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<em>Preserving Security and Democratic Freedoms in the War on Terrorism</em>

Preserving Security and Democratic Freedoms in the War on Terrorism

Final Report of the Long-Term Legal Strategy Project

Report, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

November 16, 2004

Authors: Philip B. Heymann, Juliette Kayyem, Belfer Lecturer in Inernational Security, Harvard Kennedy School

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security



To see Michael Traynor's, Esq., dissent on the Coercive Interrogations Recommendation (.pdf) click here.

Since 9/11, there has been a lot of talk about the difficult “balancing act” between civil liberties and national security, but few have considered exactly where and how that balance should be struck.  And as the Abu Ghraib prison scandal showed, without clear rules in place, things can very easily go very wrong.  With this challenge in mind, Juliette Kayyem of the Belfer Center and Philip Heymann of Harvard Law School directed a project to finally take a hard and detailed look at how to go about balancing the competing concerns of American liberties and national security in the age of terrorism.  The project brought together a broad spectrum of bi-partisan advisers and experts to consider ten critical issues and recommend clear rules to reconcile critical democratic norms and security concerns around each.  This Report hopes to be a starting point for Congressional legislation clarifying the law in these areas to guide government conduct in the field.

Among the issues considered are:

  • Is assassination ever acceptable?  Against whom?
  • When can coercion be used in interrogation — and who decides?
  • After the Supreme Court cases, when is detention allowable?  When should it be? 
  • Should the government infiltrate religious and political groups?
  • What exactly do we mean by ‘profiling’?  When should it be allowed?
  • Should government collect bio-metric information to identify citizens?


For more information about this publication please contact the ISP Program Coordinator at 617-496-1981.

For Academic Citation:

Heymann, Philip B., and Juliette N. Kayyem. Preserving Security and Democratic Freedoms in the War on Terrorism. Cambridge, MA: Report for Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, November 16, 2004.

Document Length: 195 pp.

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