Those directives issued by President Obama last week, reversing the Bush administration’s policy of secrecy, have really shaken things up.
Earlier this week, the House Judiciary committee subponaed Karl Rove for testimony in the US Attorney firings matter. That move appears to have been in response to the Obama’s moves, since Rove had long been claiming executive privilege backed by President Bush.
Now, McClatchy reports, the ACLU has asked the new administration to release Bush Justice Department memos justifying harsh interrogation methods, eavesdropping, and secret prisons.
The Bush administration had long refused to release them, citing national security concerns, among other things.
It’s clear that Obama’s moves — specifically, his rescinding of a Bush DOJ memo that gave backing to agencies when they refused to disclose material, and his issuing of an executive order urging agencies to take a broader view of the Freedom of Information Act — triggered the request.
“The president has made a very visible and clear commitment to transparency. We’re eager to see that put into practice,” an ACLU staffer told McClatchy.
Pro Publica has a rundown of the missing memos.
As McClatchy notes, Obama’s nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel, Dawn Johnsen, has written articles suggesting she thinks that in general, such memos should be released.
So this could be another set of crucial Bush records that will finally see the light of day.