Jay Bybee Apparently Regrets Writing Those Torture Memos

April 24, 2009 at 10:11 pm | Posted in American politics | 1 Comment

The circling of the wagons begins. Bybee’s friends and supporters are working the refs (the Media), trying to paint him sympathetically, so that when it comes time to render judgment against him, we’ll look more softly on him. And it will most likely succeed. It still makes him a weak coward. If he truly regrets writing those memos, he would say so, publicly. But doing so would essentially cost him his judgeship, which apparently, according to this article, he really wanted. So he will cower in silence, hoping the storm passes over him and he can remain where he is, safely to judge over a people in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

It is sad that a supposedly nice and decent person like him should have to pay for the sins of a bigger fish that refuses to be caught. That would be Bush and Cheney. They are the real evil doers in this whole saga. It is they who ordered the Bybees of the world to do what they did. Bybee and his supporters, if they want him to be saved in any way, ought to press for the prosecution of the bigger fish. The Donald Rumsfelds. The Condoleezza Rices. The George Tenets. The Dick Cheneys. The George W. Bushes of the world. Those are the ones who should be in hot water.

UPDATE:

Great thoughts from three other bloggers:

Atrios:

It’s really quite absurd for the Washington Post to let some anonymous people spin on Jay Bybee’s behalf.

Matt Yglesias:

Maybe this business about Jay Bybee feeling bad about what he’s done in terms of putting in place a brutal system of torture is even accurate. If he really does feel remorse, it seems like the appropriate course of action would be for him to resign from the federal bench and go public with everything he knows about the situation.

And if he doesn’t want to do that, congress should impeach and remove him. If his own friends won’t bother to deny that what he did was wrong, then what’s the case for not removing him?

Steve Benen:

But if Bybee feels bad about all of this, it suggests maybe the infamous Bybee Memo was a mistake. If he’s filled with regret, maybe he realizes his legal guidance was wrong. Indeed, Bybee’s anonymous friend said the torture memo “got away from him,” and ended up in a place Bybee “never intended.” Another source said Bybee “was not pleased” with the memo that bore his name.

I’d find it a lot easier to believe this if Bybee were to say something publicly, and perhaps explain his conduct.

He quotes Adam Serwer who says:

“So Bybee knew he was breaking the law in allowing the use of torture, but you have to understand, he only did it because he really wanted to be a federal judge.”

Exactly. Bybee should be impeached.

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  1. I’m a former member of the Mormon Church and still have a lot of ties to the community, including most of my extended family. Reading the accounts of the Bush torture program, I’ve been disturbed to learn of the central roles that members of the Church played in developing and condoning the program. Bybee, of course, is Mormon, but so were the CIA contractors who reverse-engineered the SERE torture techniques for use on detainees, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen.

    I’ve written a detailed post at my blog, (http://leftwingcentrist.blogspot.com/) that goes into this in more depth and tries to answer how someone with a similar background to mine could have done these things. (I hope Daniel won’t mind me providing the link.) I’m sure some readers will disagree with my conclusions but I think the questions need to be asked. Thanks.


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