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Alumni Offer Expertise in National Op-eds

Two Washington and Lee alumni published op-eds in national newspapers last week.

On Feb. 5, Jack Goldsmith, of W&L’s Class of 1984, wrote about the United States’ need for a “new legal and political foundation” for secret wars in a Washington Post column titled “U.S. needs a rulebook for secret warfare.”

In Jack’s view, “What the government needs is a new framework statute — akin to the National Security Act of 1947, or the series of intelligence reforms made after Watergate, or even the 2001 authorization of force — to define the scope of the new war, the authorities and limitations on presidential power, and forms of review of the president’s actions.”

A former assistant attorney general in the George W. Bush administration, Jack is a professor at Harvard Law School and a member of the Hoover Institution task force on national security and law. He has written several books on U.S. foreign policy in response to terrorism, including “Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency After 9/11” (W.W. Norton & Co., 2012) and “The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration” (W.W. Norton & Co., 2007).

On Feb. 6, Alvin Townley, of the Class of 1997, wrote a USA Today piece about the debate over changing the policy prohibiting gays from participating in the Boy Scouts of America. Alvin’s op-ed, “Boy Scouts must camp in a big tent,” concluded, “We need to make Scouting more accessible to entire families and embrace multicultural communities with relevant programs and open philosophy.”

An Eagle Scout himself, Alvin has written two books on scouting and its impact. He based “Legacy of Honor: The Values and Influence of America’s Eagle Scouts” (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007) on his interviews with fellow Eagle Scouts during a year-long tour of the country. He followed that in 2009 with “Spirit of Adventure: Eagle Scouts and the Making of America’s Future” (Thomas Dunne Books), which explores how young Eagle Scouts are shaping America. 

If you know any W&L alumni who would be great profile subjects, tell us about them! Nominate them for a web profile.