Sunday, April 26, 2009

JMO - When sorry isn't enough

I've only slightly been following all the news about the Bush Administration torture memos and the release of some by the Obama administration. The memos authored and/or approved by three Department of Justice lawyers were obviously written to twist the political view of then VP Cheney and Ms. Rice, Bush's senior security advisor and later Secretary of State.

it's clear the authorized actions by interrogators violate the law and the Geneva Convention. By all accounts, I disagree with the Obama administration that these people and the interrogator shouldn't be prosecuted for their actions. They should. They violated international laws and treaties and violated basic human rights. And history has shown they didn't obtain and useful information that wasn't already known.

The last was proven by the FBI and international anti-terrorism specialists. Torture doesn't work to produce better than minnimal results. But that's not my point here. That's now Appeals Court judge Jay Bybee, one of the three authors. The other two are now in private practice or academia, but Mr. Bybee got a judgeship from it. And now we know his motive, do what they want to get a permanent job and leave the scene.

Today there's an article where Mr. Bybee at a dinner with his past and present clerical staff for the last 5 years as a judge and after 2 years with the DOJ makes statements regretting the two years with the Bush administration and authoring the memos. Like it's supposed to negate the last 7 years of torture of many innoncent people taken into secret detention by the CIA and DOD, many of whom were not taken in Iraq or Afghanistan, and many proven to be there by accident or victim of circumstance.

Mr. Bybee's apology, if it could even be called that - being only a statement of regret, is too little too late, and I personally believe he should be held accountable for his actions. He was at the center of a conspiracy to circumvent the Constitution, US law and international treaties the US is a signatory. He was one of the chief lawyers saying everything of ok. And now we know it wasn't.

He broke the law and should be taken into custody and, just maybe, treated as one of those prisoners he approved the torture of. He should know what he did and what other did with his approval. Nothing less and maybe much more, held in prison as they were and denied legal help as they were. He should live through what they lived through under his approval.

Sorry, Mr. Bybee, you corrupted the law for personal and political gain. That is a crime in my book, and no apology will clear the shame you gave this country and what you did. And I won't have regrets for you either now or ever.

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