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Peter Lemkin
04-21-2009, 10:31 AM
Dear CCR Supporter,
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/383/t/6374/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27088
We need your help to impeach one of the legal architects of the Bush administration Torture Program who is now, incredibly, a federal judge.

Last week, President Obama released four torture authorization memos written by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) under the Bush administration that devised a legal framework for the justification of the Torture Program. The memos were released as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit the Center for Constitutional Rights helped file with the ACLU and other organizations.

The memos were intended to provide legal cover for officials to carry out abhorrent, illegal and ineffective techniques that were approved at the highest levels of the Bush administration in violation U.S. and international law and the U.S. Constitution.

One of the principal authors was Jay Bybee, the former head of the OLC and today a federal judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. His flagrant contempt for the rule of law is utterly inconsistent with his judicial position and speaks directly to his competency to function in that office.

It is unacceptable for an individual who abused his status as a government lawyer and violated the law in conspiring with other members of the Bush Torture Team to sit as a federal judge, someone who hears and decides issues of constitutional import. At the time of his confirmation hearing, his role in the Torture Program was secret, as was the program itself. Jay Bybee's actions constitute High Crimes and Misdemeanors by any standard.

In a strong editorial yesterday, The New York Times called for Bybee's impeachment. We agree. Write to Rep. John Conyers and the House Judiciary Committee today to demand they hold a hearing to determine whether grounds exist for Bybee's impeachment. When you send your letter, your name will automatically be added to a petition that we will use to build a national movement to demand the prosecution of those high level officials who committed crimes when they planned, authorized, justified and carried out the Torture Program.

Bybee's impeachment will be a first step in holding the Torture Team accountable for their actions. His August 1, 2002 memo is available here.

High level government officials are not above the law. We must send a clear message to all future officials - and to the victims of the torture policies - that the crime of torture is unacceptable and will not be swept under the carpet. If we allow these crimes to be committed with impunity, we are doomed to repeat one of the darkest chapters in our history. Join us to see Jay Bybee impeached and advance the movement for prosecutions and accountability.

Sincerely,

Vincent Warren
Executive Director, CCR

Dawn Meredith
04-21-2009, 11:49 AM
It's a good first step. There has to be accountability for everyone who participated in authorizing and conducting torture. Eric Holder has a lot to do.
But will his Justice department act? Will Congress?

Dawn

David Guyatt
04-21-2009, 12:06 PM
I suspect that targeting Bybee, as the NYT has done, is intended to deflect and diminish attention from more senior Bush Administration figures, i.e., shoot the messenger.

With one scalp taken everyone will settle down and breath a sigh of relief that justice has been done and, therefore, Obama can then focus entirely on the future.

If I were the controlling mind behind a campaign of torture I would be arrested, tried and sent to prison. If important and influential people do the same thing, the wagons get circled and some minor player gets scapegoated for appearance sake.

Peter Lemkin
04-21-2009, 12:19 PM
I suspect that targeting Bybee, as the NYT has done, is intended to deflect and diminish attention from more senior Bush Administration figures, i.e., shoot the messenger.

With one scalp taken everyone will settle down and breath a sigh of relief that justice has been done and, therefore, Obama can then focus entirely on the future.

If I were the controlling mind behind a campaign of torture I would be arrested, tried and sent to prison. If important and influential people do the same thing, the wagons get circled and some minor player gets scapegoated for appearance sake.

Point taken. 'Scalp 'em all' Impeach and try them ALL!!!!!!! Sadly, I think there will be either none taken to task, or one scapegoat.

Dawn Meredith
05-01-2009, 05:55 PM
Whetehr or not Eric Holder or the US Congress steps up to the plate on this, international tribunals are taking hold, being set up to ensure that justice is served. Obama is playing it smart here, releasing documents, letting people, like Condi Rice yesterday, make their incredible admissions, fueling the drive for accountability. Maybe this is his pan to stay alive and still see some justice. (Or maybe once again I am just giving him too much credit.) That he has not stopped rendition is so far removed from his campaign rhetoric.

Dawn

Bruce Clemens
05-06-2009, 02:50 AM
Dawn, first you said...

Obama is playing it smart here, releasing documents, letting people, like Condi Rice yesterday, make their incredible admissions, fueling the drive for accountability

Second you said:
Maybe this is his pan to stay alive and still see some justice.

Then you said:
(Or maybe once again I am just giving him too much credit.)

Yes. The answer is yes. You are. No Justice. No smart. Sorry. Obama = Bush.
Both puppets. He's playing out the part as planned.

I work and live with lots of people who are placing way more hope in Obama as a savior than is warranted. They don't see it and are forgiven for their naivete. You are privy to information they are not, so you are held (at least by me) to a higher standard.

