Center for American Progress

ADVISORY: Less Safe, Less Free: The “Preventive Paradigm” and the War on Terror
Press Advisory

ADVISORY: Less Safe, Less Free: The “Preventive Paradigm” and the War on Terror

A Book Discussion with David Cole and Bradford Berenson

September 25, 2007, 12:00pm – 2:00pm

A light buffet lunch will be served at 11:30am.

Featured Panelists: David Cole, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center and Co-Author of Less Safe, Less Free Bradford Berenson, Former Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush, and Partner, Sidley Austin LLP

Moderated by: Mark Agrast, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

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In the new book Less Safe, Less Free: Why America is Losing the War on Terror, Georgetown Law Professor David Cole and his co-author Jules Lobel argue that the “preventive paradigm” adopted by the Bush administration not only has undermined our nation’s character but has also made us more vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

The authors contend that this new paradigm has led directly to the detentions at Guantanamo, the use of coercive interrogation and torture, and the invasion of Iraq. They argue that there is virtually no evidence that the paradigm of prevention has thwarted actual terrorist plots or captured many terrorists, while there is substantial evidence that it has made us less safe. They offer an alternative preventive strategy that favors non-coercive measures, multilateral cooperation, and support for the rule of law.

Please join us for a lively and stimulating discussion with Professor Cole and Bradford Berenson, former White House Associate Counsel, who advised President George W. Bush on many of the policies discussed in the book. The moderator will be Mark Agrast, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.


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David Cole is a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, a volunteer staff attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, the legal affairs correspondent for The Nation, a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, and a commentator on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis has called Cole “one of the country’s great legal voice for civil liberties today,” and Nat Hentoff has called him “a one-man Committee of Correspondence in the tradition of patriot Sam Adams.” He is the author of two previous books: Enemy Aliens, which received the American Book Award in 2004, and No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System, which was named Best Non-Fiction Book of 1999 by the Boston Book Review and best book on an issue of national policy in 1999 by the American Political Science Association.

Bradford A. Berenson is a litigator in the Washington, D.C. office of Sidley Austin LLP. From January 2001 through January 2003, Berenson served as Associate Counsel to the President of the United States. In the White House, he worked on the USA PATRIOT Act, the Military Order authorizing the use of military commissions, detainee and anti-terrorism litigation, and the creation of the new Department of Homeland Security. Berenson has also provided commentary on legal matters in the mainstream media, publishing articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Times and making appearances on news and public affairs programming on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR, CNN and Fox News Channel. Berenson holds a B.A., summa cum laude, from Yale University, and a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he was Supreme Court editor of the Harvard Law Review. Following graduation, he clerked for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the United States Supreme Court.

Mark Agrast is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he focuses on the Constitution, separation of powers, terrorism and civil liberties, and the rule of law. Prior to joining the Center for American Progress, Agrast was Counsel and Legislative Director to Congressman William D. Delahunt of Massachusetts (1997-2003). He previously served as a top aide to Massachusetts Congressman Gerry E. Studds (1992-97) and practiced international law with the Washington office of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue (1985-91). During his years on Capitol Hill, Agrast played a prominent role in shaping laws on civil and constitutional rights, terrorism and civil liberties, criminal justice, patent and copyright law, antitrust, and other matters within the jurisdiction of the House Committee on the Judiciary. He was also responsible for legal issues within the jurisdiction of the House International Relations Committee, including the implementation of international agreements on human rights, intercountry adoption, and the protection of intellectual property rights.