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California Democratic Party Demands House Begin Bybee Impeachment Inquiry

Last week, California blogger DDay (who also blogs at Digby’s place) began a petition drive to ask the California Democratic Party to pass a resolution calling for the impeachment of Jay Bybee from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Today, at the state party convention in Sacramento, they passed it:


Whereas, 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" of August 1, 2002, which advised the C.I.A. that "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment was at times allowable under U.S. law, and authored, co-authored and signed other memos on "extraordinary rendition" and "enhanced interrogation," more of which are being currently revealed to the American public as the new Administration brings them to light; and

Whereas the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment, the supreme law of the land under Article VI of our Constitution, requires the prosecution of those who authorize torture, and it has been established that waterboarding is torture; and

Whereas, on January 15, 2009 before leaving office, President George W. Bush, in an effort to cover his culpability, and the culpability of others, had his Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice issue a memo stating that certain opinions issued in 2001-2003 with respect to "the allocation of authorities between President and Congress in matters of war and national security do not reflect the current view of this Office;"

Therefore be it resolved that the California Democratic Party supports resolution of inquiry and vigorous investigation of these and related actions by the Congress of the United States, including the full use of Congressional subpoena power authority and all appropriate remedies, to disclose completely the possible criminal actions of Judge Jay Bybee and others to the American people and to take necessary and available action with appropriate remedies and punishment allowed by law; and

Be it further resolved, that a copy of this resolution with its original authorization be sent to the Office of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, and that copies of the signed resolution be sent to each Democratic member of the California delegation to the United States Senate and House of Representatives.

 Awesome.  Just awesome. 

Dday says "Today, when it passes the full party on the convention floor in a few hours, we can celebrate.  Tomorrow, we put this to work."  I asked him what he planned to do, and he said that tomorrow he wanted people to contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and ask them to begin an impeachment inquiry.  So we’ll be helping him do that.

I hope the California Republican Party does the same.  It only becomes a "partisan issue" if one party decides it wants to become the Party of Torture and gets selective about which of our laws it wants to enforce.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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