NEW YORK, Jan. 29 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The insurrection of a group of Justice Department lawyers in the Bush administration, described to Newsweek by
current and former administration officials, is one of the most significant
and intriguing untold stories of the war on terror, Newsweek reports in the
current issue. The officials did not wish to be identified discussing
These Justice Department lawyers, backed by their intrepid boss James
Comey, who resigned as deputy attorney general in the summer of 2005, had
stood up to the hard-liners, centered in the office of the vice president, who
wanted to give the president virtually unlimited powers in the war on terror,
report Washington Bureau Chief Daniel Klaidman, Contributing Editor Stuart
Taylor Jr. and Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas in the February 6 issue
of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, January 30).
Demanding that the White House stop using what they saw as farfetched
rationales for riding rough-shod over the law and the Constitution, former
assistant attorney general Jack Goldsmith, who left his post in the summer of
2004 to be a professor at Harvard Law School, and the others fought to bring
government spying and interrogation methods within the law, Newsweek reports.
They did so at their peril; ostracized, some were denied promotions, while
others left for more comfortable climes in private law firms and academia.
Some went so far as to line up private lawyers in 2004, anticipating that the
president’ s eavesdropping program would draw scrutiny from Congress, if not
prosecutors. These government attorneys did not always succeed, but their
efforts went a long way toward vindicating the principle of a nation of laws
and not men.