The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration

Overview

A central player’s account of the clash between the rule of law and the necessity of defending America.

Jack Goldsmith’s duty as head of the Office of Legal Counsel was to advise President Bush on what he could and could not do . . . legally. Immediately after taking the job in October 2003, Goldsmith began to see that the work of his predecessors, whose opinions were the legal framework governing the conduct of the military and intelligence ...

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The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration

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Overview

A central player’s account of the clash between the rule of law and the necessity of defending America.

Jack Goldsmith’s duty as head of the Office of Legal Counsel was to advise President Bush on what he could and could not do . . . legally. Immediately after taking the job in October 2003, Goldsmith began to see that the work of his predecessors, whose opinions were the legal framework governing the conduct of the military and intelligence agencies in the war on terror, 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. In The Terror Presidency he shows how Bush damaged his own presidency and compromised the ability of his successors to respond forcefully in times of crisis.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
“Chilling. . . . The portrait of the Bush administration that Mr. Goldsmith draws in this book is a devastating one. . . . Illuminating.”— Michiko Kakutani
Los Angeles Times
“An important book—a genuine service to national interest—on several levels.”— Timothy Rutten
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393335330
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/13/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 282
  • Sales rank: 738,246
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet 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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Table of Contents

Preface 9

Chapter 1 The New Job 17

Chapter 2 The Commander in Chief Ensnared by Law 43

Chapter 3 Fear and OLC 71

Chapter 4 When Lawyers Make Terrorism Policy 99

Chapter 5 Torture and the Dilemmas of Presidential Lawyering 141

Chapter 6 The Terror Presidency 177

Afterword: Assessing the First Terror Presidency 217

Acknowledgments 235

Notes 239

Index 271

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