Best,
Bruce

David Guyatt
05-06-2009, 12:07 PM
I suspect that targeting Bybee, as the NYT has done, is intended to deflect and diminish attention from more senior Bush Administration figures, i.e., shoot the messenger.

With one scalp taken everyone will settle down and breath a sigh of relief that justice has been done and, therefore, Obama can then focus entirely on the future.

If I were the controlling mind behind a campaign of torture I would be arrested, tried and sent to prison. If important and influential people do the same thing, the wagons get circled and some minor player gets scapegoated for appearance sake.

Making a correct prediction is not particularly hard or worthy of a round of applause, but rather is a quite sad reflection of our world today in that the group mind of politicians and Cover-Your-Arse artists the world over are so easily predictable.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8035578.stm


'Torture' memo inquiry nears end
Bush administration lawyers who authorised harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects are unlikely to face criminal charges, US media report.

A justice department inquiry into the lawyers who wrote memos approving techniques such as waterboarding is nearly complete, reports say.

The inquiry's conclusions are said to make no mention of criminal charges.

President Barack Obama, who considers such methods torture, last month made four of the memos public.

But he said CIA agents who followed the memos' advice would not be prosecuted.

The inquiry by the Office of Professional Responsibility, an internal unit in the Department of Justice, is near completion and could be released later this month. It is unlikely to undergo any major alterations, US media report.

BUSH-ERA INTERROGATION
Waterboarding: Aimed at simulating sensation of drowning. Used on alleged 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Insect: Harmless insect to be placed with suspect in "confinement box", suspect to be told the insect would sting. Approved for Abu Zubaydah, but not used
Walling: Detainee slammed repeatedly into false wall to create sound and shock
Sleep deprivation: Detainee shackled standing up. Used often, once for 180 hours
Officials have reportedly stopped short of calling for the criminal prosecution of the lawyers who were involved in drafting secret memos outlining the legal justification for using harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects.

They may, however, call on lawyers' professional bodies to consider disciplinary action against those involved.

The main focus of the inquiry has been three lawyers who worked in the department's office of legal counsel during the Bush administration: John Yoo, Jay Bybee and Steven Bradbury.

It looked at whether the lawyers acted ethically and competently in writing a series of legal opinions from 2002 to 2007.

The inquiry details how the memos came to be written, following e-mail exchanges between the justice department's lawyers, White House officials and the CIA.

Mr Obama's decision to make the memos public last month prompted an intense debate.

Members of the Bush administration and the CIA objected to their release. Former Vice President Dick Cheney said the published documents did not include those that showed how harsh interrogation delivered intelligence that had saved US lives.

Human rights groups criticised President Obama's decision that CIA interrogators would not face prosecution, saying charges were necessary to prevent future abuses and hold people accountable.

Mr Obama banned the use of the controversial interrogation techniques in his first week in office.

My bolding to indicate complete bullshit and the very worst Obama spinola. See Peter's Bill Blum post HERE (http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1388)

Dawn Meredith
05-07-2009, 04:40 PM
Dawn, first you said...

Obama is playing it smart here, releasing documents, letting people, like Condi Rice yesterday, make their incredible admissions, fueling the drive for accountability

Second you said:
Maybe this is his pan to stay alive and still see some justice.

Then you said:
(Or maybe once again I am just giving him too much credit.)

Yes. The answer is yes. You are. No Justice. No smart. Sorry. Obama = Bush.
Both puppets. He's playing out the part as planned.

I work and live with lots of people who are placing way more hope in Obama as a savior than is warranted. They don't see it and are forgiven for their naivete. You are privy to information they are not, so you are held (at least by me) to a higher standard.

Best,
Bruce
Bruce I don't disagree with you. It is me I am in disagreement with. What I mean is I know Obama is a puppet. But I like him as a person, or who he projects to be. Bush and his handlers were in agreement in my opinion. I see Obama as a breath of fresh air compared with Bush. But, that said, I see him following in W's footsteps too. I am sickened by the similarities. After eight horrible years of the Bush madmen many were hoping that Obama meant a bit of what he said. I happen to think Obama knows why JFK was killed and that he will tread carefully ...but again I am clearly giving him too much credit. And I do know better. :)
Dawn
By the way it's great to have you here, been really enjoying all your contributions.

Bruce Clemens
05-07-2009, 06:02 PM
Thank you Dawn- I have great respect for you.
With regard to what Obama may be able to do differently, I recall John Kennedy was quoted as saying, when lamenting the people in power around him, "I'd like to have some new faces here, but all I get is the same old ones."
Telling.