This past week the Obama Administration released
yet more damning documents from the BushCo
war on liberty and justice. You can find the so-called 'torture memos' drafted by BushCo's
Office of Legal Counsel (OLC
. At the same time Obama's
Justice Department announced - quite preposterously for a bunch of "pragmatists" who allegedly are concerned for consequences - that it would not pursue prosecution of CIA agents who had, under cover of the legal opinions presented in these memos, tortured prisoners. Think about it, we trust the CIA to gather intelligence on matters of crucial national security, but we cannot presume that the agents employed by the agency are capable of knowing total self-serving bullshit when they see it! After all, the OLC
memos are just that - rationalizations of policies that everyone knows now and knew then presented a pretext for torture which, as everyone also knows, is illegal under American and International Law. So, if the CIA cannot tell bullshit when it is dished out by Government lawyers, how will they be able to discern the difference between truth and falsity when it is dished out by dangerous suspects of secret informants or other spook-like entities?
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
: "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.
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
That is my last question
for now: Can we get someone to take on the editing job?
* Yoo would be John Yoo, who served as Bybee's Deputy at OLC and who was an active composer of justifications for torture
Labels: Bullshit, BushCo, Obama, politics, torture