Four anti-war demonstrators were arrested today at the University of California, Berkeley after calling to fire John Yoo, a law professor who co-wrote legal memos that some claimed to have justified the torture of suspected terrorists.
On the first day of class at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, people protested against Yoo, saying he should be dismissed and prosecuted as a war criminal during his attorney tenure with Bush administration. From 2001 to 2003, Yoo created legal theories for waterboarding and other interrogation strategies.
Demonstrators staged a mock-arrest of Yoo: some were dressed in black hoods and orange prison suits resembling the photos of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prisoners. In 2006, reports of detainee abuse shut the prison. However, Yoo ignored the demonstrators and waited for university police to remove them before he began the day’s lesson.
Yoo has defended the controversial techniques, claiming that they were are necessary to protect the nation from terrorism. Nevertheless, he has been critiqued for these memos; the Berkeley City Council passed a measure calling for federal government to prosecute Yoo for war crimes.