Legislating the War on Terror

An Agenda for Reform

9/11 and subsequent American actions irrevocably changed the political, military, and legal landscapes of U.S. national security. Predictably, many of the changes were controversial, and abuses were revealed. The United States needs a new legal framework that reflects these new realities.

Editor Benjamin Wittes leads an authoritative lineup of legal experts and former government officials, many of whom have served on the legal front lines of the War on Terror. Together they present an agenda for reforming the statutory law governing this new battle, balancing the need for security, the rule of law, and the constitutional rights of freedom.

The contributors to Legislating the War on Terror include some of the most important figures in this raging national debate in America. They tackle some of the most challenging dilemmas that face Congress as it legislates the new ground rules for a War on Terror.

  • David Kris (National Security Investigations and Prosecutions) lays out his proposals for modernizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
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  • Jack Goldsmith (The Terror Presidency) and Neal Katyal (Georgetown Law) flesh out their proposal for a National Security Court.
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  • Mark Gitenstein, former chief counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, compares American and foreign legal standards for detention and surveillance.
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  • Editor Benjamin Wittes and Stuart Taylor (National Journal) investigate ways to improve interrogation laws.
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  • Matthew Waxman, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, considers who should be covered by administrative detention apparatuses.
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  • Kenneth Anderson (Hoover Institution, American University) investigates how to improve the legal regime for covert actions.
  • David Martin (former general counsel to the INS) explores the relationship between immigration law and counterterrorism.
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  • Legal scholar Robert Chesney details the scope and applicability of American criminal law in counterterrorism cases.
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  • Robert Litt draws on his Justice Department tenure for recommendations on improving the legal regime of trying accused terrorists as criminals.
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  • Justin Florence and Matthew Gerke (Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law) outline possible reforms of civil justice procedures in national security litigation.
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