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The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administrationby Jack L Goldsmith
Synopses & Reviews
Jack Goldsmith's duty as head of the Office of Legal Counsel was to advise President Bush what he could and could not do...legally. Goldsmith took the job in October 2003 and began to review the work of his predecessors. Their opinions were the legal framework governing the conduct of the military and intelligence agencies in the war on terror, and he found many--especially those regulating the treatment and interrogation of prisoners--that were deeply flawed. Goldsmith is a conservative lawyer who understands the imperative of averting another 9/11. But his unflinching insistence that we abide by the law put him on a collision course with powerful figures in the administration. Goldsmith's fascinating analysis of parallel legal crises in the Lincoln and Roosevelt administrations shows why Bush's apparent indifference to human rights has damaged his presidency and, perhaps, his standing in history.
Book News Annotation:
The author served as the head of George W. Bush's Office of Legal Counsel from October 2003 to July 2004, where he spent his short tenure challenging his colleagues' over-broad legal reasoning on such issues as the Terrorist Surveillance Program, the Geneva Conventions, military commissions, interrogation techniques, and Guantanamo Bay. Here, he gives an account of these debates, which he believes were the product of twin pressures--fear of not doing enough to stop terrorist attacks and an equally present fear of doing too much and ending up before a court or grand jury. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A central player's account of the clash between the rule of law and the necessity of defending America.
Goldsmith, head legal counsel to President Bush, found many legal opinions, especially those regulating the treatment of prisoners, were deeply flawed. His analysis shows why Bushs apparent indifference to human rights has damaged his presidency and perhaps his standing in history.
About the Author
Jack Goldsmith is the Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law at Harvard University. From October 2003 to June 2004 he was assistant attorney general, Office of Legal Counsel. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts.
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