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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Bush Era Legal Memos Reveal Legal Errors

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

The Obama administration should be get kudos for releasing these revealing memos which show some of the legal errors of the Bush administration. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. says this is all about government transparency. But the true test will be whether this administration practices a policy of transparency not just for matters involving the Bush years, but the Obama years as well. Let’s hope we don’t see any hypocrisy here.

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON –The number of major legal errors committed by Bush administration lawyers during the formulation of its early counterterrorism policies was far greater than previously known, according to internal Bush administration documents released for the first time by the Justice Department yesterday.

Those policies were based on at least 10 legal opinions conferring broad powers on the president that the Justice Department later deemed flawed and ordered withdrawn, including several approving the military’s search, detention or trial of civilians in the United States without congressional input, according to the documents.

While the Bush administration had previously acknowledged rescinding two of those memos — authorizing the infliction of pain and suffering on detainees and claiming unquestioned authority to interrogate suspects outside the United States — the government’s eventual repudiation or rewrite of the eight other early legal memos was secret until now.

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