The air all around is percolating with the sounds of impeaching Jay Bybee, author of a torture memo. Rep. Jerry Nadler is calling for it now. Rep. Je
April 21, 2009

The air all around is percolating with the sounds of impeaching Jay Bybee, author of a torture memo. Rep. Jerry Nadler is calling for it now.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, a senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, called Monday for the impeachment of federal judge Jay Bybee, one of the principal authors of the torture memos released last week by the Obama administration.

"He ought to be impeached," Nadler said in an interview with the Huffington Post. "It was not an honest legal memo. It was an instruction manual on how to break the law."

Nadler, a New York congressman, is chairman of Judiciary's Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Subcommittee. Bybee is currently serving a lifetime term on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, appointed in 2003 and confirmed before it was publicly known that he had authorized the torture of detainees.

Nadler is meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday to argue that the release of the torture memos further buttresses a call he had made earlier for a special prosecutor on torture.

Digby finds that Bybee has retained legal council because so far, President Obama has been mum on him:

Anything could happen:

The Obama Administration assured CIA employees Thursday that they would not be prosecuted, but the White House has offered no cover to Bybee or other government lawyers.

So for now, Bybee is on his own. The good news, however, he’s got a nationally recognized lawyer on his side, Latham & Watkins’s Maureen Mahoney, who’s handling the case pro bono. In an e-mail Thursday, Mahoney said Bybee has recused himself from Latham cases, but offered no further comment on his case.

Of course Rahm said yesterday that Obama didn't want to prosecute any former officials. But it's not really Obama's decision and it certainly isn't Rahm's. And the fact that they are out there saying it is --- for political reasons no less ("national unity" etc) --- means it behooves Holder to appoint a special prosecutor.

Bybee certainly seems to understand that he's got some issues if he has one of the top conservative lawyers in the country as his defense lawyer. He's smarter than he seems.

You can sign the petition to have the California Democratic Party Convention vote to impeach Bybee, here.

Please sing the petition. Holder was appoint a special prosecutor not named Starr to investigate.

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