September 6, 2014 11:21 am -

A pair of decade-old legal memos released by the Justice Department on Friday reveal “the fullest public airing to date of the Bush administration’s legal justification for the warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ phone calls and e-mails,” according to the Washington Post.



[su_center_ad]The warrantless program began in secret after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The Washington Post reports:

The broad outlines of the argument — that the president has inherent constitutional power to monitor Americans’ communications without a warrant in a time of war — were known, but the sweep of the reasoning becomes even clearer in the memos written by then-Assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith, who was head of President George W. Bush’s Office of Legal Counsel.

“We conclude only that when the nation has been thrust into an armed conflict by a foreign attack on the United States and the president determines in his role as commander in chief . . . that it is essential for defense against a further foreign attack to use the [wiretapping] capabilities of the [National Security Agency] within the United States, he has inherent constitutional authority” to order warrantless wiretapping — “an authority that Congress cannot curtail,” Goldsmith wrote in a redacted 108-page memo dated May 6, 2004.

Patrick Toomey, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said, “Their conclusions are deeply disturbing, They suggest that the president’s power to monitor the communications of Americans is virtually unlimited — by the Constitution, or by Congress — when it comes to foreign intelligence.”

The ACLU obtained the memos via a FOIA.


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

8 responses to Memos Released On Bush Administration’s Justification For Warrantless Wiretapping

  1. pipelayer56 September 6th, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I think it is despicable that the same people who supported this type of twisted reasoning that was the foundation of Bush Administration polices are the same people who are pretending to be horrified at the NSA spying scandal.

    • juicyfruityyy September 6th, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      They are trying to re-write history. But we are not going to let them.

  2. rg9rts September 6th, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    As Ambrose Bierce said of lawyers…ones skilled in the circumvention of the law. This is proof positive, just as the gopee has an army of scribes rewriting history, in Texas, to conform with how they remember it.

    • Yenta September 6th, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      Maybe to conform in how they WANT it to be remembered…

  3. juicyfruityyy September 6th, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    The Bushy and Administration were monitoring their OWN cabinet. They knew what they were doing was wrong. They wanted to make sure that the people in the know, didn’t leak. They were paranoid.

    • Bunya September 7th, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      Methinks the Bush Administration did something extremely heinous (not to mention illegal and perhaps treasonous) that would warrant them to be so paranoid. Maybe the 9/11 conspiracy theorist are on to something.

  4. tiredoftea September 6th, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Their conclusion is that the Constitution works only when there is no threat to our country? And, laws designed to prevent excesses by authorities can be ignored by those same authorities when it’s convenient for them? Good to know.

  5. fancypants September 6th, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    As I’ve previously said We need more “statesmen” and less politicians in congress and senate / president