On Tuesday, January 13th, 2009, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers released a 486-page report Tuesday that called for a wide-ranging probe into the Bush Administration's broad assertion of executive powers. In the report, Conyers referred to a previously unpublished Oct. 23, 2001 Justice Department memorandum authored by John Yoo and sent to then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Pentagon General Counsel William Haynes. The memo provided President George W. Bush with various scenarios that would allow him to sidestep Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Eleven days after 9/11, John Yoo, a former deputy in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, drafted a 20-page memorandum that offered up theories on how the Bush administration could sidestep Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures in the event the U.S. military used "deadly force in a manner that endangered the lives of United States citizens."
Yoo came up with a number of different scenarios. He suggested shooting down a jetliner hijacked by terrorists; setting up military checkpoints inside a U.S. city; implementing surveillance methods far more superior than those available to law enforcement; or using military forces "to raid or attack dwellings where terrorists were thought to be, despite risks that third parties could be killed or injured by exchanges of fire," says a copy of the little known Sept. 21, 2001 memo.
Yoo is the author of an August 2002 legal opinion, widely referred to as the "Torture Memo," that gave interrogators the legal authority to use brutal methods against suspected terrorists.
He drafted the Sept. 21, 2001 memo in response to a question posed by Timothy E. Flanigan, the former deputy White House counsel, who wanted to know "the legality of the use of military force to prevent or deter terrorist activity inside the United States,'' according to a copy of Flanigan's memo.Yoo wrote that his ideas would likely be seen as violating the Fourth Amendment. But he said the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and the prospect that future attacks would require the military to be deployed inside the U.S. meant President Bush would "be justified in taking measures which in less troubled conditions could be seen as infringements of individual liberties."
"We think that the Fourth Amendment should be no more relevant than it would be in cases of invasion or insurrection," Yoo's memo stated.
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