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The Joke's on Yoo: Law Prof Pranked

As an attorney in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel during the administration of President George W. Bush, John Yoo helped write the so-called torture memos, justifying the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" against "enemy combatants." Among the iconic images to come out of that era were the photographs of black-hooded prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison taken by their military handlers.

Yoo went on to become a professor of law at the University of California's Berkeley School of Law, and is currently a visiting professor at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, Calif. But his role in writing those memos remains very much in the news. And even in the seeming safety of a Chapman law school classroom, Yoo is not safe from criticism -- or from being punked. Wired's Threat Level blog tells what happened to Yoo during a lecture last week on international law.

After Yoo mentions the Constitution during his lecture, and asks the students if they have any questions, an Australian comedian from the show Chaser’s War on Everything is seen wearing a black-hooded robe and standing on top of his desk with his arms outstretched, recalling one of the most iconic images of U.S. torture captured in the now-infamous Abu Ghraib photos.

The comedian says, “Actually, professor, I’ve got one question. Uhm, how long can I be required to stand here ’til it counts as torture?”

Yoo cuts his lecture short and replies, “Unfortunately, I’m going to have to end class,” as he packs up his lecture notes.

As Yoo apologizes to the class for the interruption, the comedian replies, “If this is awkward for you, it’s very uncomfortable for me, I can tell you…. I’d love to move but every time I do my balls get buzzed.”

You can see the confrontation for yourself in the video below.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on July 23, 2009 at 02:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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