John Yoo, previously known as a low-level right-wing toady at the Bush Department of Justice, is today infamous as the legal architect of the Bush administration’s authorization of torture. In the above clip, looted from The Chaser’s War On Everything by way of True/Slant, Professor Yoo does nothing to improve his reputation as a nervous authoritarian when he becomes the subject of a prank in his classroom. During a session of the UC Berkeley* class he teaches in International Law (?)(!) an Abu Ghraib-style hooded figure rises, spreads his arms and asks the torture fan how long he should maintain the stress position. When faced with this commentary on Yoo’s career under Bush, the legal scholar’s taste for extralegal force manifests as a rather weak appeal to a grey-haired school functionary who comes to shoo away the prankster. One wonders if he will again call upon her if subpoenas from Eric Holder’s office arrive.
* UPDATE 1: A commenter from UC Berkeley (in record time, I might add) has let RW370 know that Professor Yoo is on leave from UC Berkeley and is instead teaching at the Chapman University School of Law. Thanks for the correction, which I am posting pending confirmation.
UPDATE 2: Wired’s Danger Room blog confirms the prank took place at Chapman. Thanks again to commenter Ryan Shaw for the tip.