This is in response to the letter invitation dated April 29,2009 from Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary to Judge Jay S. Bybee of Las Vegas to testify on Bybee’s own behalf in connection with memos signed by Bybee in August 2002 while in Bybee’s position of head of the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department.
The Senator is on a witch hunt and setting a trap. He is attempting to establish that the harsh interrogation methods, and parameters of "torture", as stated by the Bybee signed memos are illegal under US law, and in the process cast a net that will sweep in not only Bybee,but also key members of the Bush Administration,including the Justice Department, setting them up for prosecution. The Senator’s act to furnish two contrasting accounts of Bybee’s story as reported in the Washington Post and the New York Times, together with his reference to Bybee’s ambition to become a federal judge are attempts by Leahy to confound Bybee, and identify a motive (ambition) for Bybee’s consent to sign the two memos on interrogation and "torture". The elements of "duress" and "payoff" may also enter the equation.
There has been no wrong doing! The definition of "torture’ as stated in the Bybee memo is a sound definition of the term. Torture is tantamount to the most extreme measures that can be used. Waterboarding as used in these interrogation proceedings is not "torture". Torture as defined in the Bybee memo
amounted to interrogation that would cause "organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death".
These are reasonable thresholds, and should be accepted.
Judge Bybee has no obligation to attend this hearing. At this point it is an "invitation"only. But no matter what Bybee’s decision is regarding attendance, the smell of a rat is obvious!