Event Details


Monday, Nov 16, 2015




Sid Richardson Hall Room 3.122

Power Wars: Inside Obama's Post-9/11 Presidency

Power Wars: Inside Obama's Post-9/11 Presidency

Monday, Nov 16, 2015  |  12:15:00   |  Sid Richardson Hall Room 3.122

On Monday, November 16, 2015, , the Strauss Center welcomed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie Savage to speak about his recent book, Power Wars: Inside Obama’s Post-9/11 Presidency. The book discusses the Obama administration’s extending a national security strategy that, in some cases, builds upon structures set by the previous Bush administration, and, in several instances, adapting to the changing demands of national security.


Mr. Savage discussed the change in atmosphere as President Obama entered the White House and the expectations that the president set for his administration.  Of his larger goals, Obama states that the government is going to be more transparent in its security operations, and the facilities at Guantanamo Bay are going to be closed.  Over the course of his administration, Obama was dealing with national security issues and terrorism using similar methods and structures as the Bush administration, and was finding it difficult to achieve the goals he had outlined early on.


Mr. Savage pointed out that there are very distinct differences in the Obama administration however, such as an increase in the amount of scrutiny of policies by lawyers at almost every level of decision-making.  This is evident in reviewing the president’s treatment of the bulk information collection of the National Security Agency, which he continued when made aware of it, but had his team of lawyers analyze the program for its legality. Mr. Savage described the Bush administration as one of the least lawyer-heavy presidential administrations, while the Obama administration primarily consisted of lawyers.


Charlie Savage is a Washington correspondent for The New York Times, and has been covering post-9/11 issues since 2003, when he was a reporter for the Miami Herald. He has received the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, and the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency. He has twice co-taught a seminar on national security and the Constitution at Georgetown University’s political science department, and has been writing for The New York Times since 2008.


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