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.
The legal memos written by the Bush administration's Office of Legal Counsel show a government grappling with how to wage war on terrorism in a fast-changing world. The conclusion, reiterated in page after page of documents, was that the president had broad authority to set aside constitutional rights.
The memos reflected a belief within the Bush administration that the president had broad powers that could not be checked by Congress or the courts. That stance, in one form or another, became the foundation for many policies: 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. Read on...
We've known about the secret memos for years, but it still sent a shiver down my spine to actually read them. I applaud President Obama for making these memos public so that the citizens of the U.S. and the world can begin to understand what happened during those dark years in our history and to insure that never again will any president of any political party abuse their powers this way again.
To read all of the secret memos in their entirety click here.