• What I’ve said over at EW’s place: “I am quite sure that the withholding of the memos is to protect the Executive Branch from scrutiny, and especially the WH when it has been in Democratic Party control, as the Democrats as well as the Republicans have been knee deep in this stuff.”

    When I stay stuff, I mean the writing of OLC memos under Clinton that justified assassinations. For one thing, Clinton’s HEW secretary, Califano, was heavily involved in the anti-Castro covert ops back in the early-mid 1960s. These ops included assassination.

    But where this the issue is really highlighted, of all places, is in the 9/11 Commission Report:

    The [Clinton] Administration’s position was that under the law of armed conflict, killing a person who posed an imminent threat to the United States would be an act of self-defense, not an assasination. On Christmas Eve 1998, Berger sent a final draft to President Clinton, with an explanatory memo. The President approved the document.

    Because the White House considered this operation highly sensitive, only a tiny number of people knew about this Memorandum of Notification. Berger arranged for the NSC’s legal advser to inform Albright, Cohen, Shelton, and Reno. None was allowed to keep a copy. Congressional leaders were briefed, as required by law. Attorney General Reno had sent a letter to the President expressing her concern: she warned of possible retaliation, including the targeting of U.S. officials. She did not pose any legal objection.