Justice Department Releases Bush Administration National Security Memos

For Immediate Release

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James Freedland, (212) 519-7829 or 549-2666; media@aclu.org

Justice Department Releases Bush Administration National Security Memos

Newly Released Legal Documents Responsive To ACLU Lawsuit

NEW YORK -  The
Justice Department today released nine secret memos and opinions
written by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that authorized some of
the Bush administration’s unlawful national security policies,
including a memo written by OLC lawyer John Yoo that argued the Fourth
Amendment does not apply to military activities inside the United
States. Some of the memos are responsive to American Civil Liberties
Union lawsuits seeking OLC legal opinions and other government records.

In a recent letter to the Obama
administration, the ACLU called on the OLC to release, at the earliest
possible date, dozens of still-secret legal memos related to
interrogation, detention, rendition, surveillance and other Bush
administration policies.

The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project:

“We welcome the Justice Department's
decision to release these memos, some of which provided the basis for
the Bush administration's unlawful national security policies. These
memos essentially argue that the president has a blank check to
disregard the Constitution during wartime, not only on foreign
battlefields, but also inside the United States. We hope today’s
release is a first step, because dozens of other OLC memos, including
memos that provided the basis for the Bush administration's torture and
warrantless wiretapping policies, are still being withheld. In order to
truly turn the page on a lawless era, these memos should be released
immediately.”

More information, including a copy
of the ACLU's recent letter to the OLC, a chart of the still-secret OLC
memos, a video and information about the ACLU's FOIA litigation, is
available at: www.aclu.org/safefree/general/olc_memos.html

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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