Yesterday, June 25, was Torture Accountability Day. President Obama may wish to look forward instead of back. But there are activists who don't believe vicious government sanctioned abuse of prisoners will be rooted out unless some of the authorities authorizing this illegal conduct suffer some consequences.
The home of the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is an imposing building, isn't it?
One of its judges is Jay Bybee, author of one of the nasty bureaucratic justifications of torture churned out by the Bush Department of Justice. Why is this guy still a federal judge?
Activists delivered petitions calling for Bybee to be disbarred for professional misconduct -- for making up excuses for patently illegal conduct.
We were also reminded of our other local torture enabler, Professor John Yoo. Why is that man still teaching at the University of California Law School at Boalt Hall?
Folks in attendance laid out some of the tools of activism: buttons to continually remind and raise the question; pens to pass the word along. Building a moral and political consensus that repudiates torture is not the work of a moment. It will take time and angst and devotion. Other societies have done this work; we can too, but it won't be easy.