Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bye-bye, Bybee

Jay Bybee: The Man Behind Waterboarding (By Randy James—Time, April 28, 2009)

Jay Bybee has been called the "forgotten man" in the mounting furor over the CIA's harsh interrogation of imprisoned terror suspects — but he's quickly assuming a leading role. Though the mild-mannered lawyer has attracted little public attention, as a top Justice Department official he approved an array of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" against alleged al-Qaeda members that many observers call torture. They include forcing prisoners to stay awake for a week or more, waterboarding them and trapping them with an insect to exploit their fear of bugs.

Bye-bye, Bybee

Bye-bye, Bybee—
You so-and so—
It’s time you were benched.
It’s time to go.

Return your robe—
And your gavel, too!
Judgment day is here
For you and Yoo.

You and Yoo,
The infamous two
From the OLC—
The lawyers who

Used tortured logic
And legalese
To circumvent laws…
Two corroborees

Who defined techniques
For interrogation
(Enhanced AND sadistic)
With specification.

You think you did it
For the good of our nation?
You think there truly
Is justification

For waterboarding…
Other tortures as well?
YOU’RE a rotten thing in Denmark
And you’re starting to smell!

Bybee’s ‘remoteness from the actual torturers’ increases his ‘degree of responsibility.’ (Think Progress—4/27/09)

Jon Eisenberg, one of the lawyers who is representing the plaintiffs in a case challenging Bush's warrantless wiretapping program, writes in the Philadephia Inquirer today that Jay Bybee’s “remoteness from the actual torturers increases his degree of responsibility”:

Bybee did not write the torture memo he signed; it was written by John Yoo, then at the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel and currently a law school professor who writes a monthly column for The Inquirer. Bybee just signed off on the memo, two desks removed from the torture chamber. Did he even read it? He must have. Did he think much about it? How could he have, and then signed such an abhorrent thing? This is evil thoughtlessness. […]

Bybee defends his torture memos as ‘legally correct’ and ‘a good-faith analysis of the law.’ (Think Progress—4/29/09)

Judge Jay Bybee finally "broke his silence" and talked to the New York Times about his legal memos which authorized torture. This past weekend, the Washington Post quoted anonymous friends of Bybee claiming that Bybee was apologetic for authoring the memos. Speaking for himself, Bybee said that's not the case:

[H]e said: “The central question for lawyers was a narrow one; locate, under the statutory definition, the thin line between harsh treatment of a high-ranking Al Qaeda terrorist that is not torture and harsh treatment that is. I believed at the time, and continue


  1. Love your verses, your wit, your passion, Elaine! Keep celebrating the beautiful and speaking out against the horror.

  2. Thanks, Elisa! I haven't written any new verses in over a week. I have got to get back on a roll again. Sometimes the horror and the idiots don't inspire the writing of rhyming rants--they just cause a feeling of frustration and hopelessness.

  3. Hi Elaine,
    I just posted one in the same vein entitled: "Enhanced Poetry Techniques."
    See what you think of that one and some others you might find interesting.