Obama Reveals Secret Bush Abuses
In an extraordinary move, on the heals of the revelation that the CIA destroyed almost 100 interrogation tapes, the Obama administration revealed anti-terror memos that show to what lengths the Bush administration went to claim additional powers after 9/11.
The Justice Department released nine legal opinions showing that, following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Bush administration determined that certain constitutional rights would not apply during the coming fight. Within two weeks, government lawyers were already discussing ways to wiretap U.S. conversations without warrants.
Attorney General Eric Holder set the stage by saying, “Too often over the past decade, the fight against terrorism has been viewed as a zero-sum battle with our civil liberties. Not only is that school of thought misguided, I fear that in actuality it does more harm than good.” The Bush administration believed it could claim powers that could not be checked by the courts, including holding detainees at Guantanamo Bay, eavesdropping on U.S. citizens without warrants, using tough new CIA interrogation tactics and locking U.S. citizens in military brigs without charges.
Fourth Amendment protections against unwarranted search and seizure, for instance, did not apply in the United States as long as the president was combating terrorism, the Justice Department said in an Oct. 23, 2001, memo.
“First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo wrote, adding later: “The current campaign against terrorism may require even broader exercises of federal power domestically.”
The ACLU is already suing the CIA because of its interrogation techniques. However, now there is evidence that Constitutional abuses were not limited to harsh interrogations. Conservatives who love to wax poetic about strict Constitutional constructionism should be outraged about BushCo’s disregard for First and Fourth Amendment protections. Instead of ACLU-bashing, as a fundraising trick, Constitution lovers should be embracing their efforts to protect our founding document.Click here for reuse options!
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