Questions Raised by the Obama Administration's Release of the "Torture Memos" and Subsequent Unwillingness to Confront the Consequneces ...
This week too the Spanish government announced that it would not pursue an investigation or prosecution of those Americans officials who devised and implemented this most recent incarnation of U.S. torture policy. They (perhaps rightly) decided that any such activities should be undertaken here in the States. Except, of course, that the Justice Department has announced that it will not do any such thing. In any case, I simply could not help but wonder, after hearing the decision from the Spanish prosecutors, who had called and leaned on them. I am sure they were lobbied by friends of BushCo. But what about members of the Obama Administration? Did anyone from the Justice or State Department, discreetly of course, make it clear to the Spaniards that it might be imprudent to make good on their intention to investigate American torturers?
Finally, this editorial in The New York Times today rightly recommends that Jay Bybee, author of some of the most egregious of the torture memos, and now a federal Appeals Court Judge, should be impeached. Over at The New Yorker Jeffrey Toobin writes of Bybee: "He was confirmed by the Senate on March 13, 2003—some time before any of the “torture memos” became public. He has never answered questions about them, has never had to defend his conduct, has never endured anywhere near the amount of public scrutiny (and abuse) as Yoo."* I agree that Bybee should be dragged out into the light. I doubt, though, that the Congress has the courage needed to impeach the miscreant. At a minimum, then, I suggest that Bybee be compelled to amend the brief biographical sketch posted on the federal government's web page to read as follows:
Bybee, Jay S.That is my last question for now: Can we get someone to take on the editing job?
Born 1953 in Oakland, CA
Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Nominated by George W. Bush on January 7, 2003, to a seat vacated by Proctor R. Hug, Jr.; Confirmed by the Senate on March 13, 2003, and received commission on March 21, 2003.
Brigham Young University, B.A., 1977
Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law School, J.D., 1980
Law clerk, Hon. Donald Russell, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1980-1981
Private practice, Washington, D.C., 1981-1984
Attorney, Office of Legal Policy, U.S. Department of Justice, 1984-1986
Attorney, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 1986-1989
Associate counsel to the president, The White House, 1989-1991
Professor, Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University, 1991-1998
Professor, William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, 1999-2000
Assistant attorney general, Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice, Special Division for Justifying War Crimes, 2001-2002
Race or Ethnicity: White
* Yoo would be John Yoo, who served as Bybee's Deputy at OLC and who was an active composer of justifications for torture.