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Dickey Center hosts panel discussion on targeted killings, torture

The John Sloan Dickey Center's War and Peace Studies Program will host a panel discussion titled "Coercive Interrogations and Targeted Killings: Justifiable Measures or Self-Defeating Excess?" at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 17. The event will take place in Filene Auditorium, Moore Hall and is free and open to the public. Panelists are:

John Yoo, Professor of Law, University of California Berkeley School of Law. Yoo is perhaps best known for his work from 2001 to 2003 when he served as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. It was there that Yoo contributed to the so-called "torture memos" which became the cornerstone to the United States' decision to deny prisoner-of-war status under the Geneva Conventions to Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

Scott Horton, Adjunct Professor Columbia School of Law and Partner at Peterson Webb & Tyler. A life-long human rights advocate, Horton served as counsel to Andrei Sakharov, Elena Bonner and numerous other human rights figures. Most recently he led a bar association examination of the treatment of detainees in the global war on terror that first brought national attention to the United States' withdrawal from the Geneva Conventions and other international standards.

"This is going to be a stimulating discussion between two expert legal minds who are firmly divided on the legality and value of targeted killings and torture," said Allan Stam, Daniel Webster Professor of Government, Director of the Dickey Center's War and Peace Studies Program and moderator of the event. "While they come at this issue from completely opposite sides, they know each other and are individually quite collegial. This will be a probing and thought-provoking look at the issues."

Kenneth Yalowitz, the Norman E. McCullough Jr. Director of the Dickey Center said that "Having two speakers like John Yoo and Scott Horton is the essence of what we are trying to do at the Dickey Center. It's good for students to have an array of issues set before them. It gives them a close look at both sides of the argument. It's obviously controversial, but I believe it will help to promote international understanding."

By JOEL AALBERTS

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Last Updated: 12/17/08