Disavowed US memo: Constitutional protection didn't apply in 9/11 searches

For at least 16 months after the September 11 terror attacks in 2001, the Bush administration believed that the Constitution's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures on US soil did not apply to its efforts to protect against terrorism. That view was expressed in a Justice Department legal memo dated October 23, 2001. The administration on Wednesday stressed that it now disavows that view. The October 2001 memo was written at the request of the White House by John Yoo, then the deputy assistant attorney general, and addressed to Alberto Gonzales, the White House counsel at the time. The administration had asked the department for an opinion on the legality of potential responses to terrorist activity. The 37-page memo has not been released. Its existence was disclosed Tuesday in a footnote of a separate secret memo, dated March 14, 2003, released by the Pentagon in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.