View of powers Bush sought after 9/11 made public

March 3rd, 2009 - 4:17 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 3 (ANI): The secret legal opinions issued by the Bush Administration lawyers after the September 11 attacks included assertions that the president could use the nations military within the US to combat terrorism suspects and to conduct raids without obtaining search warrants.

That opinion was among nine that were disclosed publicly for the first time Monday by the Justice Department, in what the Obama Administration portrayed as a step toward greater transparency, the New York Times reported.

The opinions reflected a broad interpretation of presidential authority, asserting as well that the president could unilaterally abrogate foreign treaties, ignore any guidance from Congress in dealing with detainees suspected of terrorism.

Some of the positions had previously become known from statements of the Bush Administration officials in response to court challenges and Congressional inquiries.

In a memorandum dated this January 15, five days before President George W. Bush left office, a top Justice Department official wrote that those opinions had not been relied on since 2003.

But the official, Steven G. Bradbury, who headed the Office of Legal Counsel, said it was important to acknowledge in writing the doubtful nature of these propositions, and he used the memo to repudiate them formally.

The opinion authorizing the military to operate domestically was dated October 23, 2001, and written by John C. Yoo, at the time a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel, and Robert J. Delahunty, a special counsel in the office.

It was directed to Alberto R. Gonzales, then the White House counsel, who had asked whether Mr. Bush could use the military to combat terrorist activities inside the United States. (ANI)

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