March 3, 2009
In Legal Memos, Clearer View of Power Bush Sought
By NEIL A. LEWIS/ NYTimes.com
WASHINGTON — The secret legal opinions issued by Bush administration lawyers after the Sept. 11 attacks included assertions that the president could use the nation’s military within the United States to combat terrorism suspects and to conduct raids without obtaining search warrants.
That opinion was among nine that were disclosed publicly for the first time Monday by the Justice Department, in what the Obama administration portrayed as a step toward greater transparency.
The opinions reflected a broad interpretation of presidential authority, asserting as well that the president could unilaterally abrogate foreign treaties, ignore any guidance from Congress in dealing with detainees suspected of terrorism, and conduct a program of domestic eavesdropping without warrants.