The Washington Independent

Posts Tagged OLC

FBI and DOJ refuse to release internal memo detailing domestic surveillance

By | 02.17.11 | 12:58 pm

McClatchy reported late last week that a Justice Department document asserts “the FBI can obtain telephone records of international calls made from the U.S. without any formal legal process or court oversight.”

In January 2010, McClatchy Newspapers petitioned the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) for a copy More…

Specter Is Dawn Johnsen’s 60th Senate Vote

By | 01.12.10 | 4:22 pm

Brian Beutler at TPM reports that under pressure from Senate primary challenger Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.)  says he’d vote for Office of Legal Counsel chief nominee Dawn Johnsen, whose nomination has been stalled for almost a year:

“After voting ‘pass’ (which means no position) in


Surprise! John Yoo Believes in Broad Executive Powers

By | 01.04.10 | 7:42 pm

Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo has been spewing his grandiose views on presidential power ever since leaving the Bush administration. So although his latest book, “Crisis And Command,” is an unusually ambitious 446-page historical survey of executive power from George Washington to George W. Bush, his More…

Religious Anti-Torture Group Urges Holder to Produce OPR Report

By | 12.11.09 | 2:54 pm

At the beginning of this month, I noted that Attorney General Eric Holder, despite an explicit promise to Congress to produce by the end of last month the much-awaited ethics report from the Office of Professional Responsibility on the work of Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who drafted the so-called More…

DOJ Doubles Down in Its Defense of John Yoo

By | 12.04.09 | 11:13 am

Talk about getting a second bite of the apple. I’ve written before about the problem with the Department of Justice jumping in to defend a lawsuit charging that John Yoo was responsible for torture and abuse of “enemy combatant” Jose Padilla. Given that Yoo is the subject of More…

So Where’s That OPR Report?

By | 12.01.09 | 9:13 am

Less than two weeks ago, Attorney General Eric Holder testified that the long-awaited report on the ethics of Bush-era Justice Department lawyers who sanctioned torture and other abuses would be released by the end of November.

So where is it?

Won’t You Help Jay Bybee Against Those Who Want to Hold Him Accountable for Torture?

By | 11.19.09 | 9:27 am

Michael Isikoff reports:

The federal judge who helped draft Justice Department memos on torture has set up a legal defense fund to pay the costs of defending against possible disciplinary or impeachment proceedings. Jay Bybee, a U.S. Court of Appeals judge in Las Vegas, quietly set up the fund


Did Greg Craig Bungle Dawn Johnsen’s OLC Nomination?

By | 11.17.09 | 10:24 am

Greg Craig announced his departure as White House counsel on Friday, and you can Google for yourself all the Internet-dispersed acrimony and recriminations that his vexed tenure has inspired. This, however, via Marcy Wheeler, is news to me. Marc Ambinder:

The White House was also dissatisfied with Craig’s


International Justice Group Takes Aim at Bush Officials

By | 11.16.09 | 10:53 am

The International Center for Transitional Justice usually focuses on bringing to light and holding perpetrators accountable for such heinous crimes as genocide, mass murder and systematic torture, often in far-off war-torn countries with dismal human rights records.

So it’s significant that today they’ve released a report More…

NYT Slams Federal Appeals Court for Rendition Decision

By | 11.11.09 | 11:52 am

Praising an Italian court’s recent ruling that CIA agents broke the law in an extraordinary rendition case, The New York Times today highlights a growing phenomenon that hasn’t received sufficient attention: European courts appear more willing than their American counterparts to enforce the laws protecting basic human and More…