Jay Bybee has been a federal judge in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Las Vegas for 6 years. He was little noticed until the release of a memo written by Bybee when he was head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. The memo gave protection to what the Bush administration called harsh interrogation and what others call torture. Liberal groups have called for Bybee’s impeachment.
The techniques excused by Bybee included waterboarding, sleep deprivation, beatings, and confinement in small boxes. In 2002, Bybee advised the Central Intelligence Agendy that they could use the tactics against Abu Zubaydah, a leader of al-Qaida. Bybee said that the techniques were not torture, because there was “no intent to cause severe pain or suffering.”