2 authors of Bush administration torture memos under pressure
www.chinaview.cn 2009-04-19 13:59:47   Print

    LOS ANGELES, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Two legal officials of Bush administration who wrote torture memos are under pressure to be impeached or disbarred following release of those memos on Friday.

    The Los Angeles County Democratic Party adopted a resolution on Saturday to urge the U.S. House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against Judge Jay Bybee, charging him with facilitating the authorization of torture when employed by the United States Department of Justice of Bush administration.

    According to the resolution, former Assistant Attorney General and current Federal Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Jay Bybee signed the "Bybee Memo", or "Torture Memo", on August 1, 2002.

    The memo advised the CIA that "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment was at times allowable under U.S. law. Bybee also authored, co-authored and signed other memos on "extraordinary rendition" and "enhanced interrogation", the resolution said.

    Copies of this signed resolution will be sent to the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and the U.S. Senate Majority Leader. They will also be sent to every member of the California delegation to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

    "Judge Jay Bybee's action in facilitating torture by the U.S. government is an absolute outrage," said Eric C. Bauman, Chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. "It goes against the fundamental principles of our Constitution and core American values."

    Another torture memo writer, John Yoo, who is currently a visiting law professor at the Chapman University School of Law in southern California, also ran into trouble when about 70 professors and other opponents gathered at the Chapman University on Saturday to demand that he be disbarred and fired.

    Yoo, then UC Berkeley law professor worked as a deputy in Bybee's office, said in a memo on March 14, 2003, that the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution that prohibits the federal government from employing cruel and unusual punishments does "not extend to alien enemy combatants held abroad."

    The memo goes on to explain that federal criminal statutes regarding assault and other crimes against the body don't apply to authorized military interrogations overseas. The memo also says the Geneva Conventions don't apply to al-Qaida and Taliban.

    Protestors said that Yoo, as a professor of law, should have known that those techniques of interrogation suggested by him violate the U.S. law, but he did it to give former President George W. Bush a reason to authorize CIA to use torture in interrogation.

    Doreen Marshall, a spokesperson of the group "Stop Torture Coalition" that organized the protest, told Xinhua in an interview that the group will continue fighting until Yoo is disbarred. "He should be fired and stay out of the Chapman University and other universities," she said.

    President Obama signed an executive order to ban the use of torture on January 21, one day after he was sworn in as U.S. President.

Obama administration urged to prosecute CIA interrogators

    WASHINGTON, April 17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama was facing the pressure by human right activists to prosecute Central Investigator Agency (CIA) interrogators who resorted to torture tactics on terrorist suspects, said a TV report on Friday.

    According to CNN, American human right activist group welcomed the release of four Bush-era memos on terror interrogations that included the controversial practice of waterboarding, but criticized the Obama administration's decision not to prosecute CIA interrogators.  Full story

Editor: Xiong Tong
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