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Reply #98: and Jack Goldsmith. Here's an extract from Jeff Rosen's NYT article: [View All]

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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-27-08 06:21 AM
Response to Reply #20
98. and Jack Goldsmith. Here's an extract from Jeff Rosen's NYT article:
Edited on Sun Jul-27-08 06:22 AM by leveymg
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/09/magazine/09rosen.html...

Conscience of a Conservative


By JEFFREY ROSEN
Published: September 9, 2007

In the fall of 2003, Jack L. Goldsmith was widely considered one of the brightest stars in the conservative legal firmament. A 40-year-old law professor at the University of Chicago, Goldsmith had established himself, with his friend and fellow law professor John Yoo, as a leading proponent of the view that international standards of human rights should not apply in cases before U.S. courts. In recognition of their prominence, Goldsmith and Yoo had been anointed the New Sovereigntists by the journal Foreign Affairs.

Jack L. Goldsmith, who currently teaches at Harvard Law School.
Goldsmith had been hired the year before as a legal adviser to the general counsel of the Defense Department, William J. Haynes II. While at the Pentagon, Goldsmith wrote a memo for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warning that prosecutors from the International Criminal Court might indict American officials for their actions in the war on terror. Goldsmith described this threat as the judicialization of international politics. No one was surprised when he was hired in October 2003 to head the Office of Legal Counsel, the division of the Justice Department that advises the president on the limits of executive power. Immediately, the job put him at the center of critical debates within the Bush administration about its continuing response to 9/11 debates about coercive interrogation, secret surveillance and the detention and trial of enemy combatants.

Nine months later, in June 2004, Goldsmith resigned. Although he refused to discuss his resignation at the time, he had led a small group of administration lawyers in a behind-the-scenes revolt against what he considered the constitutional excesses of the legal policies embraced by his White House superiors in the war on terror. During his first weeks on the job, Goldsmith had discovered that the Office of Legal Counsel had written two legal opinions both drafted by Goldsmiths friend Yoo, who served as a deputy in the office about the authority of the executive branch to conduct coercive interrogations. Goldsmith considered these opinions, now known as the torture memos, to be tendentious, overly broad and legally flawed, and he fought to change them. He also found himself challenging the White House on a variety of other issues, ranging from surveillance to the trial of suspected terrorists. His efforts succeeded in bringing the Bush administration somewhat closer to what Goldsmith considered the rule of law although at considerable cost to Goldsmith himself. By the end of his tenure, he was worn out. I was disgusted with the whole process and fed up and exhausted, he told me recently.

After leaving the Office of Legal Counsel, Goldsmith was uncertain about what, if anything, he should say publicly about his resignation. His silence came to be widely misinterpreted. After leaving the Justice Department, he accepted a tenured professorship at Harvard Law School, where he currently teaches. During his first weeks in Cambridge, in the fall of 2004, some of his colleagues denounced him for what they mistakenly assumed was his role in drafting the torture memos. One colleague, Elizabeth Bartholet, complained to a Boston Globe reporter that the faculty was remiss in not investigating any role Goldsmith might have played in justifying torture. It was a nightmare, Goldsmith told me. I didnt say anything to defend myself, except that I didnt do the things I was accused of.

Now Goldsmith is speaking out. In a new book, The Terror Presidency, which will be published later this month, and in a series of conversations I had with him this summer, Goldsmith has recounted how, from his first weeks on the job, he fought vigorously against an expansive view of executive power championed by officials in the White House, including Alberto Gonzales, who was then the White House counsel and who recently resigned as attorney general, and David Addington, who was then Vice President Cheneys legal adviser and is now his chief of staff. Goldsmith says he is not speaking out for the money; though he received a low six-figure advance for the book, he is, after deducting some minor expenses, donating the advance and any profits to charity. Nor is he speaking out because he disagrees with the basic goals of the Bush administration in the war on terror. I shared, and I still share, a lot of their concerns about what we have to do to meet the terrorist threat, he told me. When I asked whether he thought Gonzales should have resigned and whether Addington should follow, he demurred. I was friends with Gonzales and feel very sorry for him, he said. We got along really well. I admired and respected Addington, even when I thought his judgment was crazy. They thought they were doing the right thing.


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