Past Event

Warrantless Domestic Surveillance

Its Roots and Where We Go From Here

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM EST

Warrantless Domestic Surveillance: Its Roots and Where We Go From Here

Revelations that the NSA has been conducting a warrantless domestic surveillance program outside the framework established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act have caused many to conclude that the President has acted unlawfully. Recent testimony by the Attorney General before the Senate Judiciary Committee did little to explain the scope of the program or to allay concerns about an unchecked expansion of Executive Power. The panel, which has extensive experience in these issues, will explore what we know about the program, its lawfulness and the role that Congress should play in addressing the surveillance program and restoring checks and balances to our constitutional system.


Note: All video provided in  QuickTime (MPEG-4)  format.

Event Transcript


Gary Hart, Professor, University of Colorado, former United States Senator (D-CO); member of the Church Committee
Morton Halperin, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Bruce Fein, Constitutional Lawyer, former Associate Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice

Moderated by:

Michael Greenberger, Professor, University of Maryland School of Law; Director, Center for Health and Homeland Security.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Program: 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Lunch will be served at 12:00 PM.
Admission is free.

Center for American Progress
1333 H Street NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Map and Directions

Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange: McPherson Square, Red: Metro Center


Gary Hart was a two-term U.S. senator (1975-87) and presidential candidate (1984 and 1988), Hart has spent 40 years in public service. He is well-known for his work in international law and business, and he has served as a strategic advisor to major U.S. corporations. In addition to his long career in public service, Hart resumed his own academic studies at Oxford University five years ago, earning the British equivalent of a PhD. He holds graduate law and divinity degrees from Yale. Hart’s academic experience includes a stint as a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Chatham Lecturer, and McCallum Memorial Lecturer at Oxford University, Global Fund Lecturer at Yale University and Regents Lecturer at the University of California. Hart’s current pro bono service includes: Partnership for a Secure America (organizing committee), Energy Future Coalition (advisory board), America’s Agenda (chair), Security and Peace Institute (co-chair), and Secure Colorado (co-chair).

Dr. Morton H. Halperin is a Senior Vice President at the Center for American Progress and Executive Director of the Security and Peace Initiative. He is also the Executive Director of the Open Society Policy Center as well as Director of U.S. Advocacy for the Open Society Institute. Dr. Halperin served in the federal government in the Clinton, Nixon and Johnson administrations, most recently from December 1998 to January 2001 as Director of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State. In the Clinton administration, he was also Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Democracy at the National Security Council, a consultant to the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and was nominated by the President for the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Democracy and Peacekeeping. In 1969, he was a senior saff member of the National Security Council responsible for National Security Planning. He has authored, coauthored and edited more than a dozen books including, Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy (1974), The Lawless State (1976), Nuclear Fallacy (1987), and Self-Determination in the New World Order (1992). He has also contributed articles to a number of newspapers, magazines, and journals, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Harpers, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy, on subjects including national security and civil liberties, bureaucratic politics, Japan, China, military strategy, and arms control.

Bruce Fein graduated from Harvard Law School with honors in 1972. After a federal judicial clerkship, he joined the U.S. Department of Justice where he served as assistant director of the Office of Legal Policy, legal adviser to the assistant attorney general for antitrust, and the associate deputy attorney general. Mr. Fein then was appointed general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, followed by an appointment as research director for the Joint Congressional Committee on Covert Arms Sales to Iran. He has authored several volumes on the United States Supreme Court, the United States Constitution, and international law. He has assisted two dozen countries in constitutional revision, and consulted foreign nations on matters ranging from telecommunications and cable regulation to sugar quotas, oil and gas pipelines, and human rights. Mr. Fein has been an adjunct scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, a resident scholar at the Heritage Foundation, a lecturer at the Brookings Institute, and an adjunct professor at George Washington University. He has also been executive editor of World Intelligence Review, a periodical devoted to national security and intelligence issues. At present, he writes a weekly column for The Washington Times devoted to legal and international affairs, guest columns for numerous other newspapers, and articles for professional and lay journals. He is invited to testify frequently before Congress and administrative agencies by both Democrats and Republicans. He appears regularly on national broadcast, cable, and radio programs as an expert in foreign affairs, international and constitutional law, telecommunications, terrorism, national security, and related subjects.

Michael Greenberger is the Director of the Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS) at the University of Maryland and a professor at the School of Law. Professor Greenberger designed and teaches two courses focused on counterterrorism and emergency response: “Homeland Security and The Law of Counterterrorism,” which will be taught in the Law School for the sixth time this coming semester; and “Homeland Security: Emergency Response to Natural and Man Made Disasters,” bringing students and faculty from the various university professional schools together to study effective governmental policies pertaining to catastrophic public health emergencies. Professor Greenberger also teaches Constitutional Law at the Law School and is a recognized expert on constitutional issues pertaining to federalism. In 1999, Professor Greenberger began service as Counselor to the United States Attorney General, and then became the Justice Department’s Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General. Included within his portfolio of responsibilities were several counterterrorism projects concerning both law enforcement and public health policy, including organizing a nationwide counter terrorism war game (“TOPOFF I”). Prior to entering government service, Professor Greenberger was a partner for over 20 years in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Shea & Gardner, where he served as lead litigation counsel before courts of law nationwide, including the United States Supreme Court. Professor Greenberger is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Lafayette College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Law Review . He is a member of the American Law Institute and he has served on the Board of Governors of the D.C. Bar and as a board member of three nonprofit public interest organizations. Professor Greenberger has also served on the D.C. Circuit Advisory Committee on Procedures and as a mediator for the United States Courts for the District of Columbia.

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) is one of the nation’s leading progressive legal organizations. Founded in 2001, ACS is comprised of law students, lawyers, scholars, judges, policymakers, activists and other concerned individuals who are working to ensure that the fundamental principles of human dignity, individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, and access to justice are in their rightful, central place in American law.