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the tools of counterterrorism
How the government prosecutes suspected terrorists, the debate over the Patriot Act, and a Web-exclusive interview with civil liberties expert David Cole

The Tools of Counterterrorism

Here is a list of some of the laws and precedents the government is using to combat the domestic war on terrorism, including the Patriot Act, the material support statute, the enemy combatant designation and "extreme measures."

The Patriot Act

A closer look at the controversial sections of the Patriot Act and the efforts made in Washington and beyond to defend, revise, repeal or fend off its legislation. Also, what it means to live in a "Civil Liberties Safe Zone."

Interview: David Cole

A civil liberties expert, Cole is a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and author of the recent book, Enemy Aliens. He is critical of the government's argument that the Patriot Act was necessary to break down the information-sharing barriers between criminal and intelligence investigations. "In my view," he tells FRONTLINE, "the barriers to information sharing that were exposed after 9/11 were much more cultural and bureaucratic than they were legally required." He says that under the Patriot Act, the government's ability to use intelligence information in critical procedures violates the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Cole also argues that historically the government "often conducts its worst abuses when it's trying to prevent terrible things from happening," and points to the Japanese internment during World War II and the Communist Party witch-hunts of the McCarthy era as examples.

The Role of the Judiciary in the War on Terrorism

This speech was given by Judge Royce Lamberth, former presiding judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance [FISA] Court, to the University of Texas Law Alumni Association on April 13, 2002. Lamberth is the only FISA Court judge ever to have spoken publicly about the court. In this speech, he describes the FISA process and the changes to the law after the passage of the Patriot Act. He also discusses how FISA was used in the investigations of CIA mole Aldrich Ames and FBI spy Robert Hanssen. Also included in this transcript is a question and answer session at the end of the speech.

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posted october 16, 2003

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