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White House Memo Argues Right to Kill Americans

Memo cites fight against al-Qaeda and laws of war

(Newser) - The Obama administration justified using drones to kill Americans suspected of terrorism overseas by citing the war against al-Qaeda and by saying a surprise attack against an American in a foreign land would not violate the laws of war, according to a previously secret government memorandum released today. The memo... More »

Census Memo: Please Stop Napping at Work

Another government memo warns of exploding toilets

(Newser) - The Federal Eye blog at the Washington Post picks up on two memos to government employees not of the usual variety (we hope):
  • Nap time: Census Bureau officials fielding increased complaints about workers "sleeping in public areas" of its Maryland headquarters cracked down: “Sleeping on the premises is
... More »

Found: Missing Mental Health Records of Va. Tech Shooter

Files had been removed from university clinic illegally

(Newser) - The mental health records of the gunman behind the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre have been found in the home of a former director of the university’s clinic, reports the AP. Seung-Hui Cho’s records were illegally taken from the clinic more than a year before the attack, says a... More »

Yoo: Wiretaps Were Legal and Necessary

President had right to violate 'obsolete' FISA, Bush lawyer writes

(Newser) - Last week the inspectors general of the Justice Department, CIA, and other agencies suggested the Bush administration violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, singling out lawyer John Yoo for memos justifying warrantless wiretapping. Yoo defends himself today in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, writing that FISA was "an obsolete... More »

Fate of Dozens of CIA Detainees Still Unknown

(Newser) - The Bush-era CIA memos made public last week revealed that an al-Qaeda suspect, Hassan Ghul, had been held in one of the agency’s secret jails. But the inadvertent disclosure of one name merely highlights how much the public still doesn’t know about the network of secret detention facilities,... More »

Obama Visits CIA to Defend Memo Release

(Newser) - Days after releasing top-secret memos that detailed the CIA's use of simulated drowning while interrogating terror suspects, President Obama went to the spy agency's Virginia headquarters today to defend his decision and bolster the morale of its employees. "I acted primarily because of the exceptional circumstances that surrounded these... More »

CIA Waterboarded Gitmo Detainee 183 Times in a Month

That's twice CIA's max, challenges efficacy

(Newser) - A Department of Justice memo that detailed interrogation techniques used on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay notes that in August 2002, suspected al-Qaeda official Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 82 times, while the following March, 9/11 suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times. But as the blog Emptywheel points out, there's... More »

Bush Lawyer Authorized Suspending 1st Amendment

Yoo memo also let military attack buildings inside US

(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... More »

Lennon Ripped Building Safety Just Before Death

Handwritten note selling for $54,000 online

(Newser) - John Lennon slammed security in his New York apartment building just months before he was murdered, the New York Post reports. In a handwritten note to an aide in April 1980, the ex-Beatle wrote, “explain to me why we are sleeping here with a front door that any nut... More »

9 Stories