Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Interview with Charlie Savage on Obama’s War on Terror Legacy

Over the years, Savage has become one of the most knowledgeable and tireless reporters chronicling the civil liberties and war powers controversies under the Obama administration. The way in which that continuity has solidified what were once regarded as right-wing aberrations into bipartisan consensus — strengthening the Bush/Cheney template far beyond what the GOP by itself could have achieved — is easily one of the most significant, and one of the most disturbing, aspects of the Obama legacy.

Savage has written a book that will clearly be the comprehensive historical account of these controversies. Titled Power Wars: Inside Obama’s Post-9/11 Presidency, the book provides exhaustive detail on each of these questions (the book also early on recounts the exchange he and I had on these questions to help set the framework for the ensuing debates). Its most valuable contribution is the access Savage has to some of the key legal and policy officials responsible for these decisions, and the book thus provides a full account of their thinking and self-justifications.


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