Monday, May 18, 2009

JMO - Judge Bybee

If you don't know Mr. Bybee, now a Federal judge, was the head of the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel, the "legal ethics" arm of the DOJ, responsible to ensure the actions of the DOJ are appropriate, legal and ethical. Mr. Bybee, as head of OLC, was the one who signed the torture memorandums for President Bush assuring extreme torture is legal, even when the treaties the US is a signatory, like the Geneva Convention, prohibits it.

Mr Bybee has since been proven wrong, and he was wrong is approving those memos. And now there are voices calling for his impeachment. And editorials arguing against it. What all these people who are against it, who are mostly lawyers or legal scholars, forget is their own perspective and the perspective of the American people. Justice is one thing to them and another to us.

So Mr. Brandenburg has written a column about it. And while he makes valid points, he still misses the obvious. Mr. Bybee used his position for advance Bush and Cheney's torture techniques and Mr. Bybee used his position to get a federal judgeship for life. He's protected, and even when he has recanted his view about the memos, he virtually untouchable.

And both of these are wrong. He's wrong and should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity and he should be impeached for misuse of his DOJ office to approve the memos and secure a permanent job. It doesn't matter how good a judge he's been, it's doesn't excuse his previous actions as head of the OLC. It doesn't excuse his actions against the values of this country and nation and against the Constitution and treaties.

Mr. Bybee has done exactly what Mr. Brandenburg says he hasn't, "has committed a "crime" or "misdemeanor" serious enough to constitute a breach of the public trust." That's the simple reality, and he should be held accountable before the American people.

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