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Policy Analysis

Counterterrorism Lecture

National Security and the Rule of Law in Combating International Terrorism


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April 28, 2009

Todd Hinnen Part I
Todd Hinnen Part II

U.S. attorney general Eric Holder noted that even in the secret realm of national security, the United States "must be most vigilant in relying on the rule of law to govern our conduct," adding that "we will not sacrifice our values or trample on our Constitution under the false premise that it is the only way to protect our national security."

How will these broad proclamations play out in U.S. counterterrorism policy, prosecution, and law enforcement? What changes might the Obama administration make in such sensitive policy areas as rendition, detentions, and intelligence collection? How will Washington maintain effective counterterrorism relationships with key Middle Eastern partners, while encouraging those countries to develop more robust legal infrastructures?

The Washington Institute's Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence invited Todd Hinnen, deputy assistant attorney general, to discuss these important issues at a Policy Forum on April 28, 2009.

Download a copy of his prepared remarks (PDF).

Todd Hinnen is the deputy assistant attorney general for law and policy in the Justice Department's National Security Division, appointed in February 2009. Prior to joining the Justice Department, he was chief counsel to then senator Joe Biden. From August 2005 to January 2007, Mr. Hinnen served as director of the National Security Council's Counterterrorism Directorate. In that capacity, he chaired the interagency body responsible for coordinating U.S. efforts to combat terrorism financing.