DeLong v. Yoo

This is too awesome:

An economics professor at the University of California-Berkeley has filed a formal grievance to investigate the tenure of one of the University of California, Berkeley’s most controversial faculty members: John Yoo.

[N]o one on the faculty took action against Yoo until Bradford DeLong, a former Clinton administration economist, wrote a letter to the chairman of Berkeley’s Academic Senate, William Drummond, on Tuesday. The letter asked Drummond to create a fact-finding committee to determine Yoo’s culpability for the torture of detainees. “If you have not read John Yoo’s recently-released ‘Torture Memo,’ and have not been as horrified and appalled as I am, I strongly urge you to read it in full,” DeLong wrote to Drummond.
DeLong said he believes Yoo should face some form of punishment.
“For the university to take no note of Yoo’s “Torture Memo” is for it to endorse Yoo’s claim that this is lawyering and law professing as usual,” he said, “that Yoo has some legitimacy when he claims, for example, that the president can legally order the torturing and maiming of prisoners and that Congress has no power to restrain him even though the Constitution explicitly gives Congress the power.”

There are so many reasons why this is an excellent step. It’s fitting that Brad DeLong is launching it, and not some far-left, quasi-Marxist professor whose credibility would be shot immediately. Even better is DeLong’s proposed solution. While there’s no question that Yoo should lose his job, I don’t think a summary firing would be appropriate; a firing following a committee report proving beyond any doubt that Yoo is, by any definition, a war criminal, would be met with more support, and have more legitimacy. So good luck to DeLong on this one. If he succeeds, it’ll be the first real punishment this administration faces for its crimes.

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