Obama DOJ: John Yoo Memos on Spying Must Stay SecretConor Friedersdorf
Sep. 02, 2011
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The Obama administration has refused to declassify a secret memo from the George W. Bush presidency that justified the warrantless spying conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA).
Matthew Aid, a writer who's covered the NSA and surveillance policy, requested a copy of a 2001 Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinion by John Yoo that discussed the legal grounds for electronic spying without permission from a special federal court. The Department of Justice mostly denied Aid's Freedom of Information Act request, saying the redacted information in the OLC opinion was "classified, covered by non-disclosure provisions contained in other federal statutes, and is protected by the deliberative process privilege."