Attorney behind NSA domestic wiretapping defends his views

John Yoo

John Yoo

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The former US Justice Department lawyer who authored legal memos sanctioning the legality of the Bush administration’s secret wiretapping program has defended his views. John Yoo, who on 9/11 was a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, has penned an article in The Wall Street Journal, in which he voices disagreement over a recently published US government report that criticizes the wiretap program’s secrecy and dubious legal basis. The report was authored by the Offices of Inspectors General of the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, CIA, NSA, and Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It says that the Bush administration’s decision to keep NSA’s domestic wiretap program secret even from senior Department of Justice and intelligence officials hampered the broader intelligence community’s ability to use the program’s output, and subverted the government’s ethical standing in the so-called “war on terrorism”. Read more of this post

Obama to nominate wiretapping critic for critical DoJ post

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Yesterday we wrote that Leon Panetta’s nomination to direct the CIA is part of a broader effort by US President Elect Barack Obama to reestablish governmental “oversight over the intelligence community, which […] was effectively terminated [after] 9/11”. Now rumors of yet another nomination come to support the view of a broader plan by Barack Obama “to depart from some of the most controversial legal policies of the Bush administration”. The President Elect is shortly expected to nominate David Kris, a former national security legal adviser in the Department of Justice, to lead the DoJ’s National Security Division. The Division was established in 2006 to oversee intelligence activities by US government agencies relating to counterespionage and counterterrorism. Read more of this post