Category: US Politics
Posted: 04/20/09 12:34, Edited: 04/20/09 12:40
by Dave Mindeman
With the release of the torture memos, the feelings of revulsion about what was done in our name during the Bush administration increases. It is a helpless feeling to know that the current administration will not seek legal remedies for this distortion of American justice.
Obama has a full plate..that is certainly true. Prosecuting the wrongs of the past 8 years could tie up the Justice Department for years. But, still, it feels wrong to do nothing.
Well, there is still something we can do.
Impeach Judge Jay Bybee. Jeremy Scahill
, in the Huffington Post, gives us the means to make our point.
He points to a Slate article by Yale Law Professor, Bruce Ackerman
(Ackerman was on this in January already):"Jay Bybee is currently sitting on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. As assistant attorney general in President George W. Bush's Justice Department, he was responsible for the notorious torture memos that enabled the excesses at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and other places. While John Yoo did most of the staff work for Bybee, Yoo was barely 35 years old -- and his memos showed it. They not only took extreme positions; they were legally incompetent, failing to consider many of the most obvious counterarguments. Bybee was 49. He was the grown-up, the seasoned jurist. He had been a law professor and had served as associate counsel to President Bush. When he was promoted to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, he became the final judge of legal matters within the executive branch. Yet his opinion on torture was so poorly reasoned that it was repudiated by his very conservative successor, Jack Goldsmith."
And he references the New York Times
:[The] investigation should start with the lawyers who wrote these sickening memos, including John Yoo, who now teaches law in California; Steven Bradbury, who was job-hunting when we last heard; and Mr. Bybee, who holds the lifetime seat on the federal appeals court that Mr. Bush rewarded him with.
These memos make it clear that Mr. Bybee is unfit for a job that requires legal judgment and a respect for the Constitution. Congress should impeach him. And if the administration will not conduct a thorough investigation of these issues, then Congress has a constitutional duty to hold the executive branch accountable. If that means putting Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzales on the stand, even Dick Cheney, we are sure Americans can handle it.
Now, we aren't going to get at Dick Cheney...we aren't going to try Donald Rumsfeld.... Congress either doesn't have the stomach for it or are afraid of the fallout.
But we can impeach Jay Bybee. He provided the legal basis for horrible actions by the United States. And he is now part of our judiciary....our interpreters of the law. That cannot stand.
The California Democratic Party has a petition. But this is something we should all participate in. The impeachment of Jay Bybee can be a symbol that says... "We do not accept torture."Sign the petition