April 1, 2009

A number of websites are carrying a story claiming that John Yoo, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States, was arrested in Milan, Italy, and is being held “for possible extradition to Spain, where he and five other retired officials who served under former President George W. Bush are expected to be indicted by a Spanish court for violations of the Geneva Conventions, the Convention Against Torture, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”

It is said this news was covered by Reuters. A Google News search produces no matches on the text supposedly carried by the corporate media news service.

[efoods]It appears the news story is a spoof, although as noted above a number of websites are passing it off as legitimate, including the World Prout Assembly.

Yoo is notorious for his pro-torture legal theories that were endorsed by Donald Rumsfeld and were communicated to Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the commander of both Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib at the time of the most severe detainee abuses.

On December 1, 2005 Yoo appeared in a debate in Chicago with Notre Dame. During the debate Yoo said the president has the authority to order interrogators to crush the testicles of children in order to get information from their parents.

“The fact that John Yoo is a Professor of Law at Berkeley and is treated as a respectable, serious expert by our media institutions, reflects the complete destruction over the last eight years of whatever moral authority the United States possessed,” Glenn Greenwald wrote for Salon on April 2, 2008. “Comporting with long-held stereotypes of two-bit tyrannies, we’re now a country that literally exempts our highest political officials from the rule of law, and have decided that there should be no consequences when they commit serious felonies.”

“A Spanish court has taken the first steps toward opening a criminal investigation into allegations that six former high-level Bush administration officials violated international law by providing the legal framework to justify the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,” International Herald Tribune reported on March 31, 2009.

“The complaint under review also names John C. Yoo, the former U.S. Justice Department lawyer who wrote secret legal opinions saying the president had the authority to circumvent the Geneva Conventions, and Douglas J. Feith, the former under secretary of defense for policy.”

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