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.