Why Mitt’s line about calling in the lawyers before moving against Iran? Perhaps he’s been reading Harvard Law professor Jack Goldsmith’s The Terror Presidency, which includes this passage: “Many people think the Bush administration has been indifferent to wartime legal constraints. But the opposite is true: the administration has been strangled by law, and since September 11, 2001, this war has been lawyered to death.” In his review of the book in our upcoming November issue, Michael Barone expands on what he has called “the overlawyered war” and the controlling role of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (which Goldsmith headed for less than a year) in telling such departments as Defense and CIA what it can and cannot do. Mitt, it seems, was just trying to show he’s up to speed on how the game is played.
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