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Harmonizing Policy & Principle: A Hybrid Model for Counterterrorism

Harmonizing Policy & Principle: A Hybrid Model for Counterterrorism

This article explores the tension between the policy objectives of United States counterterrorism efforts (deterrence, incapacitation, and intelligence gathering) and the traditional legal frameworks used to justify them (the law of war and the criminal justice model). All three branches of government, the author urges, have worked at cross-purposes in developing a counterterrorism policy that […]

Torture and the War on Terror: The Need for Consistent Definitions and Legal Remedies

Torture and the War on Terror: The Need for Consistent Definitions and Legal Remedies

Neither the war on terror nor torture respects borders. A multinational effort is essential to achieve accountability. This article addresses two questions related to definitions and accountability. First, why is there a need for a consistent definition? One lesson from the Bush administration torture memos is the danger of differing definitions. This question is explored by comparing the U.S. approach with that of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and by examining other national laws and international bodies monitoring torture issues. The second question is: What are the current limitations on available remedies that impede consistent accountability for torture? The article examines criminal and civil options in the United States and in the international criminal tribunals as examples of what we have and what we lack.

CIA and the Rule of Law

CIA and the Rule of Law

Just as ours is a nation of laws, the CIA is an institution of laws, and the rule of law is integral to Agency operations. All intelligence activities of the Agency must be properly authorized pursuant to, and must be conducted in accordance with, the full body of national security law that has been put in place over the six-plus decades since the creation of the CIA.

Dead Contractors: The Un-Examined Effect of Surrogates on the Public’s Casualty Sensitivity

Dead Contractors: The Un-Examined Effect of Surrogates on the Public’s Casualty Sensitivity

When a nation deploys ground forces, an inverse relationship exists between the number of military deaths and public support. This stark and monolithic metric, which economists call the “casualty sensitivity” effect, requires close examination today.  On the modern battlefield, contractor personnel die at rates similar to — or indeed often in excess of — soldiers, […]

Constitutional Pathology, the War on Terror, and United States v. Klein

Constitutional Pathology, the War on Terror, and United States v. Klein

Many labels have attached to United States v. Klein, the venerable Reconstruction era Supreme Court decision that established some undefined limits on congressional control over federal law and federal courts. It has been called “opaque,” “deeply puzzling,” “disjointed,” “Delphic,” “generally difficult to follow,” “exaggerated,” and “dead wrong.” Klein is a case of substantial significance, although […]

The Case of Colonel Abel

The Case of Colonel Abel

Early in the morning of June 21, 1957, almost exactly fifty-three years before the June 2010 arrests, Special Agents Edward Gamber and Paul Blasco of the FBI pushed their way into Room 839 at the Hotel Latham in Manhattan. The FBI agents sat a sleepy and half-naked Abel on his bed, identified themselves as charged with investigating matters of internal security, and questioned him for twenty minutes, insinuating knowledge of his espionage activities by addressing him as “Colonel.” The FBI agents told Abel that “if he did not ‘cooperate,’ he would be arrested before he left the room.” When Abel refused, the FBI signaled to agents of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (the INS, then under the authority of the Department of Justice), who were waiting outside. Under the close observation of the FBI agents, the INS agents arrested Abel, searched him and the contents of his room, and seized several items as evidence of Abel’s alienage.