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Judge Bybee Gets Yelled at in Court


Court protesters get escorted out
By Dan Abendschein, Pasadena Star News

PASADENA - Three protesters Monday shouted at a federal judge they accuse of signing off on "torture memos" and were quickly escorted out of court by security officers.

"You authorized the torture of human beings," Dianne Wright of Los Angeles yelled at Richard H. Chambers U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Jay Bybee, a former Bush administration lawyer who worked in the Office of Legal Counsel.

Bybee now serves on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has a courtroom in Pasadena.

The protestors, two from the Bay Area and one from Los Angeles, waited until the end of a hearing to call Bybee a torturer and demand his impeachment.

Wright, along with Susan Harman of Oakland and Cynthia Papermaster of Berkeley, were immediately escorted out by court security. They were not arrested.

Officials for the federal court system did not return calls seeking comment.

The three are affiliated with Code Pink and the Progressive Democrats of America. But they said the protest was not organized by either group.

Protesters from those groups, including Wright, showed up at the same courthouse last week in a protest against Bybee.

The memos Bybee signed claimed that physical interrogation of prisoners is not torture, unless it results in "serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death," or "significant psychological harm of significant duration, e.g., lasting for months or even years."

The memos concluded that techniques such as water-boarding and confining prisoners to a box with an insect in it did not constitute torture.

Harman said the group would continue to show up to Bybee's hearings, including at other locations in the Ninth Circuit.

"When he sits in San Francisco, Honolulu, Anchorage, Las Vegas - wherever - we'll be there," said Harman. "He needs to be impeached."

dan.abendschein@sgvn.com

(626) 962-8811, Ext. 4451

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