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Sunday, January 29, 2006
Putting the Weak In Newsweak

Sheesh, this article isn't too slanted against the Bush Administration, is it?

You have two sides in an argument, a legitimate argument, as Newsweek acknowledges, but you portray one side this way:

They had no idea. Goldsmith was actually the opposite of what his detractors imagined. For nine months, from October 2003 to June 2004, he had been the central figure in a secret but intense rebellion of a small coterie of Bush administration lawyers. Their insurrection, described to NEWSWEEK by current and former administration officials who did not wish to be identified discussing confidential deliberations, is one of the most significant and intriguing untold stories of the war on terror.

These Justice Department lawyers, backed by their intrepid boss Comey, 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. Demanding that the White House stop using what they saw as farfetched rationales for riding rough-shod over the law and the Constitution, Goldsmith and the others fought to bring government spying and interrogation methods within the law. 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.

Is it hard to figure out which side Newsweak is on in this story? Just read on:

Their story has been obscured behind legalisms and the veil of secrecy over the White House. But it is a quietly dramatic profile in courage.

Now they're evoking JFK with the story!

To some, the notion that there was an argument within the administration proves that our rights have been trampled. But the sources for this story admit that it's a close call between doing too much and not doing enough:

They did not see the struggle in terms of black and white but in shades of gray—as painfully close calls with unavoidable pitfalls. They worried deeply about whether their principles might put Americans at home and abroad at risk.
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