Abstract: The author's duty as head of the Office of Legal Counsel was to advise President Bush what he could and could not do...legally. The author took the job in October 2003 and began to review the work of his predecessors. Their opinions were the legal framework governing the conduct of the military and intelligence agencies in the war on terror, and he found many—especially those regulating the treatment and interrogation of prisoners—that were deeply flawed. The author is a conservative lawyer whose unflinching insistence that we abide by the law put him on a collision course with powerful figures in the administration. This book provides his analysis of parallel legal crises in the Lincoln and Roosevelt administrations, which shows why Bush's apparent indifference to human rights has damaged his presidency and, perhaps, his standing in history.