John Yoo Charm Campaign: "Secret" Classes at Cal

"Torture memo" author John Yoo has nothing to hide, except John Yoo

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Sep 29, 2010  |  Updated 5:23 PM PDT
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John Yoo Charm Campaign: "Secret" Classes at Cal

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 26: Former Department of Justice official John Yoo testifies before the House Judiciary committee during a hearing on the administration's interrogation policy on June 26, 2008 in Washington, DC. Yoo has cited attorney-client privilege in avoiding answering specific questions about his involvement in drafting the controversial 2002 memo on interrogation techniques. (Photo by Melissa Golden/Getty Images)

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John Yoo, the former Department of Justice attorney who crafted the legal memorandum the Bush administration used to justify waterboarding terror suspects, is out on a charm offensive.

Well, correctly it's a book tour for his tome "Crisis in Command," and last night it stopped at the pinnacle of wonky political book promotional venue The Daily Show With John Stewart, where Yoo once again distanced himself from former President George W. Bush by pointing out that he never met the man.

Here's the segment:


The interview was long, and Yoo affable while Stewart seemed confused. After the interview, Stewart declared it "pretty unsatisfying." The whole interview, unedited (and possibly not safe for work) is available on the Daily Show's Web site in three parts.

Meanwhile, anti-torture protestors at the University of California at Berkeley announced in an email statement that a scheduled protest will be held at the Office of the Dean of the Boalt School of Law at 3 p.m. this afternoon.

Yoo will be teaching a course on the California State constitution with a co-teacher and 24 students, but surprisingly, the school has not listed the location of the class in its course catalogue. The course is scheduled to begin Tuesday evening.

Ironically enough, Monday was the eighth anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, where some of Yoo's legal theories were put into practice.

In an incident last semester, a protestor interrupted class, and protests have also been held at Yoo's home as well as other campus locations.

It can be argued that the protests are an assault on the academic freedom of the professor and students -- and certainly few professors are as familiar with the legal details of hampering freedom as Yoo.

Maybe he could write a memo?

Jackson West isn't really sure what Cal was thinking when they hired Yoo in the first place.

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