On September 11, 2001, the terrorist network Al-Qaeda launched a coordinated attack against the economic and political capitals of the United States. Three domestic airplanes were hijacked by Al-Qaeda members and systematically flown into the World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. A fourth plane, due to the courageousness of the passengers who took control of the cockpit from the terrorists, crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, sparing the U.S. Capitol, or possibly the White House, from similar destruction.
March 2009 (Volume 43, Issue 3)
I approach this topic from the perspective of someone who has lived most of his life in Northern Ireland. At an early age, as most children do, I developed a commitment to fairness and justice, but just as I was going through university in the early 1970s my homeland was convulsed by politically motivated violence.
As America caught its collective breath on the morning of September 12, 2001, many undoubtedly realized that the prior day’s events had ushered in a new era in our nation’s history. Few, however, would have guessed exactly what that new era would entail over the coming years.
Much of the current debate in national security law scholarship focuses on institutional design issues related to the balancing of values such as legitimacy, effectiveness, fairness and efficiency. A part of that debate centers around the legitimacy of tribunals established to try alleged terrorists.
Shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush Administration (“Administration”) presented a definition of “enemy combatant” created for purposes of waging a war against terrorism. The definition was only tangentially related to the definition of combatant supported by international humanitarian law (“IHL”).
During this election year, both presidential candidates, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain, favored closing the U.S.- operated detention camp in GuantÃ¡namo Bay. Support for closing the detention camp stemmed from a perceived failure of the United States to follow the rule of law with respect to detainees held there.
On May 27, 1998, Stefan Irving flew from Mexico to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Formerly the chief pediatrician for a New York school district, Irving was stripped of his license to practice medicine after a 1983 conviction for “attempted sexual abuse in the first degree of a seven-year-old boy.”
Counterterrorism efforts by the U.S. government since 2001 have produced numerous legal controversies. One of the most controversial subjects has been the detention of individuals allegedly involved with terrorist organizations or activities.
With an increasingly small number of exceptions, commentators from all points along of the political spectrum have found common cause in identifying a central critique of the counterterrorism policies of the Bush Administration: their unilateralism.
Boumediene v. Bush, the Supreme Court of the United States’s third decision in four years relating to the GuantÃ¡namo Bay detainees, definitively rejected Congress’s efforts to close the federal courts to habeas petitions from those detainees.