Synopses & Reviews
In the aftermath of 9/11, President Bush and his top advisors declared that the struggle against terrorism would be nothing less than a war a new kind of war that would require new tactics, new tools, and a new mind-set. Bush's Law
is the unprecedented account of how the Bush administration employed its "war on terror" to mask the most radical remaking of American justice in generations.
On orders from the highest levels of the administration, counterterrorism officials at the FBI, the NSA, and the CIA were asked to play roles they had never played before. But with that unprecedented power, administration officials butted up against or disregarded altogether the legal restrictions meant to safeguard Americans' rights, as they gave legal sanction to covert programs and secret interrogation tactics, a swept up thousands of suspects in the drift net.
Eric Lichtblau, who has covered the Justice Department and national security issues for the duration of the Bush administration, details not only the development of the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program initiated by the vice president's office in the weeks after 9/11 ;but also the intense pressure that the White House brought to bear on The New York Times to thwart his story on the program.
Bush's Law is an unparalleled and authoritative investigative report on the hidden internal struggles over secret programs and policies that tore at the constitutional fabric of the country and, ultimately, brought down an attorney general.
"Even readers who have followed the administration's legalistic contortions over wiretapping and waterboarding since 9/11 may be unnerved by Lichtblau's recounting of the human dramas behind the stories of laws broken and ignored." New York Times
"Lichtblau's account of secret government operations...is chilling." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"No doubt newspapers have been known to overstep their bounds when reporting on government activities, but in this case, Lichtblau and The New York Times proved to be worthy watchdogs in defense of the First Amendment." Rocky Mountain News
"A sobering, saddening but altogether excellent book of legal reportage." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
“Gripping. . . . An inspiring example of reporters doing what they do best. . . . All the President's Men
for an age of terror.”
—The New York Times
“A riveting account of the Bush administration's various steps and missteps in chasing down terrorists. . . . A must-read for those curious about the back story in the legal war on terror.”
“This highly detailed, well-documented account is an exhibit of investigative reporting at its finest.”
—Rocky Mountain News
“Chilling. . . . Reminds us that our constitutional rights are fragile.”
“Even readers who have followed the Bush administration's legalistic contortions...may be unnerved by Lichtblau's recounting of the human dramas behind the stories of laws broken and ignored.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Gripping.... At a time when the press's role in American democracy is being hotly contested, this book provides an inspiring example of reporters doing what they do best.”
—The New York Times
From the Trade Paperback edition.