Law, Ethics, and the War on Terror

Law, Ethics, and the War on Terror

This past September, I was a speaker at a conference on Law, Ethics and the War on Terror that was organized by Geoff Corn at the South Texas College of Law. The conference is now available as a video-stream. Part one is here and part two is here. The other panelists were incredibly impressive including senior military officials, prominent defense attorneys, and academics whom I admire. Their bios are available here. (This is the first conference I have attended where one of the other panelists is a graduate of Top Gun.) I learned a great deal at this symposium and, although (as far as I can tell) you cannot fast forward through the videos, I highly recommend watching them if you have the time.

As for what is on each video: part one includes the morning panel, “The Criminal Prosecution of Terrorists”, which has presentations by Jeanne Baker (“Terrorism” Is a Crime So Heinous That Even Innocence Is No Defense); Bobby Chesney (Terrorism and the Utility of Federal Criminal Prosecution); Col. Lawrence J. Morris (They Would Have Invented It: The Historical, Constitutional, and Practical Case for Military Commissions);Geoff Corn, Lt. Col. (ret.) (Have We Targeted the Offenses or the Defendants?); and Michael Lewis (The Military Costs and Benefits of a Criminal).The Q&A was moderated by Victor M. Hansen, Lt. Col. (ret.).

This is followed by the morning keynote by Fred L. Borch, Col. (ret.), who spoke on “The Historical Role of Military Lawyers in National Security Trials.”

The second video stream begins with the afternoon keynote, “The Ethical Dimension of National Security Legal Advice,” an address given by Maj. Gen. Charles J. Dunlap, Jr.

This is followed by the afternoon panel (on which I spoke): “Has the United States Lost the Ethical High Ground in the War on Terror?” The panelists in order of presentation were John Hutson, Vice Adm. (ret.) (How America Could Actually Lose the War on Terror); Amos N. Guiora, Lt. Col. (ret.) (Freedom of Religion–Freedom from Religion); Richard Jackson, Col. (ret.) (Law of War in GWOT–Regaining the Moral High Ground); me (Hearts and Minds and Laws: Legal Compliance and Diplomatic Persuasion); and Eugene R. Fidell (The High Ground and the National Narrative). The Q&A was moderated by Walt Huffman, Maj. Gen. (ret.).

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