Protecting liberty in an age of terror
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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9/11 Commission abroad Abu Ghraib active combat agencies al-Qaida Amnesty International appropriate Article attorney authorized British coercive interrogation Commission Committee Congress context Convention Against Torture counterterrorism court crime criminal cruel Dana Priest defense degrading treatment detainees detention due process federal forces Foreign Intelligence Geneva Conventions governmental Guidelines Home Secretary Human Rights Ibid individual inhuman or degrading investigation Iraq issue Justice law enforcement legislation liberties ment national security non-U.S. persons Northern Ireland officers oversight police political powers practices president prevent prisoners procedures profiling prohibition protection recommendations records regarding religious require rules Security Service sleep deprivation specific Stevens Inquiry surveillance suspect Taguba report targeted killing terrorism terrorist terrorist activity terrorist attacks threat tion treaty trial U.S. citizens U.S. Constitution U.S. interrogators U.S. military U.S. person United Kingdom USA PATRIOT Act violation violence zone of active