Will you join me please and Sign the petition? With the revelations that Jay Bybee was in the middle of trying to legalize torture for the Bush admi
April 19, 2009

Will you join me please and Sign the petition? With the revelations that Jay Bybee was in the middle of trying to legalize torture for the Bush administration, particularly with the evidence that he penned the disgusting torture memo in 2002, I fully support all efforts to have this man impeached. The OLC is supposed to give sound legal opinions to the executive branch, not bend the law to fit their sick world view which makes this all the more egregious.

As Jeffery Toobin writes in the New Yorker:

The first, and very chilling memo in the group is an analysis of the various techniques that were used by C.I.A. interrogators on Abu Zubaydah. The author of the memo, which is dated August 1, 2002, is Jay S. Bybee, who was the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel. Bybee concludes that all of these various techniques, including waterboarding, do not constitute torture under American or international law.

Bybee is generally the forgotten man in torture studies of the Bush era. The best known of the legal architects of the torture regime is John Yoo, who was a deputy to Bybee. For better or worse, Yoo has been a vocal defender of the various torture policies, and he remains outspoken on these issues. But whatever happened to his boss?

Today, Bybee is a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 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. It is an understatement to say that he has kept a low profile since becoming a judge.

He certainly slipped under my radar. When you study men like Cheney, Yoo and David Addington---it's very easy for a man like Bybee to slip through the torture cracks. Now he's on the 9th circuit and for a man to be involved in one of the most revolting moral and ethical violations in American history, he has forfeited the right to be on the 9th circuit. The only thing left to figure out is how to do it.

The NY Times is also asking of Bybee to be impeached"

That 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. After eight years without transparency or accountability, Mr. Obama promised the American people both. His decision to release these memos was another sign of his commitment to transparency. We are waiting to see an equal commitment to accountability.

Well, not surprising--it's up to us to do it and to push the tools we have at our disposal.

d-day has more:

And there is an actual mechanism, a way to leverage grassroots anger and push the elected officials who can make these decisions, at least in one case. We can prove the desire for accountability in the country and take a systematic approach to restore democracy and the rule of law. And it starts with Jay Bybee.

We've been talking about this, but I want to reiterate that the California Democratic Party can speak with one voice about this next week. Grassroots activists submitted a resolution to be decided at next week's convention in Sacramento that would call for the impeachment of Jay Bybee from the 9th Circuit. This resolution has already been accepted, UNANIMOUSLY, by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. It can pass at the state level.

Impeachment would require a majority vote in the House, and removal would need a 2/3 vote in the trial in the Senate. I agree with Jonathan Zasloff that there are likely 34 Republicans in the Senate willing to go on record as objectively pro-torture, and thus removal would be less likely to be successful. I also agree that the Congress should be compelled to do this anyway.


The Resolutions Committee meeting will be held at 3:00 on Friday, April 24, at the Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J St., Sacramento, CA. If you're in the area or if you are a delegate, you can come to the meeting and advocate for the resolution. But the decision will likely be made beforehand. Only a few resolutions get out of committee and to the floor of the convention, and the others are tabled, or combined, or referred to a separate committee. We CANNOT let this happen. The leadership of the California Democratic Party needs to hear from constituents on this issue.

Sacramento Office

(916) 442-5707 phone

(916) 442-5715 fax

Los Angeles Office

(310) 407-0980 phone

(310) 407-0981 fax

email contact form

I've also created a petition at Petition Online urging the CDP to pass this.


We have an opportunity to use the party apparatus to push for accountability and send it up to leaders in Washington. I urge everyone to get on board with this. Thanks.

Let's get involved here. We are not chasing windmills because there is precedent for judges to be impeached. Will you join me?

Digby has more:

Following up on dday's idea to have the California Democratic Party follow the lead of a unanimous vote by the Los Angeles Dem party and pass a resolution to impeach Judge Jay Bybee, let me just emphasize that this is not an obscure, tilting at windmill exercise. The fact is that the Speaker of the House is from California and as dday points out below, there are numerous members of the house Judiciary Committee from California, Los Angeles in particular. Bybee is on the 9th circuit Court, which covers California. This is something where the state delegation should have plenty of juice if we can exert grassroots pressure for them to take action.

This is not unprecedented. Federal judges have been impeached for many reasons over the years and not just for personal indiscretions or corruption as some would like us to believe...read on

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