John Yoo ordered to testify on torture

John Yoo, the former Bush administration lawyer connected to the torture program put in place by the Bush Administration, has been ordered to testify in court about accusations that his work led to the torture of a detainee. More at ThinkProgress and Raw Story.

From Raw Story:

Former Bush administration attorney John Yoo was ordered on Friday by a federal judge in San Francisco to testify in an appeal brought by Jose Padilla, an American citizen who was held for more than three years and allegedly tortured while in U.S. military custody.

Yoo was one of several administration lawyers who authored legal memos which outlined a legal range for torture, a war crime under the Geneva Convention relative to the prisoners of war.

“Judge [Jeffrey S.] White denied most elements of Mr. Yoo’s motion and quoted a passage from the Federalist Papers that in times of war, nations, to be more safe, ‘at length become willing to run the risk of being less free,’” noted The New York Times.

Yoo, while at the Office of Legal Council in 2002, authored a majority of the department’s opinions on torture along with Jay Bybee, who now serves as a judge on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Steven Bradbury, the former OLC chief who now practices law in Washington, D.C…

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Jose Padilla Sentenced

via: AP

Jose Padilla, once accused of plotting with al-Qaida to blow up a radioactive “dirty bomb,” was sentenced Tuesday to 17 years and four months on terrorism conspiracy charges that don’t mention those initial allegations.

The sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke marks another step in the extraordinary personal and legal odyssey for the 37-year-old Muslim convert, a U.S. citizen was held for 3 1/2 years as an enemy combatant after his 2002 arrest amid the “dirty bomb” allegations.

Cooke also imposed prison terms on two other men of Middle Eastern origin who were convicted of conspiracy and material support charges along with Padilla in August. The three were part of a North American support cell for al-Qaida and other Islamic extremists around the world, prosecutors said.
Padilla was added in 2005 to an existing Miami terrorism support case just as the U.S. Supreme Court was considering his challenge to President Bush’s decision to hold him in custody indefinitely without charge. The “dirty bomb” charges were quietly discarded and were never part of the criminal case.

More on Jose Padilla from the Washington Post:

The Real Verdict on Jose Padilla
By Jenny S. Martinez – Friday, August 17, 2007

The conclusion of Jose Padilla‘s criminal trial in a federal court yesterday shows that waging the “war on terror” does not require giving up our constitutional values or substituting military rule for the rule of law. The jury’s guilty verdict should be appealed, but the verdict on the Constitution is in: We should keep it.

Padilla is a U.S. citizen who was arrested in Chicago in May 2002, pursuant to a warrant to testify before a grand jury. He was held in civilian custody in New York for a month, but on the eve of a hearing in federal court, President Bush declared Padilla an “enemy combatant.” At that point, Padilla was whisked out of the civilian justice system and imprisoned in a South Carolina military brig. Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft held a news conference to announce that the government had thwarted a plot by Padilla to set off a radiological “dirty bomb” in an American city.

Anyone who has seen a cop show in recent decades knows what rights people in America usually have when arrested: the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Not Padilla.

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