05/21/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Impeach Bybee

When reading the torture memos, keep in mind that Jay Bybee sits, right now, on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This means that the man who deliberately and unashamedly created the legal cover for American torture deals with significant Constitutional issues on a daily basis. The 9th Circuit hears far more cases than the Supreme Court and its decisions govern all federal law (and all law in which federal law prevails) in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

Simply put, if you live in any of those states and are placed in a box where you couldn't stand, forced to stand in a positions where your muscles failed, or waterboarded, Jay Bybee could well rule this conduct was legal.

For as long as he remains on the bench, a man whose legal connivance authorized torture is in a position to do so again.

There is only one way to stop this: Congress needs to immediately begin an impeachment proceeding against Bybee for his criminal behavior. If torture is not a high crime and misbehavior, nothing is.

It is immaterial whether or not the Obama Administration (whose statement against prosecution only applies to the immediate torturers themselves) has the gumption to go after criminal prosecutions. When Congress has clear and convincing evidence that a federal appellate judge violated the law, it has its own independent obligation to investigate and determine whether an individual must be removed from office.

Bybee's signed memo is pretty convincing evidence against him. It makes the crimes of Watergate (whose perpetrators were prosecuted and did end behind bars) pale in comparison.

Bybee needs to be impeached. Now.