Yoo: Warrant Schmarrant

Yesterday the ACLU noticed another of John Yoo’s contributions to legal thought, tucked in a footnote of the March, 2003 memo. That footnote indicated that in a October 23, 2001 memo, Yoo had advised that the Fourth Amendment was too much bother. Here’s that footnote:

The October 23, 2001 memo remains classified. And as the AP and The Wall Street Journal report, it’s unclear exactly what sort of activities the memo was used to support. A White House spokesman denied that it had anything to do with the warrantless wiretapping program, but as the AP points out, “the government itself related the October memo to the [Terrorist Surveillance Program] when it included it on a list of documents that were responsive to the ACLU’s request for records from the program.”

And how long did the administration rely on this finding? “It was in use at least until March 2003 but not after January 2006,” reports the Journal.

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At the very least, it’s apparent what Yoo thought about “Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the United States.” There seems to have been no limits to that authority. As Justin points out over at ABC, another of Yoo’s infamous memos, the August 2002 “Torture Memo” signed by then-Office of Legal Counsel chief Jay Bybee, gave another indication of this:

A footnote to the Bybee document said that the October 2001 memo also concluded that Posse Comitatus –- an 1878 statute barring the military from participating in “law and order” missions domestically, under most circumstances – does not apply to the war on terror.

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