S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

News Digest: Bush admin OLC Memos released in early March by Obama admin


Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Buildi...Image via Wikipedia

The rule of law was severely compromised under the George W. Bush administration. But President Barack Obama's Department of Justice determined to release a significant number of Office of Legal Counsel legal memos in early March. This post is for use as a reference to what the most important investigative bloggers wrote about the events at the time.

"More OLC Memos Released," came from ACLU Blog of Rights (3/2/09). To quote: "There are still more outstanding OLC memos that the Justice Department has yet to reveal. You can see which ones are still missing here." Earlier, the ACLU issued a "Memo to OLC: Time to Walk the Talk," 2/26/09), discussing the Obama administration's nominee to head the OLC, Dawn Johnston.

"Breaking: Previously OLC Opinions Now Released," was from emptywheel at Firedoglake (3/2/09). The next day emptywheel asked, "Where are the other memos?" The post concluded,

. . . when you consider two of the other memos that have not been turned over--Steven Bradbury's own March 2005 memos, memos he wrote as an audition to try to convince David Addington he's make a good head of OLC. The memos have been reported as re-authorizing the torture approach that Jack Goldsmith had withdrawn in 2004.

In other words, the memos released yesterday do as much to point to the loopholes that they've exploited to be able to keep torturing as they reveal any big reversal from those policies.

"DOJ releases OLC memos: Why hide Bradbury's legal smackdown?" came from Christy Hardin Smith of Firedoglake (3/2/09).

Also, "Countdown: Bush Admin Office of legal Counsel memos + Bush Lawyers Approved Constitution-Free Domestic Military Ops, Docs Show," is a great article from Dandelion Salad (3/2/09). It is an excellent compendium of what others were saying.

"Memos Reveal Scope of the Power Bush Sought" was the headline from The New York Times (3/3/09). "The secret legal opinions were issued by Bush administration lawyers after the Sept. 11 attacks. Thoughts: Does Bradbury's memo absolve the administration of criminal behavior. And to which memos does it apply? Just torture? What about warrantless wiretapping?"

"The newly released secret laws of the Bush administration," was from (3/3/09), written by Glenn Greenwald. He observed,
One of the central facts that we, collectively, have not yet come to terms with is how extremist and radical were the people running the country for the last eight years. That condition, by itself, made it virtually inevitable that the resulting damage would be severe and fundamental, even irreversible in some sense. It's just not possible to have a rotting, bloated, deeply corrupt and completely insular political ruling class -- operating behind impenetrable walls of secrecy -- and avoid the devastation that is now becoming so manifest. It's just a matter of basic cause and effect.
"More OLC Memos to Come?" came from TPM Muckraker (3/3/09). To quote, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said: "These memos appear to have given the Bush administration a legal blank check to trample on Americans' civil rights. We need to get to the bottom of what happened at O.L.C. and ensure it never happens again." See also, "Is footnote in OLC Memo designed to protect its author?" by the same author on the same day; and "Experts weigh in on Bush Justice memos."

"Was Yoo spreading Pixie Dust on the Geneva Convention?" was from Firedoglake (3/3/09). "Pixie Dust" was how Senator Whitehouse described the Bush OLC practice of ignoring their own executive orders or international treaties.

"Unemployed Bush lawyers and the OPR Report," came from emptywheel (3/9/09). She asks, "Is it possible that the private firms that refuse to employ Gonzales and (apparently) Addington already know their responsibility for illegal activity will come out?" The same day emptywheel posted about "John Yoo's wrestling match with the First Amendment."

My all-in-one Home Page of websites where I post regularly: Carol Gee - Online Universe

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