Protecting liberty in an age of terror

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MIT Press, 2005 - Law - 194 pages
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Since September 11, 2001, much has been said about the difficult balancing act between freedom and security, but few have made specific proposals for how to strike that balance. As the scandals over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib and the "torture memos" written by legal officials in the Bush administration show, without clear rules in place, things can very easily go very wrong.

With this challenge in mind, Philip Heymann and Juliette Kayyem, directors of Harvard's Long-Term Legal Strategy Project for Preserving Security and Democratic Freedoms in the War on Terrorism, take a detailed look at how to handle these competing concerns. Taking into account both the national security viewpoint and the democratic freedoms viewpoint, Heymann and Kayyem consulted experts from across the political spectrum—including Rand Beers, Robert McNamara, and Michael Chertoff (since named Secretary of Homeland Security)—about the thorniest and most profound legal challenges of this new era. Heymann and Kayyem offer specific recommendations for dealing with such questions as whether assassination is ever acceptable, when coercion can be used in interrogation, and when detention is allowable. They emphasize that drawing clear rules to guide government conduct protects the innocent from unreasonable government intrusion and prevents government agents from being made scapegoats later if things go wrong. Their recommendations will be of great interest to legal scholars, legislators, policy professionals, and concerned citizens.

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About the author (2005)

Philip Heymann is James Barr Ames Professor of Law at the Harvard Law School. From his first job as clerk to US Supreme Court Justice JohnHarlan to his post as Deputy US Attorney General (1993-1994), Heymann has spent much of his career in government. A former Fulbright Scholar with degrees from Yale University, Harvard Law School, and the Sorbonne, he has been Assistant US Attorney General in charge of the criminal division(1978-1981) and Assistant to the Solicitor General in the Justice Department, Acting Administrator of the State Department's Bureau ofSecurity and Consular Affairs, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for theBureau of International Organizations, and Executive Assistant to theUndersecretary of State. In addition, he was a former Associate Prosecutor and Consultant to the Watergate Special Force. He is the author of Terrorism, Freedom, and Security: Winning without War (MIT Press, 2003).

Juliette N. Kayyem is Acting Executive Director for Research and Adjunct Lecturer at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. She is coeditor of First to Arrive: State and Local Responses to Terrorism (MIT Press, 2003).

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