NEW YORK CITY, September 8, 2011—Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, John Yoo (AEI), Andrew McCarthy (National Review Institute), Richard Epstein (University of Chicago Law School) and moderator Dean Reuter (The Federalist Society) gathered at the University Club for AEI's first book forum in New York City. The legal scholars reflected on the aftermath of the attacks and discussed their contributions to Confronting Terror, an anthology of essays from principled supporters and critics of the policy of the war on terrorism, edited by Reuter and Yoo. McCarthy pointed out that following 9/11, the US legal structure has had to catch up with actual terrorism scenarios; ten years on, there is finally some consensus on what counterterrorism should look like. Epstein argued that the government should have relatively broad discretion to collect information and use it internally but should be subjected to strict restrictions on the way it divulges information. Yoo stressed that the US political process has functioned normally in the last ten years, with no great catastrophe for civil liberties; there has actually been an explosion of political freedoms. He concluded that more political discourse exists now in the United States than ever.—ALEX DELLA ROCCHETTA
Richard A. Epstein is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at New York University Law School and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago. He also taught at the University of Southern California. In 2005, the College of William & Mary School of Law awarded him the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize. In 2011, Mr. Epstein received the Bradley Prize for outstanding achievement. He edited the Journal of Legal Studies (1981-91) and the Journal of Law and Economics (1991-2001). Mr. Epstein's books include The Case against the Employee Free Choice Act (Hoover Institution Press, 2009), Supreme Neglect: How to Revive the Constitutional Protection for Private Property (Oxford University Press, 2008), How Progressives Rewrote the Constitution (Cato Institute, 2006), Overdose (Yale University Press, 2006), and Free Markets under Siege: Cartels, Politics, and Social Welfare (Hoover Institution Press, 2005). His newest book, Design for Liberty: Private Property, Public Administration and the Rule of Law, will be published in 2011.
Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. For eighteen years, Mr. McCarthy was an assistant US attorney in the Southern District of New York. From 1993 through 1995, he led the terrorism prosecution against Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a plot to bomb New York City landmarks. For five years, he was the chief assistant US attorney of the Southern District’s satellite office in White Plains, and, following the 9/11 attacks, he supervised the Justice Department’s command post near Ground Zero in New York City. In 2004, Mr. McCarthy served at the Pentagon as a special assistant to the deputy secretary of defense. He has also been an adjunct professor at both Fordham University’s School of Law and New York Law School, as well as a deputy US marshal in the federal Witness Protection Program. Mr. McCarthy is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Justice Department’s highest honors: the Attorney General’s Exceptional Service Award (1996) and Distinguished Service Award (1988). He is the author of the bestseller Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (Encounter Books, 2008).
John Yoo is a visiting scholar at AEI. He has been a professor of law at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law since 1993. From 2001 to 2003, he was a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice, where he worked on issues involving foreign affairs, national security, and the separation of powers. He also served as general counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1995 to 1996. Mr. Yoo is the author of Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush (Kaplan Publishing, 2010), War by Other Means: An Insider's Account of the War on Terror (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006), and The Powers of War and Peace: The Constitution and Foreign Affairs after 9/11 (University of Chicago Press, 2005). Mr. Yoo is also the coeditor of Confronting Terror: 9/11 and the Future of American National Security (Encounter Books, 2011).
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