Theodore's World: Witchhunt Democrats Call for Impeachment of Judge Bayee About Interrogation Tactics

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April 26, 2009

Witchhunt Democrats Call for Impeachment of Judge Bayee About Interrogation Tactics

Democrats Call for Impeachment of Judge Who Justified Interrogation Tactics

Jay Bybee, one of the lawyers who wrote the opinions justifying the Bush-era interrogation tactics, is now a federal judge in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Democrats want that to change.

FOX news

Some Democrats in Congress are having a tough time convincing President Obama, as well as their colleagues, to form an independent "truth" commission to probe the evolution of interrogation tactics under the Bush administration.

So lawmakers who oppose those techniques are looking for the next best thing -- the impeachment of one of the authors of the so-called "torture memos."

Jay Bybee, one of the lawyers who wrote the opinions justifying the tactics, is now a federal judge in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

That should change, some Democrats say.

"I think someone who writes a how-to memo on how to break the law should not be a federal judge," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.
Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee that gave Bybee a thumbs-up before he was confirmed by the full Senate, argues there never would have been a vote if those memos had been in the record at the time.
"Neither the White House, the Bush administration nor Mr. Bybee gave us the full truth when his nomination was before the Senate," the Vermont senator said. "Had we been given the full truth about what he did, he never would have been confirmed by the Senate. I think both Republicans and Democrats would have voted him down."

Democrats are getting a lot of pressure from left-leaning groups who are after Bybee's hide.

But Republicans seem to be bracing for a fight. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., thinks it would be wrong to judge those legal opinions without considering they were written shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks -- when the CIA was trying to track down other Al Qaeda threats against the country.
"I think Judge Bybee should be given a medal for what he did," King said. "But even if I disagreed with those memos, these were memos written in good faith. These are well-written, well-reasoned memos -- people may disagree with them, but he belongs on the bench, he should stay on the bench."
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is on record strongly opposing the techniques used by the CIA, but he thinks it would be wrong to go after Bybee now.
"These people gave their honest opinions even if they were wrong," he told FOX News. "So now we're supposed to investigate them and criminalize them because of their honest opinions? You know, if you went after every lawyer in America who gave bad advice, we'd have pretty crowded dockets."
President Obama on Tuesday opened the door for the possible prosecution of those lawyers who drafted the Department of Justice memos, by deferring to the attorney general on the matter.
Attorney General Eric Holder says only that he'll follow the law in examining the memos, and since Tuesday, Obama has seemed to back away from the calls on the left for a criminal probe.


EDITORIAL: Impeach Bybee? What a joke

Obama loathes torture opinion that saved American lives

Las Vegas Review Journal

The laws of war, as subscribed to by most civilized nations -- even if adherence can be spotty -- draw an important distinction between uniformed prisoners of war and irregulars who wear no recognizable uniform, the better to meld into the general populace of non-combatants in order to act as spies or saboteurs, blowing up military installations behind the lines.

Once uniformed prisoners are taken, the rules call for them to be treated in a humane manner. Not so plainclothes spies, partisans and irregulars. In part because their activities blur the line between the military and the civilian populace, leading inevitably to more civilian casualties, the rules of war allow such operatives to be summarily lined up against a wall and shot.

Into which category above do the al-Qaida operatives captured after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, fall? They are certainly not uniformed prisoners of war, with a right to expect treatment as such under the Geneva or Hague conventions.

These al-Qaida thugs conspire to murder innocent women and children, without the slightest pretext that these are merely "collateral casualties" in a campaign against commonly recognized military targets. To what country can such thugs be remanded for justice? They can be taken out and shot at any time. The laws of war raise no objection.

From 2001 to 2003, when he was appointed a federal judge, Jay Bybee was head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. In that role, he was asked for a legal opinion as to what interrogation techniques could be used on al-Qaida captives, in the -- finally successful -- attempt to get them to reveal their additional terrorist plans.

Documents recently released by the Obama administration -- even though heavily redacted -- reveal those interrogations were successful. Real plans for real additional deadly attacks, including one in Los Angeles, were revealed. The attacks could thus be thwarted. American lives were spared.

Mr. Bybee, now a justice of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and a senior fellow at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Boyd School of Law, read and interpreted the law, as requested. There is no reason to believe he did anything but interpret -- to the best of his legal training -- what the law said. He wrote that using on the al-Qaida prisoners such techniques as simulated drowning, sleep deprivation, cramped confinement in boxes and other tactics do not constitute torture under the law.

Now, President Obama says Judge Bybee could be impeached for writing that 2002 memo.

On Tuesday, Nevada Sen. John Ensign called that prospect "outrageous."
"To call for him to be impeached when he was trying to give the proper legal advice is just ridiculous," Sen. Ensign told the Review-Journal. "You impeach people for ethical violations, for criminal violations. It would be like impeaching a member of Congress because they voted the wrong way."
Sen. Ensign further said he agrees with Mr. Bybee's reasoning.
"This was not torture," Sen. Ensign said. "This is the thing we have to get away from, that this is somehow accepted that it was torture. The United States does not engage in torture. This was 'advanced interrogation techniques.' "

Is that an attempt to draw too fine a line? Well, lines must be drawn somewhere. Our guys refrained from hooking anyone up to an electric generator, or pulling teeth with pliers. We certainly didn't cut off any heads with dull and rusty swords -- a technique our enemies have proudly videotaped themselves practicing ... on non-combatant journalists and charity workers.

How gentle must we be to please Mr. Obama's core peacenik constituency? Should mass murderers be expected to spill their future plans after we put them up in the presidential suite at the Boston Four Seasons and allow them daily consultations with a public defender, all on the U.S. taxpayer dime?

