Combating Terrorism, Preserving Freedom
Does America’s war on terrorism secure or threaten individual liberty? According to author James Bovard, the Bush administration “defends freedom” by destroying the power of judges to release people who have been jailed without being charged, by refusing to inform Congress of how new federal powers are being used, and by giving itself the right to impound millions of people’s e-mail. Harvard Law Professor Philip Heymann, deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration, is also disturbed by the legal precedents that have been set since the September 11 terrorist attacks. Heymann believes that several initiatives—including trials before military tribunals, secret detentions, and the subcontracting of interrogation to countries where torture is routine—are at odds with the American political and legal tradition. Please join us for a discussion of how the federal government’s response to terrorism is affecting civil liberties in America.