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Jay Bybee - The real reason why Bush will not be prosecuted for torture

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posted on Apr, 29 2009 @ 08:14 AM
This is the real reason why Bush, or anyone else, will not be prosecuted for torture.

In a name - Jay Bybee.

Don't know who he is? He's a sitting Federal Judge, confirmed by the Senate, who will, for the next 25 years, have the power to convict or not convict these people. But, he's also the man who crafted the torture system, to the point of detailing how many times per day per person was acceptable, and gave seemingly legal backing to the CIA. "Without his authorization, the members of the CIA may well not have done it at all, or if they had, they would be, plainly, subject to criminal responsibility today."

Unless this man is removed from the bench, there can be no justice. It is a pure conflict of interest and should be dealt with. However, I'm not holding my breath waiting on it. I don't think it will happen.

The Jay Bybee Problem

SCOTT HORTON, ATTORNEY, HARPER'S MAGAZINE CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: When I got those memoranda on April 16, I immediately went to that August 2002 Bybee memorandum, read it. And at the end I remember seeing his signature there and thinking, how could someone who wrote this now be sitting as a federal judge? It's just astonishing. Jay Bybee held a number of posts in the Bush administration. He comes from a background in Republican politics, and also as a legal academic—he was on the faculty of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. But he had worked in Washington for a considerable period of time, and his last stop before he went on the bench was as assistant attorney general in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel, which is essentially that part of the Department of Justice that writes the attorney general's opinions. While he was heading the Office of Legal Counsel, it began to systematically undermine the role of the laws of war—the Geneva Convention, the Hague Convention, and so forth—and also international human rights protection, especially the Convention against Torture. It was within the six weeks after the disclosures of Abu Ghraib. Then a number of publications got their hands on would have [come] to be known as the "torture memoranda." And the first of these, from August 2002, was a memorandum from Jay Bybee to Alberto Gonzalez. When these memos first came out, the defense was immediately that, well, this is just lawyers giving abstract legal advice, no more than that. These lawyers certainly weren't involved in any intimate way in the process of crafting these techniques for interrogation.

BRUCE ACKERMAN, STERLING PROF. OF LAW AND POLITICAL SCIENCE, YALE UNIV: At that time, I wasn't really as clear as I am today—or we are since last week, really—as to how serious these memos and how detailed and how particular they were and how much he actually understood. You see, the first memo was full of legal abstractions, but this new memo is full of particulars about how much waterboarding you can do within a day and this kind of thing (only two two-hour sessions and the like) and how precisely you can take a person and bang his head against the wall. Well, this puts a new cast on this.

HORTON: How can you have law issued by the president that's secret? Here it's very clear why it's been kept secret. The instant the legal rationale is exposed to the sunlight, it would immediately be ridiculed; it wouldn't be able to hold its head up in any sort of legal discourse with legal authorities, as in fact happened with these memoranda. They were eviscerated by the bar and by legal experts instantly when they became public. Even within the Bush administration, they were rescinded on the basis of recognition that they were completely untenable in terms of legal rationale and analysis. They were advancing positions that are completely ridiculous. There are a large array of precedents discussing these techniques, none of which are presented and talked about in the memorandum. So, you know, we have a sort of reverse-engineered memo that has decisions that the administration wants, and then it just cobbled together some sort of completely ridiculous analysis in order to justify those decisions. So that makes them, really, the ultimate crafters of the torture system.

How did he get confirmed? No one was aware of the secret memoranda. Also, on the very day he was scheduled for confirmation, Colin Powell was testifying at the UN on the US case for invading Iraq so the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee weren't paying attention to his confirmation proceeding. A perfect set up don't you think?

ACKERMAN: Judge Bybee was greatly advantaged by an accident. His Senate hearing occurred just at the moment when Colin Powell was testifying at the United Nations and giving the American government's case for, basically, invading Iraq, so almost all the senators were watching the TV outside the hearing room. All the Democrats were. This was of central importance for the Democratic senators in particular to define their position. One could appreciate why they were watching the tube rather than questioning Judge Bybee.

(OFF CAMERA): —finish the hearings as soon as we can, but—.

ACKERMAN: So there was no critical questioning at all at the hearing room, and that does not normally happen.

posted on Apr, 29 2009 @ 04:41 PM
I'm replying to my thread to bump it. Doesn't anyone have anything to add?

posted on Feb, 20 2010 @ 12:07 PM
Amazing no one has responded to this thread yet. I just noticed it when you referred me here from another post.

Bybee's confirmation during Powell's UN testimony is full of guile and misdirection. The OP was probably right about the lack of questioning by Congress which serves as the actual function of legitimizing the appointment. Confirmation was swift indeed. The whole thing smells like a successful psychological warfare exercise perpetrated on Congress itself. In the heat of the moment a hasty decision was made, without all necessary parties present to safe guard the U.S. Constitution from an "abstract" lawyer's influence on how the U.S. would conduct it's rules of war. Congress didn't know this at the time, but someone did. He was appointed for this purpose.

Since then, he basically reduced the standards of rules of engagement concerning foreign citizens, even going in-depth as to say what kind and how much torture our enemies would endure. And this was in the form of memorandum? Which is a guidline, a rule, but not a law. This memorandum should be attributed to the status of law. Thereby subjecting it to the scrutiny that it deserves. Then Congress would have paused and said "hey, wait a minute..."

Now look what happened as a result of this. Histories best Conventions concerning basic human rights during wartime were trampled. And trampled they were. Excessively, for all the world to see. Is it no wonder that the entire world once condemned the apparent attack of 911, only to change their point of view 180 degrees after witnessing American atrocities committed during a war based on manipulated pretenses?

This Jay Bybee guy cannot be bulletproof. I feel Americans have a global responsibility to prove that after the fact, we can at least in retrospect hold those accountable for warcrimes or the actions that led to warcrimes. Going all the way to the top. That would restore even our own faith in our government. But today, it seems like we have no interest in doing this. We never "cleaned house." Even Blackwater was let off the hook. Imagine mercenaries contracted to do missions our government wanted to hide from itself. Where does it end? We should show the internatonal community that our system can police itself.

Jay Bybee should have his feet raked over the coals. The memorandum is destitute of morality and later accountability.

Nuff Said! I'm so pissed off right now...


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