Sunday, April 06, 2008

Yoo's Memo HInts at Bush's Secrets

By Jason Leopold
April 6, 2008

The Pentagon’s declassification of a five-year-old memo authorizing military interrogators to use brutal methods to extract information from prisoners at Guantanamo Bay sheds new light into the dark corners of the Bush administration’s legal theories that put the President and his subordinates beyond domestic and international law.

In the March 14, 2003, memo – which was released this past week – administration lawyer John Yoo cited the principle of national “self-defense” in combating terrorism as grounds for justifying harsh treatment of detainees up to and including death.

Read on.


Itzamirakul said...

As people forget the romance of conquering the Wild West, as they forget the horrors of slavery, the cruelties of segregation, the importance of the Civil Rights Movement, the turmoil and poverty that was set in motion with Reagan's de-regulating "Trickle-down Theory," the dire financial strait the country was in when Bush Sr left office and as they forget other epic, nation-affecting events for the sake of giving awareness to more current disturbances and changes, we begin to see new influences on what we call American Values.

The constant flow of immigrants which has fed this country since its beginning introduces individuals and families whose experiences and thought patterns have developed from perspectives that are different from immigrants who have longer residence in this country. Things are always changing. People develop their mindsets in the culture that is closest to them.

Mr. Yoo's interpretation seems to take ancient warrior tactics (cruelty and torture) combined with classical patriotic historical figures (zeal) and Personal Mental Control to twist his own interpretation and reality in what seems to me a distorted analysis of what the law and the constitution say.

In other words, he "made up" the justification of his interpretations by devising a different scenario and then forcing himself to believe it was true. His own conviction in his own truth more than likely influenced the others who agreed with his interpretation. The more people disagreed or questioned his perspective on the law, the less able he seems to have been able to keep others believing that his "new" perspective on old American law had validity.

As more and more residents of diverse cultures join us in America and begin to speak out about their feelings and interpretations of the culture they have become part of we will see others who will interpret things differently than has been done in the past. Everything changes. It is impossible to prevent change.

Marshalldoc said...

In the current article, Jason writes:
“Yoo footnoted one of his earlier memos, dated Oct. 23, 2001, entitled "Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the United States.”

According to the footnote, that memo “concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations.”

Previous “framework building” by the Busheviks included the following (taken from my webpage

On June 22, 2006, the Congress modified the Insurrection Act as part of the 2007 Defense Appropriations Bill. Section 1076 of the new law changes Sec. 333 of the "Insurrection Act," and widens the President's ability to deploy troops within the United States to enforce the laws. Under this act, the President may also deploy troops as a police force during a natural disaster, epidemic, serious public health emergency, terrorist attack, or other condition, when the President determines that the authorities of the state are incapable of maintaining public order.

The bill also modified Sec. 334 of the Insurrection Act, giving the President authority to order the dispersal of either insurgents or "those obstructing the enforcement of the laws."

The new law changed the name of the chapter from "Insurrection" to "Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order

On Oct. 16th 2006 George Bush signed into law the “Military Commission Act of 2006” (MCA 2006) which:

Grants unchecked authority to the Executive Branch to label as "unlawful enemy combatants" and detain a broad range of people, including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents inside the United States stating: “Any person is punishable as a principal under this chapter who commits an offense punishable by this chapter, or aids, abets, counsels, commands, or procures its commission,” and “any person subject to this chapter who, in breach of an allegiance or duty to the United States, knowingly and intentionally aids an enemy of the United States... shall be punished as a military commission … may direct.”

Denies any right to independent judicial review of these detentions (loss of ‘Habeas Corpus‘).

Eliminates accountability for past violations of the law & Geneva Conventions.

Authorizes the President, without accountability, to re-define the protections of the Geneva Conventions and to define what does, and does not, constitute torture.

Permits evidence obtained through coercion & torture and prevents the accused from knowing that evidence and challenging it…even in death penalty trials.

Gives the Secretary of Defense authority to deviate from time-tested military justice standards for fair trials…at his whim, and without accountability.

Creates crimes of “conspiracy” and “providing material support for terrorism”, the definitions of which are deliberately vague and may even include giving or reading this webpage!

In February, 2008 Bush signed a repeal of certain provisions of the Defense Appropriations Act regarding Presidential powers over the National Guard (although I’ve not been able to determine exactly which provisions were actually repealed). I doubt, however, that Bush voluntarily relinquished control over the Guard in circumstances he might wish to use them.

The net effect of these changes in constitutional law are that it is now possible for the President to use American troops (the National Guard), regardless of the wishes of their state’s Governor, to arrest and detain American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights (by declaring them to be “obstructing enforcement of the laws”, that the state’s authorities are “incapable of maintaining public order”, or that they are “providing material support for terrorism”) without trial or the right to challenge the lawfulness of their detention.

Congress passed the essentials of this “legal framework”, eyes wide open, more or less as Yoo would have constructed it were he to have written the legislation himself…

w.templeton said...

This is a brilliant article written by Mr. Leopold. I have not read the reference to the 9/21/2001 anywhere else. The passages from Yoos book has pushed this issue forward. Still, I ask: why isn't a story like this on the front pages of our traditional news outlets. Seems that these reporters can learn from Mr Leopold that obtaining information means going well beyond the press release.

Excellent work!

EvilPoet said...

UGH. You lost me at Jason Leopold

w.templeton said...

And this proves what evil poet?

What does this two year old story have to do with Mr. Leopold's article published today?

Please enlighten us.

w.templeton said...

May I also add that this CJR story on Mr Leopold is quite a hit job. I hope he wears it as a badge of honor.

I find it interesting that this piece included a correction that says the reporter got much of his "story" wrong. But evilpoet seems ti read headlines and bylines only so its no surprise here that she missed that.

I do find the legal letter in the comments from Mr Leopold's lawyer far more interesting than the articlee by Mr. McCleary. I wonder if Mr Leopold sued him.