Jack Goldsmith: The Accountable Presidency

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jack GoldsmithHarvard law professor and member of the Bush administration's Office of Legal Counsel, talks about his book Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency After 9/11. 


jack Goldsmith

Comments [11]

John A. from the Empire?

Thank-You very much for the subject matter of this interview
and hopefully for the others like it that will follow in the future.

Mar. 13 2012 12:17 PM
andy from queens

What a mushy interview. Get Glenn Greenwald on the show and let's have some journalism instead of fluff, please.

Mar. 13 2012 11:28 AM
Vincent Amato from Jackson Heights

What we seem to have with regard to our constitutional rights is a case of "Locke's socks" with the gradual devolution of what have been our perceived rights (for example, to be protected from summary execution without trial) to an executive that reserves the right to execute anyone it deems an enemy of the state. We seem to be on the proverbial slippery slope. It doesn't take much imagination to see drones going over Missouri taking out domestic enemies.

Mar. 13 2012 11:28 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I appreciate Mr. Goldsmith's pointing out the limits on what a president can do. It galls me to see the same congressmembers who are keeping Pres. Obama from getting anything done saying "He hasn't gotten anything done!"

Mar. 13 2012 11:27 AM
Leo from queens

how can we say that these are not assassinations because they are approved by Congress? - This is a body that is extremelly corrupt and many of them are immoral and racist and don't value life or even democracy!..

what makes congress morally superior to make a determination that we should go and kill individuals - I can understand real criminals and real terrorists. But saying that 'collateral damage' = slaughtering an innocent 7 year old child is not an assassination is sick.

Mar. 13 2012 11:25 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

There has always been a real distinction between fighting crime and fighting terror. The purpose of crime is not essentially political; it is usually either to steal money, or crimes of passion and vengeance.

The purpose of terror is fundamentally political. It is primarily to overturn our government and way of life. It is a form of warfare that was supposed to be outside the "Laws of War" as they have evolved within the Geneva and other such conventions, and terrorists therefor have no legal rights. They are "unlawful combatants" and have no legal rights. Historically, terrorists have been summarily executed. Even Jewish terrorists in Palestine were hanged by the British after summary military trials.

Mar. 13 2012 11:24 AM

Where's the due process in Obama's acts? Those whom Obama targets for assassination have no chance of any kind whatsoever to challenge the Obama charge. They don't even have a chance to know that the Obama has made a charge against them!

Goldsmith's analysis is so flawed it defies belief. Granted, the president is constrained. But we have ample evidence that Obama is doing what he _wants_. He lied during the 2008 campaign. He spent years angling to win ever-higher office. What he's earned himself now is a lifetime sentence in prison for crimes against humanity.

Mar. 13 2012 11:16 AM

Every time someone says how things have changed since after 9-11, we ought ask ourselves a basic question. Why? Should we allow a tragedy to change our fundamental principles? I would suggest that is exactly what the 9-11 terrorist wanted and they succeed every time we diminish habeas corpus, torture and now kill at will Americans around the world. All the rulings and justifications only serve to tarnish our once somewhat democratic and human rights traditions. History, I would think will judge our times and actions very negatively.

Mar. 13 2012 11:16 AM
Lenore from Upper West Side

An NPR program that I listened to last night--sorry, I don't know the name of the program--had this guy and also Anthony Romero of the ACLU. What about someone to balance (that word!) Goldsmith?

Mar. 13 2012 11:14 AM

Eric Holder's hand-waving has been widely ridiculed, by liberals and conservatives. What is most striking is the legion of Obama aficionados who have rushed to endorse Obama constitutional violations even though they bitterly criticized Bush for _less_ extreme policies.

As for Jack Goldsmith, the Bush policies certainly _were_ torture policies. Goldsmith has devoted a good deal of time sanitizing his own record.

The Obama administration is using _secret_ evidence before _secret_ 'review panels' on the basis of _secret_ legal 'reasoning.'

That Goldsmith defends this tells us more about him than about the criminality of Obama administration officials.

Mar. 13 2012 11:11 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I agree! Why only trial by jury? Why not go back to Trial by Combat? Or Trial by Fire? Or Trial by Water? Trial by Torture? Too much reliance on law! Makes for too many lawyers.

Mar. 13 2012 11:10 AM

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