Yoo and Only Yoo (Knew About Surveillance)

Friday, July 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Sure, the associate attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department is supposed to be in charge of the office. But in 2001, then-OLC chief Jay Bybee “was never read into” the President’s Surveillance Program and instead, his deputy, John Yoo, was the only one in the office who would “draft the OLC opinions on the program.” Bybee told the inspectors general investigating the program that he “could shed no further light” on how that could be.

Let me give it a shot. Yoo was a close ideological and bureaucratic ally of Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney’s lawyer David Addington and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales. This passel of surveillance programs was extremely close held, and since it went outside a law that’s supposed to be the “exclusive means” for conducting foreign surveillance, having a reliable ally give a legal blessing to the program was crucial. That importance came in stark relief when non-allies at the Justice Department like Jack Goldsmith, Jim Comey, John Ashcroft and Robert Mueller refused to reauthorize the programs in 2004, resulting in the famous midnight visit to Ashcroft’s hospital bedside.

Of course, I’m just speculating. Yoo wouldn’t talk to the inspectors general.

You can follow TWI on Twitter and Facebook.

Follow Spencer Ackerman on Twitter



Still Writing This Chapter of Bush II | Design Website
Pingback posted July 10, 2009 @ 6:50 pm

[...] In addition to detailing how the White House (read: Cheney) basically turned John Yoo into a one-man OLC, the report also explains how the White House (Cheney again?) directed the CIA to provide the [...]

Michael Fallai
Comment posted July 10, 2009 @ 10:42 pm

I wonder if the Philadelphia Inquirer would like to reconsider their hiring of Yoo…

Comment posted July 12, 2009 @ 1:12 pm

Yoo is being set up to be the fall guy for all Bush-Cheney abuses & law violations to protect Bush & Cheney from prosecution What do You think? #fb

A Conspiracy To Deceive Congress for eight years, about a secret CIA program is just like the Conspiracy To Ignore And Render Moot Our US-Federal Anti-Torture Laws.

It is time our Congressmen, Republican as well as Democrats showed us they support our Rule of Law and the Separation of Powers.

The time is now!

calling for a special prosecutor at ANGRYVOTERS.ORG


Comment posted July 12, 2009 @ 1:13 pm

Yoo wouldn't talk because his only course of action would have been “based upon the advice of my counsel, I cannot answer your questions at this time” When it does come time (under oath) watch these anti-Constitution, anti-American thugs cling and weep to the 5th Amendment like it was founded for them…

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.