Tuesday, March 3, 2009
If you thought the Bush years came awfully close to tyranny, then it turns out you were correct.
The Obama Justice Department on Monday released a long-secret legal document from a 2001 legal memo written about a month after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The details are chilling. It says:
• The Bush administration claimed the military could search and seize terror suspects in the United States without warrants
• Constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure would not apply to terror suspects in the U.S., as long as the president authorized the action
• Within two weeks of Sept. 11, the Bush administration contemplated ways to use wiretaps without getting warrants
• The government could put new restrictions on the press and speech, without spelling out what those might be, subordinating the First Amendment
In one of his first official acts, President Barack Obama also signed an order negating the memos’ claims until his administration could conduct a thorough review.
In a speech Monday, Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder said that too often in the past decade the fight against terrorism has been put in opposition to “our tradition of civil liberties.”
That “has done us more harm than good,” he declared. “I’ve often said that the test of a great nation is whether it will adhere to its core values not only when it is easy but when it is hard.”