bybee.thumbnail.jpgPresident Obama deserves huge applause for releasing the OLC torture memos, as do the people in the Administration who fought for it. It's a brave move certain to bring down right wing howler monkeys crying about threats to national security, but a huge step toward restoring the rule of law in the United States.

While at the Office of Legal Counsel, Jay Bybee wrote the "insect memo" to authorize the torture on Abu Zubaydah, an Al Qada operative captured in Pakistan in 2002. His experience became George Bush's prime example for the efficacy of and need for torture. From Bush's 2006 speech:

We knew that Zubaydah had more information that could save innocent lives, but he stopped talking. As his questioning proceeded, it became clear that he had received training on how to resist interrogation. And so the CIA used an alternative set of procedures. These procedures weredesigned to be safe, to comply with our laws, our Constitution, and our treaty obligations. The Department of Justice reviewed the authorized methods extensively and determined them to be lawful.