The new memos, primarily authored by the infamous torture normalizer John Yoo, reflect a view that the the president was free to destroy civil liberties to preserve national security — and that these two ideals, liberty and security, were oppositional. In short, the President Bush carved out for himself dictatorial powers — based on a nebulous notion of commander in chief authority — to suspend the Bill of Rights.
We knew that Yoo had briefly suspended the 4th Amendment, authorizing unwarranted domestic search and seizure by the military. What’s news here is that the First Amendment was also up for negotiation:
“The government’s compelling interests in wartime justify restrictions on the scope of individual liberty,” Yoo wrote in one memo. “First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully.”
There’s a deep and abiding need to expose everything these militarists authorized to clearly mark them as unconstitutional, illegal, and irredeemably out of bounds. Bring on the truth and reconcilliation.