Obama Administration Still Keeping Much Secret About Bush’s Warrantless Wiretapping Program

By: Saturday September 6, 2014 2:10 pm

The Justice Department released two memos on the authorization of warrantless wiretapping, as part of the top secret program, Stellar Wind. The memos were created during President George W. Bush’s administration and contain the “legal justification” for electronic surveillance without a warrant. However, one of the me was previously provided with significant redactions to the ACLU in March 2011. It remains heavily censored.

The memo was written by former Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) head and lawyer, Jack Goldsmith, and is dated May 6, 2004.

As ACLU staff attorney Patrick Toomey told The Washington Post, “What these memos show is that nearly three years after President Bush authorized the warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ emails and phone calls, government lawyers were still struggling to put the program on sound legal footing.”


Hassan Ghul’s World Travels

By: Wednesday June 15, 2011 11:30 am

You just never know where a someone will wind up once they are in US custody. It appears that Ghul may have been freed by the Pakistanis sometime after January 2007 because of his ties to Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has close ties to the ISI.

The Weird Circumstances Surrounding Hassan Ghul’s Interrogation

By: Thursday May 5, 2011 5:23 pm

It would appear that it took at least six months (from late January to late July) before the CIA got around to torturing Ghul.

This, in spite of the fact that an earlier reference to the August 25 letter claims that CIA believed Ghul had information about pending attacks.

Into the Weeds with FISA and the Goldsmith Memo

By: Monday March 28, 2011 7:15 pm

The unredacted sections of the Goldsmith Memo do not rely on In re Sealed Case to claim warrantless wiretapping qualifies as a special need, whereas the White Paper does.

In 2004, the White House Considered FISA’s Exclusivity Provision to Be Top Secret

By: Saturday March 26, 2011 7:24 am

As I have noted before, there are a number of paragraphs in the May 6, 2004 Goldsmith memo authorizing warrantless wiretapping that appear to be badly overclassified. Not only were many of the same paragraphs printed, almost verbatim, in unclassified fashion, in the White Paper released in January 2006. But many of those paragraphs contain nothing more than discussions of published statute.

The Bush White Paper and the Classified Opinion

By: Thursday March 24, 2011 6:20 pm

As has often been noted, the White Paper the Bush Administration released on January 19, 2006 largely repeats the analysis Jack Goldsmith did in his May 6, 2004 Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinion on the warrantless wiretap program. So I decided to compare the two documents.

Not only did such a comparison help me see things in both documents I hadn’t seen before. But there are a number of things that appear in the White Paper but not the unredacted parts of the opinion. Some of this, such as Administration statements after the warrantless wiretap program was exposed in 2005, simply serve as the publicly acceptable discussion of the program.

Bush-Era Opinion Asserts Near-Constant War Justifies Broad Surveillance Powers

By: Tuesday March 22, 2011 7:45 am

They tortured the detainees to get claims of plots against the US. And then–even though the detainees insisted they had stopped planning against the US–they used intelligence about canceled or absurd plots to write scary memos so they could continue to use their illegal wiretap program.

Newly Released Opinion Reveals How Yoo Relied on Eliminating Fourth Amendment to Wiretap Illegally

By: Saturday March 19, 2011 10:20 am

As Josh Gerstein and Jack Goldsmith note, The Department of Justice (DOJ) just released two of the opinions underlying the warrantless wiretap programs. They both focus on the May 6, 2004 opinion Goldsmith wrote in the wake of the Ashcroft hospital confrontation.

A Way Towards The Rule of Law – An Answer to Cap’n Jack

By: Saturday September 11, 2010 5:00 pm

Justice, what do you care about justice. You don’t even care whether you’ve got the right men or not. All you know is you’ve lost something and someone’s got to be punished. The Ox-Bow Incident.

Guantanamo “Compromise”: Cap’n Jack’s Crackerjack Logic!

By: Friday September 10, 2010 9:25 am

The correct response, for someone in Goldsmith’s position, would be to say, “stop being such cynical assholes, Republicans, this is about law, not your political stunts!” But instead, he wrings his hand and invents a new legal system to work around the difficulty created by his colleagues in the Republican party.

Follow Firedoglake
CSM Ads advertisement