Just a month after Sept. 11, 2001, the Justice Department concluded that anti-terror military operations on US soil were not constrained by the Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure. The conclusion was detailed in a memo written by John Yoo, the theorist behind many of President Bush's expansions of presidential power. Though it hasn't been released, it was referred to in Yoo's 2003 memo authorizing torture, which was released Tuesday, writes the Washington Post.
The Fourth Amendment prevents the police from intruding into Americans' lives without a warrant; the memo concluded that these restrictions do not extend to the military, though no court has ever taken that view. "The applicability of the Fourth Amendment doesn't turn on what kind of uniform the government agent is wearing," a director at the ACLU tells the Post. A Justice Department spokesman tells the AP it does not reflect the current thinking of the administration.