President Obama can't keep a secret. Yesterday, his administration released antiterrorism memos that claimed exceptional powers for Bush in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. The Obama administration also revealed that the CIA destroyed about 100 videotapes of terror suspect interrogations.
In the memos the Justice Department said:
- Gave the US military approval to attack apartment buildings and office complexes in the US.
- Approved high-tech surveillance against US citizens.
- Claimed the ability to suspend treaties unilaterally.
- Said the president could take actions to combat terrorism without Congress's approval.
- Claimed the the military could search and seize terror suspects in the US without warrants.
- Paved the way for the suspension of First Amendment freedom-of-the-press rights if the fight against terror required it.
The final bullet point really troubles me. How can you protect freedoms by taking away freedoms? That claim, made in October 2001, was eventually revoked in October 2008, because it was too extreme. Some of the other opinions were rescinded five days before Bush left. What's your reaction to these memos?