Padilla Sues Counterterrorism Policy Architect John Yoo
Posted Jan 4, 2008 4:58 PM CDT
By Molly McDonough
Corrected: Convicted terrorism conspirator Jose Padilla has filed suit against one of the Bush administration's key war-on-terror policy architects.
Padilla claims that John Yoo's legal memos led the president to designate Padilla as an enemy combatant shortly after his 2002 arrest in Chicago. That action in turn led to Padilla's mistreatment and illegal detention at a Navy brig in South Carolina, Padillla alleges, according to the Associated Press.
At the time, Yoo was deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel. Yoo now teaches law at the University of California, Berkeley.
The Chicago Tribune cites details in the suit, including allegations that Padilla experienced torture because of the memos Yoo wrote.
"John Yoo is the first person in American history to provide the legal authorization for the institution of torture in the U.S.," the Tribune reports Jonathan Freiman, an attorney representing Padilla, as saying. "[Yoo] was an absolutely essential part of what will be viewed by history as a group of rogue officials acting under cover of law to undermine fundamental rights. It never would have happened without the legal green light. That made it possible."
TortsProf Blog notes that the suit faces "some challenging immunity problems."
Padilla was convicted on terrorism conspiracy charges in August. His sentencing is set for next week in federal court in Miami. He faces life in prison.
Updated to add details about the suit's allegations, 4:31 p.m. Friday, CST; and at 5:59 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5. to add a link to the complaint. Corrected 5:59 p.m. Jan. 5 to note Jonathan Freiman's quotation was in response to a reporter's question.