Mukasey’s Bleating Conceals His Fear

By: Saturday May 7, 2011 9:00 am

Things were going along pretty well for the Bush Administration Apologists Alumni Association. Sure, they were out of their old offices, but things were good. Obama adopted their wars as his own, the economy has sputtered along long enough to have become (in the public’s mind) at least as much Obama’s fault as theirs (thus the cries of “deficits! deficits! deficits!” from those who launched us into two wars), and most of the BAAAA have landed in cushy lucrative new digs.

Then Obama had to ruin it by getting bin Laden. Suddenly, all the old discussions are back — at least as far as torture goes — and this has at least some of them very worried, like Michael Mukasey.

He should worry. A lot.


John Yoo Discusses Limits to Executive Power

By: Thursday April 28, 2011 7:13 pm

Republicans are getting worried that corporations might have to admit that they give money to Republicans. Much like the Chamber of Commerce is worried that corporations might have to admit that they give money to the Chamber of Commerce. They are all just very ashamed of themselves, I guess. So they’re trying to stop the Obama Administration from delivering an executive order that would force government contractors to disclose their political donations.

So, like all good conservatives looking for a legal patina for their theories, they’ve turned to John Yoo.

As Expected, DOD Charges al-Nashiri; Will the US Also Charge His Torturer?

By: Wednesday April 20, 2011 6:12 pm

Congratulations, DOD, for finally charging one of the alleged worst of the worst. Now when will the government charge those who tortured al-Nashiri?

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.

The Abu Zubaydah Standard in Obama’s Miranda Memo

By: Saturday March 26, 2011 5:00 pm

While FBI says it’d be nice if the folks holding the detainee consult with the lawyers in DC before delaying a suspect’s Miranda warning, they provide a great big invitation–”the agents on the scene who are interacting with the arrestee are in the best position to assess what questions are necessary to secure their safety and the safety of the public”–for them not to do so. And far be it for FBI Agents to refuse such a kind invitation!

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.

Eight Years Ago Today, KSM Was Probably Being Waterboarded for 179th Time

By: Wednesday March 23, 2011 9:30 am

It seems to me we’re never going to see that report until after the eight-year statute of limitations on torture expire for everything described in the report that clearly exceeded John Yoo’s expansive interpretation of what constitutes torture.

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.

Spain Will Investigate Guantanamo Torture

By: Friday February 25, 2011 1:20 pm

The High Court in Spain has decided that it can proceed with its investigation of the torture that Lahcen Ikassrien alleges he suffered at Gitmo.

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