Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 4, 2009

Bush memos show blueprint for police state

Memos Provide Blueprint for Police State

Wednesday 04 March 2009
by: Marjorie Cohn, t r u t h o u t Perspective

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in 2006. (Photo: Ron Edmonds / AP)

Excerpts from article
Seven newly released memos from the Bush Justice Department reveal a concerted strategy to cloak the president with power to override the Constitution. The memos provide "legal" rationales for the president to suspend freedom of speech and press; order warrantless searches and seizures, including wiretaps of US citizens; lock up US citizens indefinitely in the United States without criminal charges; send suspected terrorists to other countries where they will likely be tortured; and unilaterally abrogate treaties. According to the reasoning in the memos, Congress has no role to check and balance the executive. That is the definition of a police state.

Who wrote these memos? All but one were crafted in whole or in part by the infamous John Yoo and Jay Bybee, authors of the so-called "torture memos" that redefined torture much more narrowly than the US definition of torture, and counseled the president how to torture and get away with it. In one memo, Yoo said the Justice Department would not enforce US laws against torture, assault, maiming and stalking in the detention and interrogation of enemy combatants .

... The same day that Attorney General Eric Holder released the memos, the government revealed that the CIA had destroyed 92 videotapes of harsh interrogations of Abu Zubaida and Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, both of whom were subjected to waterboarding. The memo that authorized the CIA to waterboard, written the same day as one of Yoo/Bybee's torture memos, has not yet been released.

Meanwhile, John Yoo remains on the faculty of Berkeley Law School and Jay Bybee is a federal judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. These men, who advised Bush on how to create a police state, should be investigated, prosecuted and disbarred. Yoo should be fired and Bybee impeached. Read entire article ...

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