John Yoo Taunts Protesters: 'I Doubt Anyone Will Show Up'

Protester responds: 'Yoo likes to make very disparaging remarks about people who call him a war criminal, but that's in fact what he is.'

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John Yoo, a frequent target of anti-war protesters, speaks on the Bush presidency at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., Feb. 22, 2006.
John Yoo, a frequent target of anti-war protesters, speaks at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., Feb. 22, 2006.

Former Bush administration attorney John Yoo is speaking at a Republican Party fundraiser in San Francisco, Calif., Wednesday evening and activists associated with the group World Can't Wait are planning to be there, calling for his arrest and disbarment.

Yoo, a University of California at Berkeley law professor, brushed off the promised protest. "I doubt anyone will show up," Yoo said in an email to U.S. News.

The attorney's dismissive tone evoked a predictable reaction.

"John Yoo likes to make very disparaging remarks about people who call him a war criminal, but that's in fact what he is," Stephanie Tang, a representative of World Can't Wait, told U.S. News. "We always make good on our press releases."

[BROWSE: Editorial Cartoons on the NSA Surveillance Scandal]

John Yoo, a frequent target of anti-war protesters, speaks on the Bush presidency at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., Feb. 22, 2006.
John Yoo, a frequent target of anti-war protesters, speaks at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., Feb. 22, 2006.

Yoo is reviled by anti-war activists for helping craft legal guidelines in the early 2000s for the use of so-called "enhanced interrogation" tactics, such as waterboarding, which critics call torture.

The activist organization behind the planned Wednesday protest, according to Tang, says "fire, disbar and prosecute John Yoo and all of his cohorts in the Bush-Cheney torture team."

The activist group maintains the website firejohnyoo.net.

According to event information posted on the website of the San Francisco Republican Party, Yoo will speak about "the recent revelations of the NSA's PRISM program, the status of Edward Snowden, outcomes of recent Supreme Court decisions, and any other interesting topics of the day."

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The event begins around 6:30 p.m. PDT at Villa Taverna, a San Francisco restaurant, and costs $50 to attend. Attendees will be treated to wine and appetizers.

"We will be representing the very large portion of Americans that support what Edward Snowden did and think he's a very courageous young man," Tang said. "Snowden has done the world an enormous service."

Tang and her fellow activists are by no means pleased with President Barack Obama either, who swept into office promising to undo Bush administration policies and bring greater transparency to government.

"What we have under Obama is an institutionalized and escalated version of the Bush doctrine, [and] it's a lie that any of this makes Americans safer," the activist said. "It's Obama who has signed the National Defense Authorization Act and made targeted assassinations and massive drone warfare the rule of the day."

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