As usual, The Daily Astorian editorial echoed the liberal media by claiming the Bush administration lawyers planned to vanquish the Constitution in the days and months following Sept. 11, by referring to recently revealed legal memos prepared soon after that fateful day ("Bush prepared a coup on paper," March 5).

As John Woo, a legal adviser and contributor to those memos has replied, "While government officials worked tirelessly to prevent the next attack, lawyers, of which I was one, provided advice on unprecedented questions under the most severe time pressures."

The editor wrote, "Rights to free speech and a free press would 'potentially be subordinated to overriding military necessities,' according to the memos." The paragraph in which that quote appeared was discussing a 1931 court opinion: "It only referred to the case to show that constitutional rights apply differently during the exigencies of warfare than during peacetime," wrote Woo.

It is a matter of fact that during times of crisis and wartime, there are indeed restrictions on lots of items that can and cannot be publicized in the media. What is so difficult to understand?

Please don't kid yourselves. The current and any administration will receive this same kind of opinion regarding options for extreme domestic terrorist circumstances. If you don't prepare for it, you are doomed for failure. A viable threat to the decimation of a New York City is no time to begin discussing legal theories of action.

The article editorialized that President George Bush was prepared to pull "... the trigger of the gun he had pressed against the temple of our Constitution." Such hyperbole is a perfect example of an ultimate straw man which liberals are so quick to erect and then blow down in order to pretend to be so vigilant.

Even with 20-20 hindsight, the editor can't even get it right; he dislikes the Bush administration so much he's blinded by hate and acts as if President Barack Obama hasn't yet won the election, needing the editor's continued help in criticizing his opposition. Get over it. The editor now has everything he ever wanted when our new president uttered his full name as he took the oath of office: Barack Hussein Obama.

I recommend these memos be read in their entirety and in the context in which they were made. Is that asking too much? Woo's discussion of the memos in question are in the March 7 edition of The Wall Street Journal.

Art Hyland

Astoria

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