Scalia Invents a New Meaning for “Suspicion” while Letting Ashcroft Off the Hook

By: Tuesday May 31, 2011 9:33 am

SCOTUS has just ruled unanimously that John Ashcroft can’t be sued by Abdullah al-Kidd for using a material witness warrant to incarcerate him. The 8 justices (Elena Kagan recused herself) all agree there was no law explicitly prohibiting this kind of abuse of material witness warrants, so Ashcroft has immunity from suit. Where the decision [...]

Beneficiary of Revolving Door Pork to Head Blackwater Ethics Committee

By: Wednesday May 4, 2011 8:12 am

As Spencer reports, former Attorney General John Ashcroft just got named the-Company-formerly-known-as-Blackwater’s ethics chief. The consortium in charge of restructuring the world’s most infamous private security firm just added a new chief in charge of keeping the company on the straight and narrow. Yes, John Ashcroft, the former attorney general, is now an “independent director” [...]

Another Secret OLC Opinion: This One on Information Sharing

By: Sunday March 20, 2011 7:34 am

As MadDog and I were discussing on this thread, the May 6, 2004 Jack Goldsmith opinion on the warrantless wiretap program references an OLC opinion that appears not to have been publicly released or, even in the course of FOIA, disclosed. Thus, this Office will typically construe a general statute, even one that is written [...]

The Crooks Trying to Bail-Out Alberto Gonzales

By: Friday December 3, 2010 1:44 pm

Let me start by stating that the words “legal” and “trust” don’t belong on a letterhead with Alberto Gonzales’ name blazoned at the top. But that’s not the most interesting part of the letter soliciting donations for a legal defense fund for AGAG (linked by Main Justice). It’s the number of signers who were deeply [...]

Eric Holder’s Defense of Ashcroft to Defend the Material Witness Statute

By: Monday October 25, 2010 8:47 am

The NYT has a worthwhile editorial lambasting the Obama DOJ’s pursuit of SCOTUS review in Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, which will probably result in expanded immunity for government officials that abuse the law so as to abuse the rights of Americans. The editorial focuses closely on the way in which DOJ’s defense of absolute immunity amounts [...]

Will SCOTUS Give Ashcroft Immunity in Ashcroft v. al-Kidd?

By: Monday October 18, 2010 8:35 am

SCOTUS decided today to take John Ashcroft’s appeal of a 9th Circuit decision finding that he did not have immunity from suit in using the material witness statute to illegally hold someone without probable cause. The Supreme Court, finishing its first sitting of the new Term, agreed on Monday to hear a single new case, [...]

How CIA Avoided Negligent Homicide Charges in the Salt Pit Killing

By: Sunday April 4, 2010 1:49 pm

Since the AP story on the Salt Pit death, reporters have focused a lot of attention to a particular footnote in Jay Bybee’s second response to the OPR Report and what it claims about intent (and, to a lesser degree, what it says about Jay Bybee’s fitness to remain on the 9th Circuit). In it, [...]

Yoo’s Supervisors Didn’t Know about the July 13, 2002 Fax

By: Monday March 29, 2010 11:04 am

As I pointed out in my last post, when Jonathan Fredman wrote the Abu Zubaydah torture team in Thailand to tell them they had gotten the green light to torture, he cited not the Bybee One memo which had just been signed, but a July 13, 2002 Yoo fax, for his discussion of intent. This [...]

Jane Mayer to Marc Thiessen: Your Guys’ Ignorance Got Us Attacked

By: Monday March 22, 2010 7:54 am

Jane Mayer has a great general purpose slapdown of torture apologist Marc Thiessen love letter to torture. She hits on most of the weaknesses of Thiessen’s arguments: his false claims about what prevented the 2006 liquid explosive plane plot, apologists’ very selective examination of what counts as an attack on American, the silence about Ibn [...]

Did DOD Have ANY Authorization for Torture after 2004?

By: Saturday March 20, 2010 4:04 pm

There are a couple of things that have been bugging me about the authorizations DOD got for interrogations.  It’s not clear what kind of authorization DOD used to justify detainee interrogations after the Yoo memo was withdrawn in 2003-2004–they had no overall interrogation approval from OLC. While it’s possible they were just relying on already-existing [...]

Get the Most out of FDL

Become a Founding Member today

Build our community

Get great discounts

Keep us independent

Timeline Collection


Follow Emptywheel on Twitter
twitter-250x250 copy

Close