April 21, 2009, New York and Washington – A coalition of organizations including the Center for Constitutional Rights, After Downing Street, Democrats.com and Courage Campaign has sent a joint letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers requesting the impeachment of Jay Bybee. The coalition is encouraging other organizations to join them in this effort, and the Center for Constitutional Rights has launched an online grassroots campaign for impeachment. The full text of the Conyers letter follows:
Dear Chairman Conyers:
On April 16, 2009, the Department of Justice, with the consent of the
President of the United States, Barack Obama, released four previously
classified memos relating to the treatment of certain detainees. One
of the memos, dated Aug. 1, 2002, was written by then Assistant
Attorney General Jay S. Bybee , now Judge of the United States Court
of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, and explicitly authorizes the use of
water boarding of a detainee, as well as the use of other techniques
of interrogation, including stress positions and sleep deprivation.
Water boarding was characterized by Attorney General Eric Holder at
his confirmation hearings as torture-and it has been widely viewed as
such by other nations and international organizations, including the
International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as the United States
itself in the past.
The use of torture violates the Constitution, laws, and treaties of
the United States and is inconsistent with our country’s deepest
values. Because of Mr. Bybee’s apparent facilitation of torture, which
we believe constitutes a high crime and misdemeanor, we the
undersigned, most respectfully urge that the House Judiciary
Committee, under your leadership, investigate fully and completely
whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to
impeach the former Assistant Attorney General and present federal
appellate Judge, Jay Bybee.
We stand ready, of course, to provide whatever assistance we can to
you and the members of your Committee.
Vince Warren, Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights
Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights
Bob Fertik, President of Democrats.com
David Swanson, Cofounder of After Downing Street
Rick Jacobs, Founder and Chair of Courage Campaign
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.