Bush Lawyer Authorized Suspending 1st Amendment
Yoo memo also let military attack buildings inside US
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2009 4:23 AM CST
An October 2001 memo sent from John Yoo to Alberto Gonzales, among others, authorized US military strikes on civilians and the possible suspension of laws protecting freedom of the press.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
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(Newser) – Immediately after 9/11 the Justice Department under President Bush approved military attacks on apartments and offices, high-tech surveillance of citizens, and a suspension of press freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. The actions detailed in the newly released memo, co-written by John Yoo and sent to Alberto Gonzales, were seen as so extreme that they were never taken—but the authorizations were not revoked until 2008, Newsweek reports.

"First Amendment speech and press rights may be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully," wrote Yoo, who also composed memos authorizing warrantless wiretapping and interrogation techniques tantamount to torture. Both Yoo and Gonzales "were trying to construct a legal regime that would basically have allowed for the imposition of martial law," said one think tank director in Washington. The two men have refused to comment.