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Bybee Made a Deal With the Devil
From Nan Aron:
As the Washington Post reported on April 25, Bybee flew to Washington early in the Bush administration to be interviewed by then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales for a possible opening on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Gonzales reportedly told him that while they waited for an expected retirement on that circuit, the White House would like Bybee to head up the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department. That office is supposed to be the legal watchdog that gives impartial and professional analysis about whether executive orders or other actions by the administration are legal and constitutional.
In other words, Bybee knew that if he did the Bush administration's bidding he had a prestigious judgeship waiting for him. Asked to come up with some legal theory for why the administration could engage in illegal torture, Bybee complied, producing a memo that objective observers say would not be worthy of a first-year law student.