Circuit Court Grants Qualified Immunity to Torture Memos' Author John Yoo

By:  Joe Wolverton, II
05/07/2012
       
Circuit Court Grants Qualified Immunity to Torture Memos' Author John Yoo

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted qualified immunity to John Yoo, shielding him from liability for torture carried out using guidelines set by him while working in the George W. Bush Justice Department.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted qualified immunity to John Yoo, shielding him from liability for torture carried out using guidelines set by him while working in the George W. Bush Justice Department.

 

Jose Padilla’s ongoing struggle to hold the government of the United States accountable for torture he allegedly received while being interrogated continued Wednesday as the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted qualified immunity to John Yoo, an official in the George W. Bush Justice Department.

During his time Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Yoo gained notoriety for authoring the Torture Memos wherein he advised the CIA and President Bush that the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” such as prolonged sleep deprivation, binding in stress positions, and waterboarding was legally permissible based on Yoo’s interpretation of the authority given the President to execute the War on Terror.

It is Yoo’s recommendation of torture in these controversial memos that Padilla claims in his lawsuit led directly to his being subjected to the very techniques mentioned in the memos while he was detained as an enemy combatant at a Naval prison in Charleston, South Carolina.

As Padilla explains in the complaint:

Yoo set in motion Padilla’s allegedly illegal interrogation and detention, both by formulating unlawful policies for the designation, detention and interrogation of suspected “enemy combatants” and by issuing legal memoranda designed to evade legal restraints on those policies and to immunize those who implemented them. 

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