Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Don't Ask; Don't Tell

Shhh. It's a secret. Jack was "the Justice Department's top legal adviser to the White House from 2003 to 2004", and "was in charge of writing formal legal opinions and interpretations for the executive branch." In other words, he knows whereof he speaks. AP (10.02.07):
"A former top lawyer for the Bush administration on Tuesday said that parts of the President Bush's much-criticized eavesdropping program were illegal.

There were aspects of the Terrorist Surveillance Program 'that I could not find the legal support for,' Jack Goldsmith, the former head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Ex-White House Lawyer Targets Spy Tactic

Even though he feels that way, he wouldn't say "exactly what law or constitutional principle the surveillance violated" because "the White House has forbidden him from saying anything about the legal analysis underpinning the program".

And the legal justification for TSP? That was "so secretive it initially was not even shared with top officials, including the general counsel of the National Security Agency, which conducted the surveillance." That's pretty secret.

Why aren't George and Dick keen on much of this getting out? Jack thinks that "'the extreme secrecy — not getting feedback from experts, not showing it to experts — led to a lot of mistakes.'"

An understatement if we've ever heard one.

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