Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Liberal Tolerance of the Day

Lefties claim to revere tolerance. Except for someone with whom they disagree. Or ideas they oppose. To progressives in Berkeley, California, John Yoo embodies both.

Yoo is a lawyer: he clerked for Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, and is now a law professor at Berkeley. But from 2001 to 2003, Yoo was Deputy Assistant Attorney General, at the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel. And in that role, Yoo authored some of the so-called "torture memos" (others here), including legal opinions on the scope of permissible interrogation of Git'mo detainees.

Lefties reject Yoo's reasoning and conclusions. So some are showing their tolerance by publishing his address and stalking him. And they're being encouraged by a May 28th article in the Berkeley Daily Planet:
Neighborhood Alert: Berkeley Home to Possible War Criminal . . .

Last week the Grizzly Peak neighbors of John Yoo received a "Neighborhood Alert" regarding Professor Yoo, in the form of a flyer letting them know he lives among them and providing information about his crimes, namely providing unethical and shoddy legal advice and cover to Bybee, Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc. . .

Unlike a sexual predator or burglar, Mr. Yoo is a criminal whom the police are not likely to point out to Berkeley citizens, though his crimes are horrific. Why am I calling him a criminal when he hasn’t (yet) been prosecuted? . .

I question the acceptability of sheltering a war criminal in Berkeley. I don’t feel safe living in the vicinity of someone who believes torture is legal. . .

[T]here is a growing group of Berkeley citizens who are standing in witness in front of Yoo’s house on a weekly basis, starting this Sunday, May 31, at 2 p.m. Join this group on Grizzly Peak for an hour or so. If there’s any justice in this world John Yoo is going to have problems living a normal life now, unless he apologizes to us all.
Zombie posted some pics of the first protest, including trespassing to write graffiti on Yoo's driveway.

The Daily Planet article's author, law firm librarian Cynthia Papermaster, is an activist in Code Pink and the now-moot National Impeachment Network. She calls herself "a Pacifist. I don't believe in killing as a way to solve conflict." Apparently, however, harassment and the presumption of guilt are ok.

As I've observed, "Tolerance is a lighter yoke when one excludes adversaries from the start--and tolerate only those with whom one already agrees." Progressives in Berkeley promote firing and banishment. That's too wimpy for Berkeley pacifists--they've "moved-on" to menace.

Next up--blaming the position taken in an Obama Administration legal brief on the religion of one Department of Justice lawyer; and a San Francisco judge sets his sights on Yoo.

16 comments:

OBloodyHell said...

How the hell, and for God's sake why, did this guy take a job at Berkley of all places?

P.S., note that Asians are not a "protected group". Can you see the fun the Right would have with this if Yoo were black?

Carl said...

Yoo had been a lower-ranking professor at Berkeley before he worked for the Bush Administration.

copithorne said...

The juxtaposition of this article and the one below it is kind of amazing to me. Torture and torturers should tolerated by open minded people. But crude jokes should not be tolerated. Crude jokes are an abomination and people who make them should be hounded out of business.

My values are different from that. I don’t think tolerating torture is a virtue. On the other hand I don’t tend to get bent out of shape by jokes.

In fact the value system exhibited here is so different from mine I’m left wondering if the place where usually you would find a value system has been replaced by simple partisan reflexes.

Carl said...

copithorne:

I cannot understand the point you're trying to make.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Copithorne has decided that Yoo is a torturer, and is drawing all his conclusions based on that.

John Yoo is not a torturer, nor did he abet or enable torturers. One can only get there by playing with the meanings of words. I am aware that people feel strongly otherwise, but all arguments I have seen to date break down after initial promising starts.

OBloodyHell said...

> I cannot understand the point you're trying to make.

That's because the point is on his head. There is no rational argument there, he's attempting, once more, to create a strawman argument for how he's so morally superior to us because "we tolerate something morally reprehensible", while "getting outraged over something trivial".

That we flat out disagree with him on what constitutes "torture", and don't "tolerate" the thing he's claiming the MHG on is irrelevant.

He's gotten on his high horse, rode it up there, and planted the libtard flag, regardless.

As far as it being a "trivial" thing, of course, it would not be a "trivial" thing if this were someone somehow managing to, say, burn a cross on the White House lawn, or on any black man's lawn for that matter...

The libtards threatening Yoo are, after all, on the MHG ("Hey, look, see? There's our flag!"), therefore they are fully justified in doing anything they want, no matter how reprehensible or despicable. Go ahead, trash the character of a young girl, she's the daughter of a conservative. She deserves to be described as a slut. No, it does not matter that if you used that word to refer to, say, Malia or Natasha, well, the sky would be falling according to the libtard media. These are conservatives, after all. And we've got the MHG ("See? There's our flag!").

That's the fun part about heing a libtard. You can abuse logic all you want. To them, GIGO is a wonderful thing.

Because, after all -- they've got the MHG ("You can tell! Just look at the flag!").

Carl said...

OBH:

Well said.

OBloodyHell said...

Carl, also, I'd point out the extreme danger in this.

You're aware of it, I'm sure, but I'm not so sure that others grasp it -- He's not only being threatened for merely expressing an opinion -- he's being threatened for expressing a professional legal opinion...

He was asked, as a professional, to interpret The Law. He did so. Now he is being pilloried because certain groups don't like that interpretation.

The danger in that is much, much greater than merely suppressing individual dissent -- it's got much wider ranging "chill" potential.

But that's ok, because, you know, they've got the MHG.

...See the flag? Strangely, they look rather red in this light, in more ways than one...

Carl said...

OBH:

I'm very worried "lawfare" is turning into a tool of partisan politics. In a free society, losing an election should prompt the transition of party and personnel, not nuisance lawsuits and community stalking. Obviously, MoveOn's forgotten its mantra.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Added point. We make distinctions, and wisely, between First-Degree Murder, Negligent Homicide, and Involuntary Manslaughter. We don't say "killing is killing is killing," even though that is technically true. To ask a lawyer to decide where the line is between torture, which is absolutely off the table, and "enhanced interrogation techniques" that are pretty bad but we might use in a pinch strikes me as a very reasonable thing to do. One might disagree with his conclusions or accuse him of bad motives, but the attempt itself is not objectionable.

Carl said...

AVI:

Agreed. Criminalizing such actions post hoc will encourage solely oral advice, undermining transparency and the accountability progressives now demand.

OBloodyHell said...

> ...undermining transparency and the accountability progressives now demand.

They talk a lot in this manner -- in reality, all the "progress" sought by "progressives" will be a confusing and ponderous mishmash of garbage all to the effect of weighting down and making the whole system unworkable.

Not what pops into my head when I hear the word "progress".

Much as with "pravda", the liberals, marxists to the core, take words, and twist them to somehow manage to mean the exact opposite.

Necros said...

What? There are still people who don't understand that to keep our ridiculously luxurious way of life, we need to kill, torture, extort and devastate? And it's our god-given right, so anyone protesting might find himself dead with a patriotic bullet in his forehead.

Carl said...

Necros:

Yoo did none of those things, so why protest?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Moral questions are so easy when you just misrepresent your opponents' views.

OBloodyHell said...

> Moral questions are so easy when you just misrepresent your opponents' views.

Indeed:

> we need to kill, torture, extort and devastate?

Ah, so, it's "devastation" to spend billions of dollars to rebuild the infrastructure of a nation which had said infrastructure in decline for decades before we got there?

Funny, I always though "imperialism" meant you took money from the "colonies", not spent billions on them...

"New English", I guess, to go with the "New Math" -- where you cut the deficit by increasing spending threefold.