Debra J. Saunders

 Anderson, who just graduated from Boalt Hall, dismissed any legitimacy in the Justice Department argument, instead charging that Yoo "assisted his client in perpetuating illegal acts" and is guilty of "aiding and abetting."

 So if someone writes an opinion you don't like, that person is breaking the law?

 "We're not trying to make his opinion-espousing illegal. What he did is illegal," Anderson answered.

 Now I see why Anderson says the petition doesn't limit academic thought. After all, if he had his way, Yoo would be free to think what he wants -- from a jail cell.

 "What do the students want?" Yoo asked. "Do they want to be taught by teachers who spoon-feed them what the students (already) believe?"

 "A more responsible petition," a Yoo critic told me, "would be one that said we think that your legal opinion led to what happened at Abu Ghraib. We would like to have a forum." That forum would allow a discussion on the policy and legal arguments concerning detainee status, the critic said.

 But the law students preferred the petition-and-anonymous-poster route -- which denied Yoo a platform to respond.

 Consider the petition's call for Yoo to repudiate what he wrote in 2002. If Yoo were to repudiate the memo, he would have no ethics. Yet only then would Yoo demonstrate the sort of ethics the students considered worthy of a law professor -- no ethics, but he would agree with them.

 Yoo decided not to attend Boalt Hall's graduation, as more than a quarter of the graduates wore armbands protesting Yoo's "aiding and abetting war crimes." He told me he didn't want to interfere with the commencement celebration.

 Democratic Rep. Tom Lantos of San Francisco declined to attend City College of San Francisco's graduation after protesters warned they would picket his presence in light of his vote to go to war in Iraq. A spokesman explained that Lantos didn't want to tread on the festivities.

 "To call for the resignation of a professor shows a desire to exclude people from the intellectual community because of what they think," said Yoo. In a small way, it is working.


Debra J. Saunders


 
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