White House Memos Within Memos
By: Mark W Adams

Kevin noted that Blogtopia, at least the fun-loving DFH side, was all abuzz with the release of the 2003 Torture Memo. Don't look now, but there's another memo.

Like an errant thread, once pulled the entire shabby garment unravels exposing the ugly truth underneath. Yoo's 2003 memo justifying torture referenced an earlier Yoo missive from 2001 that ties into the warrantless wiretapping scandal. That memo is still classified to protect the completely guilty.
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."
For those of you who missed the crash course on the limits of Posse Comitatus during the scramble to find an excuse why the federal government was letting people die in New Orleans after Katrina, all you have to understand it the very title of the document, "Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the United States," is reason enough to know our government was ruled by laws only in theory after 9/11. They've been winging it ever since.

These people didn't just tear up our beloved Constitution. The went behind closed doors and formed a new government completely unrecognizable from the one you and I used to live in. Marty Lederman puts the original memo in startling perspective.
There is nothing like it in our long legal history, as far as I know. After all, how often is it that a Department of Justice memo is issued that matter-of-factly argues that the Commander in Chief can authorize pouring corrosive acid on a detainee -- can authorize cutting out a tongue and poking out an eye -- nothwithstanding a statute that would prohibit that very conduct?
The terrorists hate us for our freedom? We have no worries. Freedoms no longer exist. We are defined by our form of government instituted to protect those freedoms. That government no longer exists. We have a dictator who still refers to himself as "President" but is self-empowered to disregard the other two branches of government that were originally intended to act as a check on executive power. The terrorists won long ago. Our legal institutions are an illusion and our financial destruction is well on it's way as well as these criminals carry off the spoils in time for their graceless exit next January.

John Cole has an especially noteworthy take on the integrity of George Bush and his criminal syndicate when confronted by a reminder that Bill Clinton got a blow job and Sandy Berger snuck some papers out of the archieves.

George Bush has been, without question, the most ethically handicapped President in my lifetime, and perhaps ever. From the top to the bottom of his administration, we have witnessed rampant and widespread criminality, cronyism, and incompetence of an unparalleled nature, and again, this has been from the top to the bottom of his administration. George Bush is responsible for the smoldering wreckage that is the current DOJ. George Bush is responsible for the disaster in Iraq. George Bush is responsible for the fact that the federal government has served as an affirmative action program for unqualified hacks from Regents University. George Bush is responsible for illegal surveillance of American citizens. And on and on and on.

On the day that the Yoo memo is finally coming to light, detailing how George Bush’s handpicked crew of war criminals orchestrated a regime of torture, and on the day that we learn the Inspector General is investigating whether qualified DOJ lawyers were fired because of their sexual orientation, it is particularly offensive to be told that George Bush, the man responsible for all of this and who knows what else, is a man of higher integrity than Clinton.

I think we've finally stumbled upon the Rosetta Stone that will tie in all The Hague will need to prosecute the gangsters running this nation. Indeed, this will be Exhibit "A"
in the Grand Unified Theory of Neoconservative Treason and War Crimes, from Telecom immunity, extraordinary rendition, black sites, torture, illegal surveillance, and who knows what else. What will stick in my craw for eternity is knowing Greenwald is right when he says:
The political reality is that high government officials in the U.S. are never going to be held accountable for war crimes. In practice, "international law" exists as a justifying instrument for powerful countries to impose their will on those which are less powerful, and war crimes tribunals are almost always a form of victor's justice. So neither John Yoo, David Addington nor Alberto Gonzales, and certainly not their bosses at whose behest they were working, are going to be sitting in a dock charged with war crimes any time soon -- regardless of whether they ought to be.
The fact that they are getting away with it, that (as Scott Horton says in Harper's) Yoo and his conspirators crafted a "roadmap to committing crimes" in their role as "consiglieri" that effectively immunized both themselves and their superiors and also many of those doing their bidding, makes me sick to think I studied the same laws, the same cases, the same history and the same theory of government as John Yoo, and cannot fathom the level of sociopathic disconnect it takes to go from there to where he ended up. Even some of the nuttiest right wingers can't stomach this Orwellian nightmare.

This man is teaching law?!? He should be disbarred at a minimum. Indeed, he should not be allowed in polite society. If you don't think you'd want to hang with OJ, just think of the horrors this guy unleashed.

Memo to Professor Yoo. Ask George if he bunk in with Neil Bush in that Paraguay hide-out he's building. A country with no extradition could come in handy. What? Not even Paraguay will hide your decrepit ass and withdrew it's non-extradition law? You don't say. Maybe there's still hope for this world.

I just hope I live long enough to see Osama hang and the men who used fear of that animal for their own political gains taken away in chains.