WCW Home Take Action Videos & Reports of Demonstrations 9-9-09 Confronting Bybee for Justifying Torture
9-9-09 Confronting Bybee for Justifying Torture PDF Print E-mail

By Susan Harman

From AfterDowningStreet.org | Original Article

I'm ashamed to say I've only been arrested three times in my life, and two of those times weren't explicitly political, although they were principled. Last week I was arrested for protesting Jay Bybee's sitting on the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals. This court is the second highest in the land. Cases go from it to the Supremes.

Appointments are for life. Bybee was given this appointment by Bush in payment for his signing off on John Yoo's appalling memos justifying torture. Patrick Leahy, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said he would never have voted for his confirmation had he known about the memos, and the New York Times has called for Bybee's impeachment.

Some of us, including CodePink, Progressive Democrats of America, World Can't Wait, National Lawyers Guild, Pace e Bene, and others have been protesting Bybee's position on this court for several months now. We have held protests in the cities where the 9th Circuit sits: Honolulu, Pasadena, San Francisco, Portland, Las Vegas, and finally, last week, in Seattle. We have twice confronted Bybee himself, and asked him to resign. We will continue to do so, wherever he dares to sit in judgment on other human beings.

I am not in support of individual acts of bravery, since I believe in collective action, and I did not intend to get arrested last Thursday.
I was merely asking the man in the black suit taking pictures of us to identify himself. He ignored me, and then had me arrested for assault. (Needless to say, I didn't assault him.) The real reason was that I was the one who had gone inside the court to confront Bybee. Four people were arrested a couple of weeks ago for protesting the outrage that John Yoo is allowed to teach law at Berkeley. We need to confront them all; all the torturers, liars, and war criminals, wherever they are. I am not urging being arrested, but I am urging protesting, human being to human being. Find your local war criminal and protest him/her now:
War Criminals Watch.

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