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Ear to the Ground

Basis of Domestic Surveillance Was ‘Flawed,’ Report Finds

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Posted on Jul 10, 2009
Wikimedia Commons/YooTube

Yoo, the man: Once again, former DOJ legal adviser John Yoo is at the center of a Bush-era controversy.

Former President Bush’s infamous warrant-free domestic surveillance plan, instituted after 9/11 to monitor potentially suspicious communication between parties within and outside of the U.S., has deservedly gotten a bad rap—and it’s about to get worse, thanks to a congressionally mandated report released Friday.


The report, though not critical of the program’s objectives, sharply criticizes the legal advice provided to the White House by the Justice Department.

Among other things, the report cites a Justice Department conclusion that “it was extraordinary and inappropriate that a single DOJ attorney, John Yoo, was relied upon to conduct the initial legal assessment” of the surveillance program.

“The lack of oversight and review of Yoo’s work ... contributed to a legal analysis of the [program] that at a minimum was factually flawed,” it says.

The report says Yoo largely circumvented both his boss, Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

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By hippie4ever, July 12, 2009 at 10:00 pm Link to this comment

What a strange police state America makes; a mishmash of Reno 911, Cops, Third Reich, American Idol, KGB, McCarthyism, Faux News and Rush Limbaugh. Totally unexpected and completely stupid. Reminds me of that economic term, “gross national product.” That pretty much describes the crap this society produces for consumption. Hope it collapses soon.

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By Virginia777, July 12, 2009 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

No FT, Obama’s policies are not the same as Bush.

That would make it easy, though, for those who seek to constantly criticize him.

(without looking up their facts)

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By Major Domo, July 12, 2009 at 4:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve been reading Jane Mayer’s book, The Dark Side, and she goes into some detail about Yoo. Ashcroft was raging mad with him because he was doing work for the White House exclusively without touching base with Ashcroft about what he was doing. Many of Yoo’s Imperial Edicts came into being without DoJ’s knowledge until after the fact. Also, if Cheney was trying to manipulate a law or treaty and was running into opposition by career government employees, Yoo was the man to go to. He was willing to tailor make any legal rendering of any law or treaty to suit the purpose deemed necessary by Bu$h or Cheney. Go read the book. It’s a good primer for what liberties Cheney, Addington and Yoo were taking.

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By Purple Girl, July 11, 2009 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

No, not again. Yoo will take the hit for the masterminds like North did, get a few years- communted. And land a cushy job at some firm where he’ll be cared for the rest of his life.
Unless Yoo is not the ‘patsy’ type, refuses to take one for the team and flips States Evidence- If anyone should bother to demand such an court proceeding.
Yoo was a “Yes man”, a desireable trait for CheneyCorp employees- look at W!So he got the job- ‘A lean and hungry look about him’? Prime pickins for those seeking to cultivate blind allegience, and faith, in their minions.
Yoo turns State evidence against Cheney,Rummy, Wolfie(The Top Dogs calling the shots for about the last 3 decades) and I’d be willing to see him Walk. Yoo was just the most recent in a long list of schmucks for this Ol’ group of Cronies.A Dime a Dozen. Just like the Trained media parrots with prescripted, and pre-ordained, talking points.Any Flicker of possibility of Thinking for yourself is apparently a ‘Deal breaker’ if you want to move up in the Repug regime.‘Don’t Think, Just Do’ should be the RNC’s new slogan.

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By Folktruther, July 11, 2009 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

It is perfectly true, Virgina and Felicity, that Obama did not intiate the neoliberal police state, which was kicked off by the 9/11-anthrax public relations homicide.  He has merely inherited it and is carrying it out.  He is continuing neoliberal militarism aborad and a neoliberal police state at home.  but with much more inspiring rhetoric than Bush.  It is merely his policies that are the same as Bush.

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By felicity, July 11, 2009 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Bush was at the helm on this one.  Fingering Woo or anyone else is the way our elected officials (President, Vice, Congress) have of getting themselves off the hook. 

Who do we constantly and consistently blame when criminal behavior by the government comes to light?  Those who ordered and approved it?  No, those who carried out the order.

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By Virginia777, July 11, 2009 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

No, Obama is not continuing a “neo-liberal” police state.

But he most certainly was left with one.

The neo-liberal police state was partly let in BY the “progressives”, who left the door open via their inaction, complacency,

and in the worse cases, corruption.

What this means is that, far from being unsuccessful, the Bush tactic of (and money for) using dubious surveillance on his own people, is very much in place.

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By Folktruther, July 11, 2009 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

the mainstream media is targeting Yoo, a Chinese-American,  for the massive and illegal spying program on the American people initiated by the Bushite regime.  this is typical American racism in action,  and a way of diverting attention from the main Bushite perpetrators.  Who Obama is defending, the program partially legaiized in retrospect, by Obama’s vote, and the spying continues.

Progressives, if we are to be effective, have to understand that an unacknowledged political revolution was ushered in by the 9/11-antrax public relations homicide which destroyed America’s traditional boureois Democracy and initiated a neoloiberal police state.  Which Obama is continuing.

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By coloradokarl, July 10, 2009 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

WHAT??  You are Kidding, Right? Not Legal? I do not believe it!!  Left wing liars! Ask Joe Nachio…...

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