Friday, April 04, 2008

Bush: 4th Amendment doesn't apply to domestic military operations

A 37-page October 23, 2001 memo by John Yoo titled "Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the United States" stated that the Fourth Amendment's prohibitions on unreasonable searches and seizures did not apply to U.S. military operations on U.S. soil in the name of defending against terrorism. The existence of this memo, which has not itself been released, was made public on Tuesday when a March 14, 2003 memo was released, which stated in a footnote that "Our office recently concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations."

On Wednesday, the Bush administration indicated that it has disavowed the view of the October 23, 2001 memo.

The March 14, 2003 memo, also by Yoo, was obtained by the ACLU as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. That memo asserts that the President has the right to authorize torture in violation of criminal law:
If a government defendant were to harm an enemy combatant during an interrogation in a manner that might arguably violate a criminal prohibition, he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the al Qaeda terrorist network. ... In that case, we believe that he could argue that the executive branch's constitutional authority to protect the nation from attack justified his actions.
The fact that Bush wasn't impeached and convicted years ago for high crimes and misdemeanors is astounding to me.

(Hat tip to Dave Palmer on the SKEPTIC list--I've not been reading TPM lately.)


Hume's Ghost said...

It's a sign of how eroded democracy is that he has not been impeached.

Incidentally, I randomly flipped to Fox News yesterday and saw Oliver North interviewing Michael Ledeen. I would also say it's a sign of how American political discourse has become that you can turn to a "news" channel and see to known liars (one criminally convicted) who helped wage an illegal war in defiance of the United States Congress chatting it up.

I also think in a sane political environment Mukasey would be impeached immediately for his lies about 9/11 and FISA.

Hume's Ghost said...

"of how perverse American political discourse has become..."

Hume's Ghost said...

By the way, Check out the Nexis break down on media coverage.

I'd recommend reading Greenwald's blog on a regular basis. His coverage of these issues is top notch.