US National Security, Intelligence and Democracy: From the Church Committee to the War on Terror

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This volume examines the investigation by the 1975 Senate Select Committee (‘Church Committee’) into US intelligence abuses during the Cold War, and considers its lessons for the current ‘war on terror’.

This report remains the most thorough public record of America’s intelligence services, and many of the legal boundaries operating on US intelligence agencies today are the direct result of reforms proposed by the Church Committee, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The Church Committee also drew attention to the importance of constitutional government as a Congressional body overseeing the activities of the Executive branch. Placing the legacy of the Church Committee in the context of the contemporary debate over US national security and democratic governance, the book brings together contributions from distinguished policy leaders and scholars of law, intelligence and political science.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Professor Miller provides a timely forum for reflection on the invaluable contributions of the Chruch Committee to oversight of U.S. intelligence activities. Since 9/11, our country has been embroiled in a debate about the proper role of intelligence , the preservation of civil liberties, the consequences of torture and, in many ways, the contours of American values themselves. As we engage in the current debate, we would be well-served by the historical perspectives offered by this remarkable collection of essays.'
Rep. John F. Tierney (D-MA)

'If there is any hope of avoiding intelligence abuse in the post-9/11 era, it will only be by learning the lessons of history, and no investigation, commission, or study is more important on this subject than the Church Committee's 1975 inquiry into domestic spying. This smart and necessary collection brings together a remarkable set of scholars in the hope that we can indeed learn from our mistakes.'
Professor David D. Cole, Georgetown University

'Today’s warrantless surveillance springs from a different and far more calamitous set of circumstances than the warrantless surveillance at the center of the Church Committee investigations of the 1970s. Still, the parallels are stark. In its first half, this timely volume collects insightful lessons for today’s version of the tensions between national security and democracy from some who played central roles inside the Church Committee's work . The contributions in the second half of the book deal thoughtfully with today’s national security controversies. Overall, the collection is carefully structured and the contributors include experienced and knowledgeable scholars and practitioners from law, intelligence, and political science.'
Professor William C. Banks, Syracuse University

"Miller succeeds admirably in compiling a broad array of commentators with unique insights into the Church Committee’s processes and conclusions."
Charles Cary, Georgetown University Law Center

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415778763
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/10/2009
  • Series: Studies in Intelligence Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Russell A. Miller teaches Constitutional Law, Comparative Law and International Law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law.

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Table of Contents

Introduction – National Security and Constitutional Government – The Legacy of the Church Committee Russell A. Miller Part 1: The Church Committee and Its Relevance Today 1. Liberty and Security – Reflecting on the Church Committee Gary Hart 2. The Church Committee: Thirty Years Ago and Today Frederick A. O. Schwarz, Jr. 3. From Ostriches to Guardians: Intelligence Oversight Roles in the Aftermath of the Church Committee Investigation Loch K. Johnson 4. The Church Committee: Its History and its Relevance LeRoy Ashby 5. Idaho Voices: How the Church Committee Played with Church’s Constituents Kathy Aiken Part 2: Contemporary Issues of Democracy and National Security 6. Return of the Imperial Presidency David Adler 7. Domestic Surveillance for International Terrorists: Presidential Power and Fourth Amendment Limits Richard Henry Seamon 8. Free Association and Surveillance: The Implications of US Anti-Terrorism Policy Elizabeth Brandt 9. Prosecution Under the Material Support to Terrorism Statutes: Time to Fix What’s Broken Alan Williams 10. Militant Democracy and the War on Terror Russell Miller 11. Mandating Judicial Deference to Executive Expertise: Using the Mosaic Theory to Authorize Continued Enforcement of National Security Letter Gag Orders Michael Greenlee

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