surveillance

Update on Myron Cramer's 1945 Memo on Surveillance Legal Issues

By Robert Chesney
Monday, April 3, 2017, 11:31 AM

A few days, ago, I wrote this post exploring a 1945 memo from TJAG Myron Cramer regarding various legal issues surrounding the program that evolved into Operation Shamrock (as well as various other, more-conventional, collection activities). At the time I didn't feel free to provide a PDF of the memo itself, since I'd gotten it through the (for-pay) ProQuest database.  Happily, though, the good people at ProQuest have informed us that we may indeed post the document.  So, here it is.  

Bonus:  I also noted in my original post that I had not seen reference to the Cramer memo prior to Steve Budiansky's Code Warriors last year.  Well, it turns out that it Alexander Charns cited it in 1992, in his book Cloak and Gavel (which is, to no small extent, a book built around a vast pile of documents that Charns sued to acquire, concerning the impact of mid-20th century FBI surveillance activities on judges and courts).  Indeed, it appears from the context that Charns himself may be the one who took steps to get the Cramer memo declassified, since his own notes indicate it was declassified the year before his book was published.  Sincere hat tip to the Lawfare reader who wrote to me with this great catch!

 

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