More to the point, does Barack Obama really want to set a precedent that -- within 100 days of a new administration taking office -- officials of the past administration will be subject to trial and imprisonment based on tactics adopted in good faith to combat this nation's murderous enemies?

Where would such a precedent end? Republicans will return to power, eventually. Should they begin, today, writing up indictments for every Obama official who proposes sending troops to Afghanistan, or to combat the Somali pirates? For every member of the Obama administration who plans to violate his or her oath of office to exercise only those powers specifically delegated in the Constitution?


Wild Thing's comment.......

Democrats want to get rid of this conservative federal judge.

This is outrageous. Bybee was told to give his legal opinion on behalf of his client, the Federal Government. And he gave that opinion. He certainly didn’t participate in any of the interrogations. He merely stated that, based on his research, the law didn’t prohibit those tactics. One can agree or disagree with his conclusion, but that hardly constitutes grounds for impeachment, especially since he wasn’t even a Federal judge at the time he wrote his opinions.

"I think someone who writes a how-to memo on how to break the law should not be a federal judge," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y

Nadler is an idiot, there were no laws broken, nor was there instruction on how to break the law. What was done was entirely legal and above board.

Notice how the RATS always are out there b-itching and screaming when someone makes an adult decision to actually solve a problem.

These people ( Obama and the democrats) are dangerous. If someone has the audacity to disagree with the left he must be summarily destroyed. It used to be great to live in a free country.

I just heard John Mc Cain on Face the Nation and I wanted to barf. He continues to cite the Geneva Convention as a reason not to do what we did with some of the captured terrorists. When is he and some of the like minded pundits going to read the Geneva Conventions.The way I understand it and let me know if I am wrong, because I am no expert on this.

The treatment of POW’s under the conventions applies to uniformed soldiers of Nation States. It specifically excludes non uniformed personnel engaging in hostile acts on the battle field and implies that they may be treated as “spies”. The terrorists that we picked up are not covered by the Geneva Conventions and never have been. The way they treat our men if captured is to torture and kill them. This argument about Waterboarding as torture is madness.

Posted by Wild Thing at April 26, 2009 11:55 AM


I wonder if Obama will be attacked like Bush was when federal attorneys are replaced. Clinton fired 90+ and got a pass. Bush fired less than ten and was condemned.

Posted by: TomR at April 26, 2009 12:48 PM

I really wonder whose side McCain is really on.

The democrats are determined to prove Bush lied about something and by god they are going to prove if it takes impeaching the entire court system.

One thing about Bush I don't think he would lie about anything, it isn't in him. All this crap generated by the left and democrats is just a 'get Bush' regardless what it takes. They did the same thing during the war in Iraq, trying to destroy his character, they are the ones who lied continuously to make their point and there was no point to make. The press picked the ball and ran with it. Which of course made it worse. Bush would never defend himself, he thought he didn't have to, that was a huge mistake.

This is all 'Gotcha-politics'.

Posted by: Mark at April 26, 2009 12:48 PM

I like how Mark Steyn or is it "Steyn, Mark" put it last thursday, "In a banana republic you see this week's president for life make everything last week's president for life did illegal." Yep, they're doing something that they would publicly decry if it happened in Argentina or Honduras or even Mexico. But we have to remember in the U.S. the democrats doing the exact same thing is all in the name of "change" and "progress". Horse Hockey! This is classic Orwellian "Doublethink" and never mind "No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed" remember 65% of politicians HAVE NOT read The Constitution.

Posted by: JohnE PFC U.S. Army at April 26, 2009 01:24 PM

We always figured the biggest threat to this nation was Islamic Terrorists. Little did we know the biggest threat is Democrats in Congress.

Truth Commission? Sounds like something a dictator from a 3rd world nation would have to justify executing political opponents.

Posted by: BobF at April 26, 2009 02:51 PM

It's nothing more than a Communist tribunal, Kucunnich, Nadler, Jackson-Lee, Pelosi are all CPC Communists. They are the ones calling for the witch hunts.

John McCain Exposed By Vietnam Vets And Pow's. Sorry John McCain, those of us who fought Communism are still fighting it today, not embracing it like you always do!!!

Posted by: Jack at April 26, 2009 03:45 PM

Nadler represents NYC and environs. Nadler is a fat POS and I even question if he can get his fat A$% out of a chair without help. New york is much more than that and upstate is practically bereft of representation as POS people from NYC` move northward and try to submit us to their values. Many are just weekend residents that claim upstate as their residence.
Here are just a couple of photos.
Bob A.

Posted by: Bob A at April 26, 2009 05:34 PM

Tom, good point thank you for the infomation.
They were talking on the Sjnday morning shows
how dangerous these memo's being released has been.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 26, 2009 06:06 PM

Mark, yes, I don't trust McCain at all.

I agree with you about Bush, that was
great and so very true, he was exactly
like that.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 26, 2009 06:10 PM

JohnE PFC U.S. Army, yes that was a
good quote from Mark Steyn.
You are right JohnE, about if it happened
in another country and Orwellian "Doublethink.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 26, 2009 11:16 PM

BobF., I agree, the democrats and Obama
are a much bigger threat imo to our
country then the terrorists.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 26, 2009 11:18 PM

Jack, that is what it is, "Communist
tribunal". Thank you for the video.I
have seriously had it with McCain.
This last election was the last of
it for me and it was only Sarah Palin
that made it a vote I would do.

He and his daughter Meghan they both
can go to hell.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 26, 2009 11:22 PM

Bob A., thank you for the link and
information. I agree with you about

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 26, 2009 11:25 PM