John Yoo, the former Bush Administration lawyer who now teaches at UC Berkeley’s law school, authored the torture memo that cleared the way for the U.S. military to begin torturing suspected Al Qaeda members in Guantanamo and black site prisons, as well as Iraqis in Abu Ghraib.
Perhaps less well known is that Yoo also wrote a legal opinion blessing the president’s targeting of American citizens for wiretapping, a memo that even members of Congress have not seen.
There have been clues before in the administration’s defense of its wiretapping program. For instance, the Justice Department said (.pdf) the Authorization to Use Military Force and the president’s war making powers in the Constitution.
But in the Yoo torture memo (.pdf) which was just released and declassified yesterday, Yoo himself seems to clue us in:
Citing cases that prevented companies from suing the U.S. government for losses they sustained overseas during wartime, You writes “These cases and the untenable consequences for the President’s conduct of a war that would result from the application of the Due Process Cluse demonstrate its inapplicability during wartime–whether to the conduct of interrogations or the detention of enemy aliens.”
Lest it not be clear enough that Yoo is arguing the President is King in wartime, thanks to the Constitution’s Article II powers, two footnotes surrounding the former sentence make it clear.
In footnote 10, Yoo writes “our Office recently concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application todomestic military operations.”
Remember that Bush said the wiretapping program was part of his war on terrorism.
And there it is. In the war on terrorism, the bill of rights does not apply.
Footnote 11 adds to it: “We conclude that the restrictions outlined in the Fifth Amendment simply do not address actions the Executive takes in conducting a military campaign against the Nation’s enemies.”
Congress still hasn’t seen this memo, and yet they are prepared to hand over more wiretapping powers to this Administration.
And John Yoo teaches at UC-Berkeley.
Meanwhile not a single Congressional committee will let AT&T whistle blower Mark Klein testify.
via/ Threat Level