A former high ranking lawyer for the Justice Department has written a book detailing the power grab by George W. Bush and engineered by Dick Cheney's office that has violated American's constitutional civil rights in unprecedented fashion. Jack Goldsmith was the head of DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel and charged with insuring there was sound legal basis for everything the Administration did. The book, "The Terror Presidency," chronicles the misdeeds and flimsy legal basis White House lawyer David Addington, now Cheney's Chief of Staff, used to greatly expand the power of the President.
"After 9/11, they and other top officials in the administration dealt with FISA the way they dealt with other laws they didn't like: they blew through them in secret based on flimsy legal opinions that they guarded closely so no one could question the legal basis for the operations," Goldsmith wrote, referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which governs spying by U.S. agencies within the United States.
This isn't news to people who have been paying attention. What is news is how they did this, who was involved and the extent to which it was done. Only proper and full Congressional oversight will reveal all these answers. Goldsmith's job was to protect the laws and the rights of the people. Addington constantly pushed and pushed for more power.
"As I absorbed the opinions, I concluded that some were deeply flawed: sloppily reasoned, overbroad, and incautious in asserting extraordinary constitutional authorities on behalf of the President."
According to the book, when Goldsmith's legal opinions didn't agree with the White House Addington said: "The president has already decided that terrorists do not receive Geneva Convention protections. You cannot question his decision."
So, in this Administration the President is all powerful and answers to no one. Tell us something we don't know Mr. Goldsmith. Apparently he will and I can't wait for publication.