On October 22, 2011, The John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies and The Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility conducted the conference, "National Security and Civil Liberties" to stimulate dialogue, scholarship, and reflection in the academy and wider community about the need to effectively and ethically pursue U.S. national security imperatives without undermining the country's historic commitment to civil liberties, and to serve the civil liberties imperatives without compromising the country’s basic national security.

First panel: The basic legal and ethical controversies.

Precedents for dealing with the tension between national security and civil liberties. Whether and in what respects do contemporary terrorism and new technologies present significantly new threats and dilemmas that call for fresh legal and ethical deliberation and concepts. The panel was chaired by Joseph F. Kobylka, Associate Professor of Political Science at SMU, Robin Lovin, the Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics at SMU's Perkins School of Theology, Hina Shamsi, Director director of the National Security Project for the ACLU, and Daniel Tichenor, the Philip H. Knight Professor of Social Science at the University of Oregon.  Watch video Video

Second panel: The treatment of detainees.

The legal and ethical implications of categorizing detainees as “unlawful enemy combatants.” Even so, what legal processes are due them? The ethics of interrogation. Respective roles of the CIA, FBI, and military authorities. Civil courts vs. military commissions. “Extraordinary rendition” and other devices for incarcerating detainees abroad. The panel was chaired by Rick Halperin, Director of the Embrey Human Rights Program at SMU, and included Mike Marchand, President of The Center for American and International Law, Robert Chesney, the Charles I. Francis Professor in Law at the University of Texas School of Law, and Kathleen Clark, Professor of Law at Washington University Law.  Watch Video Video

Debate: John Yoo and Chip Pitts - CIA interrogation techniques and treatment of detainees.

Former Dept of Justice official and author of the "Torture Memos" John Yoo and Stanford University law professor and former Chairman of Amnesty International Chip Pitts debate the CIA's interrogation techniques and detainee treatment at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Watch Video Video  

Third panel:Individual rights.

Compromises with First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, and association – how much is taking place and is justified on grounds of national security. New technology-enabled surveillance and other intelligence-gathering activities authorized by the Patriot Act vs. standard freedoms from unwarranted search and seizure and traditional privacy rights. The panel was chaired by journalist Lee Cullum and included Jeffrey Kahn, Associate Professor of Law in SMU Dedman School of Law, Jeffrey Bellin, Assistant Professor of Law in SMU Dedman School of Law, and Becky Gregory, former U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Texas.  Watch video Video

View photos from the event.

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