Former Bush official defends warrantless wiretaps

WASHINGTON (AP) - The man who provided the legal blessing for warrantless wiretapping during the Bush years is firing back at critics.

John Yoo - author of legal memos justifying the program - defends his actions in today's Wall Street Journal.

In an essay, Woo asserts that "the best way to find an al-Qaida operative is to look at all e-mail, text and phone traffic between Afghanistan and Pakistan and the U.S.," even if it involves innocent material.

His comments stand in stark contrast to a team of 5 inspectors general, who question Yoo's justifications for the surveillance that followed 9-11.

But Yoo is unrepentant, accusing the inspectors general of engaging in the "politics of recrimination" and ignoring the history of presidents who he says "have lived up to their duty in times of crisis."

(Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)