As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, April 30, 2009

MoveOn: Impeach Jay Bybee

Jay Bybee's attempt to exonerate himself for his crimes only succeeded in inspiring more activism around his impeachment.

Jay Bybee signed off on notorious Bush-era torture memos. And now? He's serving as a judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, thanks to George Bush.

Jay Bybee showed no respect for our laws and isn't fit to be a federal judge. Can you sign this petition urging Congress to impeach Jay Bybee?

The President put it very plainly last night, perhaps more plainly than he'd admit.

"President Obama said, 'They used torture, I believe waterboarding is torture,'" Nadler said, speaking of Obama’s comments about his predecessors. “Once you concede that torture was committed, the law requires that there be an investigation, and if warranted, a prosecution.”

Those who would condone war crimes at this point look increasingly foolish. We are a nation of laws, and if you don't want a law prosecuted, you repeal it, but you cannot ignore it. I would refer these apologists to Sen. Robert Byrd, who knows a thing or two about the Constitution:

The recently leaked report from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as well as the four released memorandums from the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), confirm our worst fears. These documents point to brutal, inhumane acts which were repeatedly carried out by U.S. military personnel, and which were authorized and condoned at the highest levels of the Bush Administration. These acts appear to directly violate both the U.N. Convention Against Torture and the Geneva Conventions. Spain and the United Kingdom have already initiated investigations of Bush Administration officials who approved these acts. The United States needs to investigate as well. To continue to ignore the mounting evidence of clear wrongdoing is a national humiliation [...]

The rule of law is not just a lofty concept to which we should aspire only when convenient. It is a fundamental principal upon which our Republic was founded, and it is the foundation of our free society. I understand the desire to look forward and to forge a new path on high ground instead of on the low road of the past eight years. But to use the need to move on as a reason not to investigate basic human rights violations is unacceptable. Excusing individuals at the highest levels of government from adhering to the rule of law, whether in wartime or not, is a dangerous precedent, for it undercuts the principle of accountability which permeates representative democracy.

We can start by ensuring that a violator of international laws and a moral reprobate is removed from the federal bench. Call and email Congress, particularly the members of the House Judiciary Committee, and ask them to open hearings.

House Judiciary Committee
John Conyers, Michigan Howard Berman, California
Rick Boucher, Virginia Jerrold Nadler, New York
Robert C. Scott, Virginia Mel Watt, North Carolina
Zoe Lofgren, California Sheila Jackson-Lee, Texas
Maxine Waters, California Bill Delahunt, Massachusetts
Robert Wexler, Florida Steve Cohen, Tennessee
Hank Johnson, Georgia Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico
Luis Gutierrez, Illinois Brad Sherman, California
Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin Charles Gonzalez, Texas
Anthony Weiner, New York Adam Schiff, California
Linda Sánchez, California Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Fl
Dan Maffei, New York Lamar S. Smith, Texas
Jim Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin Howard Coble, North Carolina
Elton Gallegly, California Bob Goodlatte, Virginia
Dan Lungren, California Darrell Issa, California
Randy Forbes, Virginia Steve King, Iowa
Trent Franks, Arizona Louie Gohmert, Texas<
Jim Jordan, Ohio Ted Poe, Texas
Jason Chaffetz, Utah Tom Rooney, Florida
Gregg Harper, Mississippi  

P.S. Patrick Leahy would like Judge Bybee to stop by the Senate for a little chat.

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