Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer, Saturday, January 5, 2008
A man who was held in isolation for more than three years before being tried and convicted of aiding terrorists filed suit Friday against the UC Berkeley law professor and former Justice Department official whose memos justified inflicting physical and mental pain during interrogations.There is no one in the whole Bushevik Cabal whom I would rather see stretched out on his back with a rag in his mouth and a water can over his head than this vicious, soul-less, moon-faced fuckwit, John Yoo...
Military officials relied on John Yoo's writings in subjecting Jose Padilla to prolonged sensory deprivation, sleep interruption, stress positions and other techniques designed to break his will, Padilla's lawyers said in a lawsuit filed in San Francisco. Padilla faces sentencing Monday in Miami.
The same lawyers filed a similar suit in South Carolina last year against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other Pentagon officials who they said authorized Padilla's detention and harsh treatment. One new element in Friday's suit against Yoo is that it seeks to hold a former government lawyer responsible for allegedly unconstitutional acts by officials who followed his legal advice.
"John Yoo was central to the justification and creation of the torture system," Jonathan Freiman, an attorney at a Yale Law School human rights clinic who represents Padilla, said in a statement. "What Yoo seems to have forgotten is that lawyers are not above the law."
Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor, said the suit faces difficult hurdles because lawyers normally can't be held liable for the consequences of their advice, or government officials for their policy decisions.
Yoo was unavailable for comment. In a 2006 book, "War by Other Means," he described working on a memo that led to Padilla's 2002 detention in a Navy brig, and also defended his August 2002 memo on interrogation methods that was cited in Friday's lawsuit.