The Department of Justice refused this month to declassify a 2001 legal Office of Legal Counsel opinion by John C. Yoo concerning the legality of the Bush Administration’s warrantless surveillance program.
The redacted information in the OLC opinion “is classified, covered by non-disclosure provisions contained in other federal statutes, and is protected by the deliberative process privilege,” wrote Paul P. Colborn, Special Counsel at OLC.
The document had been requested by researcher Matthew M. Aid, who writes on NSA and surveillance policy.
Eight partial sentences from the 21 page opinion were released, including a previously declassified assertion that “unless Congress made a clear statement in FISA that it sought to restrict presidential authority to conduct warrantless searches in the national security area — which it has not — then the statute must be construed to avoid such a reading.”
That claim alone has drawn criticism from some members of Congress.
“I cannot reconcile the plain language of FISA that it is the exclusive procedure for electronic surveillance of Americans with the OLC opinion saying Congress didn’t say that,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse told the Washington Post in a May 23, 2008 story. “Once again, behind the veil of secrecy, OLC appears to have cooked up extravagant or misguided legal theories which would never survive the light of day.”
“The 2001 statement addressing FISA does not reflect the current analysis of the department,” wrote Justice official Brian A. Benczkowski, quoted in the Post.
To empower new voices to start their career in nuclear weapons studies, the Federation of American Scientists launched the New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship. Here’s what our inaugural cohort accomplished.
Common frameworks for evaluating proposals leave this utility function implicit, often evaluating aspects of risk, uncertainty, and potential value independently and qualitatively.
The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.