In the never ending saga of warrantless wiretaps by the Bush administration, a federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to produce White House memos that provide the legal basis for the Bush administration's post-Sept. 11 warrantless wiretapping program.
What I find amazing, is the claim of attorney - client privilege by the Justice Department as the rationale to withhold release of these memos. Am I wrong in thinking that the clients of the Executive Branch are We, The People? While it was the President who requested a legal opinion, and the Justice Dept who rendered same, the notion that the Justice Dept represents the President to the exclusion of the people is a rather unique twist. Had Bush sought legal advice from in house counsel, perhaps he would have a legitimate case, but when Justice provides this counsel and then seeks to hide it from the people, is that not a conflict of interest of mammoth proportions? In a situation such as this, who then, represents the people? Do I, as a citizen, have the same protection in my communications with a Justice Dept lawyer? I would seriously doubt it.
I guess the approach is to start by claiming "National Security". Then claim "Executive Privilege". Now, "attorney - client privilege". Next, perhaps, we will hear that these memos were exchanged using personal Yahoo e-mail accounts, and are thus private, personal communications, not governmental ones.
In the broadest and most extreme of views, this reeks of a government that has turned upon its people.