Bill Moyers Journal
September 7, 2007
Former head of the Office of Legal Counsel under George W. Bush, Jack L. Goldsmith, discusses the Administration’s expanded view of executive power.
Jack L. Goldsmith
By Bill Moyers
September 7, 2007
Jack Landman Goldsmith headed the Office of Legal Counsel, the division within the Justice Department that advises the President about the limits of executive power, from October 2003 until his resignation in the summer of 2004.
In his most recent book, THE TERROR PRESIDENCY, Goldsmith breaks his silence about his battles with the White House against an expanded notion of executive power, as well as the circumstances surrounding his resignation after 9 months at his post.
As head of the Office of Legal Counsel Goldstein asked for the withdrawal of two important administration legal opinions known as the “torture memos,” documents that helped to define torture, and which discussed military interrogation procedures, particularly associated with aliens held outside the United States. Goldsmith took issue with the memos’ “extremely broad and unnecessary analysis of the president’s commander in chief power,” as he describes in a recent piece by Jeff Rosen for THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE.
“I’m not a civil libertarian, and what I did wasn’t driven by concerns about civil liberties per se,” Goldsmith tells Rosen. “It was a disagreement about means, not ends, driven by a desire to make sure that the administration’s counterterrorism policies had a firm legal foundation.”
Goldsmith is currently a tenured professor at Harvard Law School and a visiting scholar for the American Enterprise Institute.
Excerpt of THE TERROR PRESIDENCY, courtesy of W.W. Norton.
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