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Profile: Timothy E. Flanigan

 
  

Positions that Timothy E. Flanigan has held:

  • Deputy White House Counsel


 

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Timothy E. Flanigan actively participated in the following events:

 
  

Mid-September 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       One of the main questions on the minds of government lawyers is how to criminally prosecute captured members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. William P. Barr, a former attorney general, suggests to Timothy E. Flanigan, deputy White House counsel, a few days after 9/11 to use so-called military commissions. Barr first thought of using such military commissions to try the suspects of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, but this was rejected at the time. “I thought it was a great idea,” Flanigan said. [New York Times, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: William P. Barr, Timothy E. Flanigan
          

September 21, 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       In a memo, responding to a request from Deputy White House Counsel Timothy E. Flanigan, John C. Yoo provides legal advice on “the legality of the use of military force to prevent or deter terrorist activity inside the United States.” He addresses the question of how the Fourth Amendment to the American Constitution applies to the use of “deadly force” by the military “in a manner that endangered the lives of United States citizens.” The Fourth Amendment requires the government to have some objective suspicion of criminal activity before it can infringe on an individual's liberties, such as the right to privacy or the freedom of movement. Yoo writes that in light of highly destructive terrorist attacks, “the government may be justified in taking measures which in less troubled conditions could be seen as infringements of individual liberties.” If the president determines the threat of terrorism high enough to deploy the military inside US territory, then, Yoo writes, “we think that the Fourth Amendment should be no more relevant than it would be in cases of invasion or insurrection.” [New York Times, 10/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: John C. Yoo, Timothy E. Flanigan
          

September 25, 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       In a secret 15-page memo to Deputy White House Counsel Timothy Flanigan, Justice Department lawyer John Yoo reasons that it is “beyond question that the president has the plenary constitutional power to take such military actions as he deems necessary and appropriate to respond to the terrorist attacks” of 9/11. Those actions can be extensive. “Force can be used,” Yoo writes, “both to retaliate for those attacks, and to prevent and deter future assaults on the nation. Military actions need not be limited to those individuals, groups, or states that participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.” This power of the president, Yoo states, rests both on the US Congress' Joint Resolution of September 14 and on the War Powers Resolution of 1973. “Neither statute, however, can place any limits on the president's determinations as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing, and nature of the response. These decisions, under our Constitution, are for the president alone to make.” He argues further that the September 14 resolution does not represent the limits to the president's authority. “It should be noted here that the Joint Resolution is somewhat narrower than the president's constitutional authority,” as it “does not reach other terrorist individuals, groups or states which cannot be determined to have links to the September 11 attacks.” the president's broad power can be used against selected individuals suspected of posing a danger to the US, even though it may be “difficult to establish, by the standards of criminal law or even lower legal standards, that particular individuals or groups have been or may be implicated in attacks on the United States.” Yoo concludes: “[W]e do not think that the difficulty or impossibility of establishing proof to a criminal law standard (or of making evidence public) bars the president from taking such military measures as, in his best judgment, he thinks necessary or appropriate to defend the United States from terrorist attacks. In the exercise of his plenary power to use military force, the president's decisions are for him alone and are unreviewable.” [Sources: Memo: The President's Constitutional Authority To Conduct Military Operations Against Terrorists And Nations Supporting Them] The contents of this memo are not disclosed until mid-December 2004. [Newsweek, 12/27/2004; Newsweek, 12/18/2004]
People and organizations involved: John C. Yoo, Timothy E. Flanigan
          

'Passive' participant in the following events:

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