March 2, 2009 | By Kurt Opsahl

DOJ Releases Secret Bush Era OLC Memos

Today, the Obama Administration released nine previously secret legal documents written by the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush Administration. The release includes two previously undisclosed OLC memoranda and seven previously undisclosed OLC opinions. According to the DOJ, "The two memoranda memorialized that certain legal propositions in ten OLC opinions issued between 2001 and 2003 no longer reflected the views of OLC and 'should not be treated as authoritative for any purpose.'" For example, the January 15, 2009 memo withdraws reliance on several Bush Administration opinions, including the opinion that the Fourth Amendment did not apply to domestic military operations.

Here is the list of the OLC documents released today:

Memorandum Regarding Status of Certain OLC Opinions Issued in the Aftermath of the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (01-15-2009)

Memorandum Regarding Constitutionality of Amending Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to Change the "Purpose" Standard for Searches (09-25-2001)

Memorandum Regarding Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities within the United States (10-23-2001)

Memorandum Regarding Authority of the President to Suspend Certain Provisions of the ABM Treaty (11-15-2001)

Memorandum Regarding the President's Power as Commander in Chief to Transfer Captured Terrorists to the Control and Custody of Foreign Nations (03-13-2002)

Memorandum Regarding Swift Justice Authorization Act (04-08-2002)

Memorandum Regarding Determination of Enemy Belligerency and Military Detention (06-08-2002)

Memorandum Regarding Applicability of 18 U.S.C. § 4001(a) to Military Detention of United States Citizens (06-27-2002)

Memorandum Regarding October 23, 2001 OLC Opinion Addressing the Domestic Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities (10-06-2008)


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