Spain Investigates Jay Bybee for Torture

According to Harper’s, Spanish authorities are investigating Bush administration officials for torture. That includes the former BYU law professor Jay Bybee who signed off on John Yoo’s infamous torture memos.

The premier Spanish newspaper El País reports that judge Baltasar Garzón is involved in the investigation. Garzon is famous for prosecuting Basque terrorists and for bringing Augusto Pinochet to justice by demanding the dictator’s extradition from Britain.

Although the extradition request failed, Chile revoked the tyrant’s immunity and tried him at home.

The immediate consequence for Bybee and the torture crew is that they are no longer able to travel outside the United States. Spain may demand their arrest and extradition.

The Spanish activities are also increasing the pressure on the Obama administration to prosecute torturers for violating international human rights and American criminal law. Since Bybee is now a federal judge, his case is especially embarrassing.

As Mormons, we need to ask ourselves why so many prominent Mormons have become entangled in the abuses of the Bush administration. Personally, I have a hard time understanding how a torturer can remain a Mormon in good standing.

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7 Responses

  1. kuri says:

    The British government has also begun torture investigations, which are quite likely to eventually reach back to US officials.

  2. Hellmut says:

    Thanks for the link, Kuri. I am especially upset with the journalists who are shielding the torturers.

    The Eichmann excuse, ‘I just followed orders,’ does not exonerate human rights abuses.

    We have been sentencing war crimes perpetrators regardless of their orders ever since World War II.

  3. dpc says:

    An informal investigation of one person hardly rises to the level of “many prominent Mormons have becom[ing] entangled in the abuses of the Bush administration.”

  4. Hellmut says:

    I am thinking of other scandals such as the firing of the prosecutors in the Department of Justice and the evisceration of scientific standards in the evaluation of missile defense.

    Then there are the psychologists that designed the Bush torture regime.

  5. Funny you mention that. Yesterday I was listening to Radio 4 and they had an interview with some official who had worked in both Guantanamo and Abu Grahib. The interview was from “his home in Salt Lake City”. It reminded me of that Dr Who episode a couple of years ago where the Evil Genius had his underground lair in Utah. 🙂

  6. Hellmut says:

    Hi Chris! Mormons are overrepresented among United States Army interrogators because of language skills.

    There must have been quite a few Mormons in the prison camps and the CIA jails.

    I am willing to cut those people some slack.
    Tragically, they were exposed to a situation that wasn’t of their making. Nobody can know for sure what they might have done if their superiors demanded that you behave cruelly.

    That is not true of a lawyer who bends the law to authorize torture.

  1. October 20, 2010

    […] The weirdest disconnect in the whole right-wing-anti-government movement is their relative silence on the torture issue. This is just me, but I would think that if your issue is to supposed to be protecting freedom against tyranny (from your own government), then preventing your government from being authorized to torture people at will, without trial woud be a very big issue. But since we don’t want to paint all conservatives with the same brush (cluelessness), kuri points out a Fox News guy who gets it. Times & Seasons is also discussing the possibility of impeachment for Jay Bybee, the Mormon who signed the torture memo. At the very least, it’s a little disturbing that he hasn’t been excommunicated — given that someone else got ex’d for the (worse???) offense of making a calendar with pictures of shirtless guys. Well, if Bybee’s church and country won’t scrutinize his actions, there’s always the Spanish inquisition, er investigation. […]

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