The Remaking of American Justice
Pantheon, Hardcover, 9780375424922, 384pp.
Publication Date: April 1, 2008
In the aftermath of 9/11, President Bush and his top advisors declared that the struggle against terrorism would be nothing less than a war–a new kind of war that would require new tactics, new tools, and a new mind-set. Bush’s Law is the unprecedented account of how the Bush administration employed its “war on terror” to mask the most radical remaking of American justice in generations.
On orders from the highest levels of the administration, counterterrorism officials at the FBI, the NSA, and the CIA were asked to play roles they had never played before. But with that unprecedented power, administration officials butted up against–or disregarded altogether–the legal restrictions meant to safeguard Americans’ rights, as they gave legal sanction to covert programs and secret interrogation tactics, a swept up thousands of suspects in the drift net.
Eric Lichtblau, who has covered the Justice Department and national security issues for the duration of the Bush administration, details not only the development of the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program–initiated by the vice president’s office in the weeks after 9/11–but also the intense pressure that the White House brought to bear on The New York Times to thwart his story on the program.
Bush’s Law is an unparalleled and authoritative investigative report on the hidden internal struggles over secret programs and policies that tore at the constitutional fabric of the country and, ultimately, brought down an attorney general.
Eric Lichtblau received the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, for his stories on the NSA's wiretapping program. He has worked in the Washington bureau of The New York Times, covering the Justice Department, since 2002. From 1999 to 2002 he covered the Justice Department for the Los Angeles Times. He is a graduate of Cornell University and lives in the Washington, D.C., area.
“Gripping. . . . An inspiring example of reporters doing what they do best. . . . All the President's Men for an age of terror.”
—The New York Times
“A riveting account of the Bush administration's various steps and missteps in chasing down terrorists. . . . A must-read for those curious about the back story in the legal war on terror.”
“This highly detailed, well-documented account is an exhibit of investigative reporting at its finest.”
—Rocky Mountain News
“Chilling. . . . Reminds us that our constitutional rights are fragile.”
“Even readers who have followed the Bush administration's legalistic contortions...may be unnerved by Lichtblau's recounting of the human dramas behind the stories of laws broken and ignored.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Gripping.... At a time when the press's role in American democracy is being hotly contested, this book provides an inspiring example of reporters doing what they do best.”
—The New York Times