEDOM ...has a flavor the protected shall never know." ~
L/Cpl Edwin L. "Tim" Craft, B Co 3rd AT's, Khe Sanh Combat Base, February, 1968

Eden, if it is a PC and not a MAC it sounds like a memory problem and/or a registry problem. My boat anchor used to do that all the time, I added more on board memory, a bigger hard drive for the necessary 'Swap File', you have to have disk space or it locks up the computer and I use a registry cleaner. Mine is Registry Mechanic by PC Tools, a life ring for a sinking ship. Audio and video files eat up the memory on the hard drive and you'll be shocked at what Windows media does to your registry. Best wishes.

Posted by: Jack at June 14, 2009 01:25 PM

"You have the Right to remanin silent"...Bang. So stay silent .

Posted by: Mark at June 14, 2009 08:16 PM

Eden, thank you for letting me know.
It worked and the comment got through ok.
I hope your computer will be ok soon.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 14, 2009 11:59 PM

Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET, I agree,
and I wish they would do that to him.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 15, 2009 12:06 AM

Jack,good one yesssss. And thank you too
for that quote!!!!!

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 15, 2009 12:08 AM

Mark, LOL I LOVE it!
I wish they could do this I really do.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 15, 2009 12:09 AM