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Constitutional Limits on Coercive Interrogation$
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Amos N. Guiora

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195340310

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195340310.001.0001

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(p.1) CHAPTER 1 Introduction
Constitutional Limits on Coercive Interrogation

Amos N. Guiora

Oxford University Press

The theme of this book is the coercive interrogation of suspected terrorists; it is important to engage in a broad discussion concerning terrorism. That discussion must begin with a definition of terrorism. Coercive interrogation, as this book proposes, in the implementation of lawful interrogations methods, intended to enable the state to most effectively protect itself against the twin threats of terrorism and an unfettered executive. An unfettered executive advocates a by all means necessary interrogation regime—devoid of constitutional protections, Congressional oversight, and judicial review. Conversely, a regime premised on the rule of law understands the constitutional and moral requirements of the limits of interrogation. Coercive interrogation enables a lawful balancing of the legitimate rights of the individual with equally legitimate national security rights of the state. No discussion of counterterrorism would be complete without addressing the balancing between the competing tensions—civil rights and national security.

Keywords:   defining terrorism, unfettered executive, lawful interrogation, civil rights, national security, constitutional protections

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