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Goldsmith learned to be a tough interagency player during his tumultuous nine-month stint at the OLC. When he decided to suspend a classified March 2003 legal opinion justifying harsh interrogations conducted by U.S. military personnel, he "didn't inform the White House about my decision" because "I knew that running the matter by Gonzales and especially Addington would make it much harder to fix the opinions." And when he later decided to suspend an August 2002 legal opinion by Yoo that sharply limited the kind of interrogations that could be considered torture, Goldsmith handed in his resignation at the same time because he believed the timing "would make it hard for the White House to reverse my decision without making it seem like I had resigned in protest." In all, Goldsmith writes, he drafted three resignation letters while on the job.
Josh Patashnik