Some followup by the New York Times on the Bush-era OLC memos released yesterday by the Justice Department…
Department officials have told the paper that they may soon release more secret opinions about counter-terror tactics. Those that contain classified information will need to be cleared with other government agencies before they can be released.
Separately, some Democrats are jumping on the controversial memos to bolster their argument for a commission to look into the Bush administration’s counter-terror policies.
Senate Judiciary chair Pat Leahy, who has called for such a commission, put out a statement Monday that praised the Justice Department for releasing “some of these long-secret opinions.” But it also argued that a “fuller review of these policies” by the new Obama team was needed.
And Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said: “These memos appear to have given the Bush administration a legal blank check to trample on Americans’ civil rights. We need to get to the bottom of what happened at O.L.C. and ensure it never happens again.”
Also, the Times picks up on that footnote in the Steven Bradbury memo that we highlighted earlier. Reports the paper:
In a footnote to Mr. Bradbury’s Jan. 15, 2009, memorandum sharply criticizing Mr. Yoo’s work, Mr. Bradbury signaled that he did not want his repudiation of the legal reasoning employed by Mr. Yoo to be used against Mr. Yoo as part of the ethics probe.
Mr. Bradbury wrote that his retractions were not “intended to suggest in any way that the attorneys involved in the preparation of the opinions in question” violated any “applicable standards of professional responsibility.”