Bybee’s ‘remoteness from the actual torturers’ increases his ‘degree of responsibility.’

Jon Eisenberg, one of the lawyers who is representing the plaintiffs in a case challenging Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, writes in the Philadephia Inquirer today that Jay Bybee’s “remoteness from the actual torturers increases his degree of responsibility”:

Bybee did not write the torture memo he signed; it was written by John Yoo, then at the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel and currently a law school professor who writes a monthly column for The Inquirer. Bybee just signed off on the memo, two desks removed from the torture chamber. Did he even read it? He must have. Did he think much about it? How could he have, and then signed such an abhorrent thing? This is evil thoughtlessness. […]

Far from absolving him of guilt, his remoteness from the actual torturers — his thoughtlessness — increases the degree of his responsibility. His is a special kind of evil — the evil of nonchalance where there should be outrage. […]

I wonder whether Bybee feels guilty before God. He certainly has no business being a federal judge. His presence on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals brings disgrace to that court. He should resign.


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