Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Those who authorized torture must be impeached

The subject of an old report by the International Committee of Red Cross and a newly released memo from the Department of Justice has recently become a hot political topic across America. These reports showed how the Bush-Cheney Administration had authorized brutal torture techniques over the last several years. Former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee was the primary author of "legal" memos purporting to justify torture. He served from 2001 to 2003 in the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel. Bybee's signature is on the August 1, 2002 memo that justified and authorized acts of torture by the CIA.
Bybee’s memo claims to justify depriving an American citizen of the right to a trial, claiming the power to imprison him without charge on the grounds that he was already guilty. He essentially made the illegal techniques as supposedly "legal".
Bybee is now serving as a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Many concerned citizens are now questioning: how could such a man who abused his power to facilitate violation of laws and treaties banning torture now have any business reversing the decisions of honest judges and juries? The Obama Administration is now under tremendous pressure to introduce either articles of impeachment or a bill requiring the House Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation into Jay Bybee.
The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is at the forefront of this nation-wide campaign to impeach Bybee. Its Executive Director Anthony D. Romero recently said, "There can be no more excuses for putting off criminal investigations of officials who authorized torture, lawyers who justified it and interrogators who broke the law. No one is above the law, and the law must be equally enforced. Accountability is necessary for any functioning democracy and for restoring America's reputation at home and abroad."
Forget that Bybee’s actions are in violation of the fundamental values on which the USA was founded, what is very disturbing is that he has set a very dangerous precedence for all Americans, if they are ever detained by a foreign government.
When a nation is complacent about its own crimes that are committed by top ranking government officials it shows its moral bankruptcy and cannot demand respect or trust from the civilized world. It is, therefore, necessary that Bybee be impeached for the good of the nation that values and advocates human rights.

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