Recent news on the White House torture and spy memos has amazingly received very little coverage in the corporate controlled media. For instance, Barack Obama’s low bowling score has received more coverage than these memos. The media some how thinks Obama’s horrible bowling skills are more important than evidence that could be used to prosecute members of the Bush administration for all sorts of criminality including war crimes. That makes no sense, but of course when you consider that the corporate controlled media creates reality for people it makes perfect sense. Both of these memos were written by former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo and prove that the Bush administration sought to justify torture and ignore the Fourth Amendment under the guise of the phony war on terror. In the memos, Yoo concludes that Bush can torture and spy without a warrant if he is doing these things to protect the country from terrorists. Of course, the majority of the so called terrorists that the media and the government claims we are fighting are actually trained and funded by western governments so the whole thing is a big fraud. That of course is a whole other story. In these memos, it is clear that Yoo shows a blatant disregard for both U.S. and international law. Yoo and other members of the Bush administration should really be put on trial for war crimes but since the corporate controlled media thinks that Obama’s low bowling score is more important than smoking gun proof of war crimes, that’s probably not going to happen.
First let’s tackle the spying memo. Below is taken from an excerpt of an Associated Press report on the 37-page secret Justice Department memo in which Yoo concludes that the Fourth Amendment does not apply to domestic military operations.
For at least 16 months after the Sept. 11 terror attacks in 2001, the Bush administration believed that the Constitution’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures on U.S. soil didn’t apply to its efforts to protect against terrorism.
That view was expressed in a secret Justice Department legal memo dated Oct. 23, 2001. The administration on Wednesday stressed that it now disavows that view.
The October 2001 memo was written at the request of the White House by John Yoo, then the deputy assistant attorney general, and addressed to Alberto Gonzales, the White House counsel at the time. The administration had asked the department for an opinion on the legality of potential responses to terrorist activity.
The 37-page memo is classified and has not been released. Its existence was disclosed Tuesday in a footnote of a separate secret memo, dated March 14, 2003, released by the Pentagon in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.
“Our office recently concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations,” the footnote states, referring to a document titled “Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the United States.”
First off, domestic military operations at the time this memo was written were forbidden by the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act. On top of that, Yoo is essentially saying that the executive branch has the power to search and seize property without a warrant during domestic military operations. Through this memo, Yoo is saying that the administration can disregard the Fourth Amendment so long as they claim that they are trying to protect America from terrorists. This is absurd considering that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and there are no provisions for its suspension just because the executive branch says there is a state of war. This memo represents an attempt to justify spying on the American people without a warrant when there is no justification for it anywhere in the law.
Now let’s go to the torture memo. News on the torture memo actually leaked out to the press back in 2004 following the Abu Ghraib scandal in which pictures of U.S. soldiers torturing and humiliating prisoners were made public. Now, the memo in its entirety has been declassified via a Freedom of Information Act request by the ACLU. Although the memo was eventually rescinded, it gave authority to the Bush administration to legally order torture and ways to get around U.S. and international law that prohibited such activity.
Below is an excerpt from an Associated Press report on the declassification of the torture memo.
The Pentagon made public a now-defunct legal memo that approved the use of harsh interrogation techniques against terror suspects, saying that President Bush’s wartime authority trumps any international ban on torture.
The Justice Department memo, dated March 14, 2003, outlines legal justification for military interrogators to use harsh tactics against al-Qaida and Taliban detainees overseas — so long as they did not specifically intend to torture their captives.
Even so, the memo noted, the president’s wartime power as commander in chief would not be limited by the U.N. treaties against torture.
“Our previous opinions make clear that customary international law is not federal law and that the president is free to override it at his discretion,” said the memo written by John Yoo, who was then deputy assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel. The memo also offered a defense in case any interrogator was charged with violating U.S. or international laws.
“Finally, even if the criminal prohibitions outlined above applied, and an interrogation method might violate those prohibitions, necessity or self-defense could provide justifications for any criminal liability,” the memo concluded.
First off, torture is forbidden by the Geneva Conventions as well as the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It is against both international and federal law so it is ridiculous that Yoo would try to justify this immoral and illegal activity by using Bush’s wartime authority as trumping any bans on torture. Secondly, Congress hasn’t issued a declaration of war so the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are illegal which means that Bush has no wartime authority to begin with. In fact, the occupation and on-going wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq are unconstitutional and illegal. There is simply no moral or legal basis that justifies the arguments in Yoo’s memo.
Yoo didn’t stop there though. In 2006, he said that the President actually had the authority to crush the testicles of children during an exchange with human rights scholar Doug Cassel.
There needs to be an immediate Congressional investigation into this matter. Adolf Hitler and the Nazis did not even have the guts to say or put this type of stuff down on paper. The torture and spying memos authored by Yoo is proof that he is not only a criminal but a war criminal. Anyone in the Bush administration military or non-military who used the memo as justification to order or participate in the torture of other human beings should also be put on trial for war crimes. This is proof that the events in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and in secret European prisons were authorized at very high levels in the Bush administration. These events were not the result of rogue low level soldiers, it was in fact policy.
Since we have so many militarized police running around in Darthvader outfits, perhaps they can finally be used to go after the real criminals. They can first pay a visit to Yoo’s office at UC Berkeley and then they can go round up the rest of them at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC. It is time to bring down the Fourth Reich.
By: Lee Rogers – 8 April, 2008