Legal Expert Says War On Terrorism Tactics Violate Laws

David Cole spoke to IU law students Thursday about post 9/11 policies that are giving the U.S. a bad reputation with international leaders.

Georgetown University Law Center professor and legal affairs correspondent for “The Nation” magazine David Cole says tactics in the war on terrorism have violated many national and international laws. The frequent “All Things Considered” commentator spoke in Bloomington Thursday at the Indiana University School of Law.

Cole told a crowd of mostly law students that post 9/11 policies have resulted in the incarceration and torture of many innocent people. He said preventive detention and harsh interrogation methods such as waterboarding leave lasting impressions on the rest of the world.

Cole said the Bush administration has ignored rulings by the Supreme Court, acts of Congress, existing laws and international treaties in the name of national security. He said this doesn’t sit well with the leaders of other nations who are coming to see the U.S. as an “outlaw state.” Cole said civic action groups have been somewhat successful in holding the Bush administration accountable for what he called “unconstitutional practices.” Cole said involvement by the citizenry has given courts and the media the “backbone” to investigate policies more critically.

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