Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The man who signed the torture memos

Jay Bybee, sitting pretty on the Ninth Circuit, has been one of the quieter Torture Lawyers, despite having his John Hancock on the August 2002 memo that's the most shocking we've seen to date.

Via How Appealing, we get a couple of items on Bybee.
Bybee declined to talk about his work at the Office of Legal Counsel. But when he gathered former clerks last year at a Las Vegas steak house for a five-year reunion, he was more revealing.

"He said our work has been well-researched, carefully written, and that he was very proud of the work that we've done and the opinions his chambers has issued," said Tuan Samahon , who was Bybee's first judicial clerk and is now a UNLV professor.

According to Samahon, the judge then added: "I wish I could say that of the prior job I had."
I can't cry too much for the lawyer who read John Yoo's draft memo on executive CINC power to disregard statutory law, and apparently didn't ask, "Hey, John, shouldn't there be something about Youngstown in here?"

The PDF article is also interesting for its confirmation that SERE techniques directly "informed" the torture memos:
According to information Bybee submitted to the Armed Services Committee last fall, as his office prepared the memos, Bybee saw a CIA assessment of the "psychological effects of military resistance training."

The assessment came to him in a meeting with Yoo and two other OLC attorneys in July, and Bybee told the committee that it informed the Aug. 1 memo, which is believed to have approved specific interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding.
This does not bode well for CIA's insistence that it was just following orders, methinks .... The Levine article is well worth reading in full.

No comments:

Post a Comment