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Activists rewrite Bob Dylan to promote John Yoo protest

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, March 1, 2010 21:40 EDT
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The politics of John Yoo and Bob Dylan couldn’t be any more different. After all, one wrote legal exceptions that sanctioned the use of torture, while the other inspired a generation. In a sense, it seems logical to blend the two, right?

And that’s just what activists Margaret Flowers and David Swanson did, rewriting the lyrics to Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue” into a lick protesting the former Bush administration attorney.

The title — “Tangled Up In Yoo” — is catchy, albeit obvious.

This video was published to YouTube by user davidcnswanson on Feb. 28, 2010.

The song was apparently created to help promote a civil action against John Yoo, who plans to speak in Charlottesville, Virginia on March 19. Swanson, who oversees activist web site AfterDowningStreet.org and rewrote the song’s lyrics, is also promoting the video under the address hoosagainstyoo.org.

The term “Hoo” (short for “Wahoo”) is the unofficial nickname for University of Virginia students and alumni.

“Yoo has claimed that a president has the right to crush a child’s testicles, massacre a village, or drop nuclear bombs on cities,” the group says in a flier [PDF link] promoting their protest. “The Dept. of Justice found that Yoo ‘committed intentional professional misconduct’. Spain is seeking to indict Yoo but is facing strong resistance from the White House.

Aggressive wars, torture, lawless imprisonment, and warrantless spying are continuing because Yoo and his
co?conspirators have not yet been prosecuted. And they are not being prosecuted because the new president is continuing the crimes. We must raise our voices for the rule of law. Yoo does not deny his crimes,
but claims power on behalf of a president to commit them in a time of war. But war is the supreme crime, and Yoo has the blood of over a million Iraqis and Afghans on his hands. We should give Yoo what he has helped deny to thousands: a fair trial.”

According to the results of a DoJ probe, Yoo and fellow Bush attorney Jay Bybee were both found guilty of “professional misconduct” in authorizing torture by the Bush administration, but will face no civil or criminal liability.

“These memos contained significant flaws,” Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis wrote in a 69-page memo dated January 5. “But as all that glitters is not gold, all flaws do not constitute professional misconduct…. I conclude that Yoo and Bybee exercised poor judgment by overstating the certainty of their conclusions and underexposing countervailing arguments.”

The long-awaited and repeatedly delayed release of the final report by the ethics unit, which capped a two-year review, was hundreds of pages long and included emails exchanged between the Justice Department, the White House and the Central Intelligence Agency. It was dated July 29.

It also cleared Steven Bradbury, who headed the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel where Yoo and Bybee worked.

The report criticized former attorney general John Ashcroft, then-chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division Michael Chertoff and others for not critically examining the memos or recognizing the documents’ shortcomings. But it did not cite the officials for misconduct.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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