Monday, April 14, 2008

Academic freedom or academic wiggle

Christopher Edley, Jr. is The Honorable William H. Orrick, Jr. Distinguished Chair and Dean UC Berkeley School of Law. On Thursday, he issued his reasoning on why he won't dismiss John Yoo from the faculty at the school he heads.

Implicit in his reasoning is the fact that Yoo has not been convicted in court, and hence, by the statutes of the college, cannot be dismissed because he did not cross some clear ethical boundary.

What he doesn't say is that the legal memos issued by Yoo were the grounds upon which prisoners were tortured, and some killed. If that is not an ethical line, I'm not sure what is. The fact that Yoo was counseling the President of the United States, and his appointees, and not some mafia don seems to legitimize his memos in Edley's view.

There's blood on those memos. There's blood on the hands of a Berkeley Law School Faculty member.

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