Wednesday, December 10, 2008

They must be very afraid...


Michael Mukasey seems to live partly on the dark side.

Department of Justice staff are apparently refusing to let the Obama transition team see the Bush era legal opinions that support National Security Agency (spying, probably on all of us) and CIA (torture and rendition) operations. According to Law.com, Attorney General Michael Mukasey is taking the position that the opinions from the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel are somehow the private property of the agencies that solicited them to cover their asses.

The Justice official said the department was reluctant to provide the opinions to Obama's team without permission from the two intelligence agencies whose activities they address. At the roundtable, Mukasey said OLC opinions are issued at the request of other agencies with their "own equity or interest in the information."

"And so what we try to do is determine whether, and to what extent, we can clear that information and try to do it as quickly as we can so as to get it to the transition team so that they're aware of all the things that they need when they take over on the 21st," Mukasey said, according to a transcript provided by the department.

Sure seems like the spooks are used to calling the shots. Can the new boss rein them in -- or will they co-opt his people?

H/t ProPublica.

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