Originally posted on terrorismlawseminar:

Jack Goldsmith’s Power and Constraint tells the story of how the novel and often controversial powers utilized by post-9/11 Presidents were checked by a diverse set of political and legal constraints. The complex moves and counter-moves by all three branches of the government, coupled with the easy-to-underestimate impact made by other institutions such as the public press, ultimately produced a very powerful but very accountable presidency. To reach this end, on many occasions a balance had to be struck between competing interests, where national security was weighed against some other important concern. In one area, however, the introduction of new players, technology, and incentives seems to place the United States on a path where, going forward, the balancing mechanic may be disregarded and legitimate national security interests may be ignored. This area can be found at the confluence of cyber security, the rampant disrespect of confidentiality rules by government officers…

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