In his capacity as former head of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), Jay Bybee’s “name appears as the author of the August 1, 2002 memo justifying and authorizing clear acts of torture by the CIA.” For his willingness to engage in torturous legal reasoning, Bybee was awarded a lifetime seat on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by President Bush. The Senate confirmed him with a 74-19 vote. The New York Times writes that the newly-released OLC torture memos make it appropriate for Congress to reconsider its decision to approve Bybee:
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.
The California Democratic Party, which is holding its convention next weekend, will consider “a resolution from grassroots activists calling for Jay Bybee’s impeachment.”
American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Jameel Jaffer, whose lawsuit helped propel the memos’ disclosure, called the arguments “window dressing for war crimes” because they were “meant to support conclusions that were predetermined” rather than to produce a credible reading of the law.
,The LA Times has a front-page story today noting that conservatives are gaining sway over the 9th Circuit.