The Law Library of Congress recently posted a new constitutional law item focusing on the State Secrets Privilege: “Secret Documents: Why Classify Legal Memos?“, by Louis Fisher, National Law Journal, July 14, 2008.
Here is the description of the article from the Law Library’s web site:
On March 31, 2008, the Bush administration declassified a legal memo issued five years earlier by John Yoo of the Justice Department. The memo is entitled “Military Interrogation of Alien Unlawful Combatants Held Outside the United States.” Although declassified, there is no explanation of when it was classified, why it was classified, and who classified it, all of which is required by Executive Order 12958. The memo consists purely of legal analysis without indicating any matter clearly sensitive and deserving of some level of classification. How can the rule of law be protected when policy is governed by secret legal memos?
[Posted by Emily Feldman]