Many documents produced by the U.S. government are confidential and not released to the public for legitimate reasons of national security. Others, however, are kept secret for more questionable reasons. The fact that presidents and other government officials have the power to deem materials classified provides them with an opportunity to use national security as an excuse to suppress documents and reports that would reveal embarrassing or illegal activities.
Obama Memo Allowing the Assassination of U.S. Citizens:
After he took over the presidency, Barack Obama did away with traditional legal niceties and decided to just kill some Americans who would previously have been accused of treason or terrorism. His victims have included three American citizens killed in Yemen in 2011 by missiles fired from drones: U.S.-born anti-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, Samir Khan, an al-Qaeda propagandist from North Carolina, and Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki. Obama justified his breach of U.S. and international law with a 50-page memorandum prepared by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. Attorney General Eric Holder argued that the killing of Awlaki was legal because he was a wartime enemy and he could not be captured, but the legal justification for this argument is impossible to confirm because the Obama administration has refused to release the memo.
30-page Summary of 9/11 Commission Interview with Bush and Cheney:
You would have thought that, in the interests of the nation, the Bush administration would have demanded a thorough investigation of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the deadliest assault ever on U.S. soil. Instead, they fought tooth and nail against an independent investigation. Public pressure finally forced President George W. Bush to appoint a bipartisan commission that came to be known as the 9/11 Commission. It was eventually given a budget of $15 million…compared to the $39 million spent on the Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton investigation. in August 2004, the commissioners turned over all their records to the National Archives with the stipulation that the material was to be released to the public starting on January 2, 2009. However, most of the material remains classified.
1,171 CIA Documents Related to the Assassination of President Kennedy
It’s been 49 years since President John F. Kennedy was shot to death in Dallas, yet the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) insists that more than one thousand documents relating to the case should not be released to the public until NARA is legally required to do so in 2017…unless the president at that time decides to extend the ban. It would appear that some of the blocked material deals with the late CIA agent David Phillips, who is thought to have dealt with Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City six weeks before the assassination.
FBI Guidelines for Using GPS Devices to Track Suspects
On January 23, 2012, in the case of United States v. Jones, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that attaching a GPS device to a car to track its movements constitutes a “search” and is thus covered by the Fourth Amendment protecting Americans against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” But it did not address the question of whether the FBI and other law enforcement agencies must obtain a warrant to attach a GPS device or whether it is enough for an agent to believe that such a search would turn up evidence of wrongdoing.
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