I'm headed out to Sacramento for the California Democratic Party convention, so just a final mention - I have a petition to tell the CDP to support the resolution to impeach Torture Judge Jay Bybee of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. There are musings about independent commissions and special prosecutors in Washington - the establishmentarians in the Senate and the more cautious types in the White House are trying to resist the pressure, but this is bigger than them now.
The central debate dominating discussions of a possible investigation into torture by the Bush administration seems to have shifted sharply in the past few days: from whether such an investigation should take place, to now what form it will have when it comes [...]
Thursday morning, Sen. Claire McCaskill told MSNBC that she was "sure there will be some form of investigation in Congress." She said she could not make the same value judgments about the other two forms of investigation.
Meanwhile, one of the few legislative vehicles actually geared toward starting the torture investigation process already has bipartisan support. Legislation backed by House Judiciary chairman John Conyers to establish "a national commission on presidential war powers and civil liberties" has one rather notable co-sponsor: Republican Rep. Walter Jones, a vocal GOP critic of the Bush administration. Jones' office did not return requests for comment but Conyers' office confirmed the North Carolinian remains a co-sponsor of the legislation.
I believe this is a direct result of the grassroots activism of the past week or so, and we must press on all fronts, and the impeachment of Bybee, who sits on the 9th Circuit in San Francisco, is particularly acute here in this state. Currently I have 4,435 signatures - please sign by midnight tonight and I will present yours and everyone else's name at the Resolutions Committee tomorrow at 3pm. If we get this resolution passed, we will have a powerful tool to force California members of Congress to initiate hearings in the House Judiciary Committee to impeach Bybee. I think it's absolutely possible that we make this happen over the weekend - but the leadership of the CDP needs to know that there's a large and powerful constituency behind this effort.
Please sign the petition if you haven't already. And California's Courage Campaign has their own petition, with around 8,500 signatures at last count. 13,000 people arguing for impeachment is a powerful number - let's go for more. I'll let you know how it goes.