Obama DOJ: John Yoo Memos on Spying Must Stay Secret
The American people should be allowed to know the legal reasoning offered to justify warrantless surveillance during the Bush Administration
What was Bush Administration lawyer John Yoo thinking when he wrote various legal memos declaring that the president has the power to spy on American citizens without getting a warrant or telling anyone about it?
The Obama Administration isn’t telling:
The Obama administration has refused to declassify a secret memo from the George W. Bush presidency that justified the warrantless spying conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA).
Matthew Aid, a writer who’s covered the NSA and surveillance policy, requested a copy of a 2001 Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinion by John Yoo that discussed the legal grounds for electronic spying without permission from a special federal court. The Department of Justice mostly denied Aid’s Freedom of Information Act request, saying the redacted information in the OLC opinion was “classified, covered by non-disclosure provisions contained in other federal statutes, and is protected by the deliberative process privilege.”
They did release 8 sentences from a 21 page memo.
Said John Yoo: “Intelligence gathering in direct support of military operations does not trigger constitutional rights against illegal searches and seizures.”