The US has frequently invoked national security as a justification for policies that violate international law. These include the torture of detainees in the US “war on terror,” secretive targeted killings abroad, and indefinite detention without trial at Guantanamo Bay.  Within the US, the government has conducted unfair terrorism investigations that in some cases have effectively entrapped indigent and mentally ill persons.  Large-scale surveillance by the National Security Agency is hampering the ability of journalists and lawyers to do their work and corroding US democracy. We have consistently called for the US to provide fair trials in civilian courts to all terrorism suspects, ensure accountability for past abuses, including at the highest levels of government, and bring all national security policies in line with US obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law.

  • United States
    I was recently asked to reflect on the progress the United States has made on civilian protection after two decades of war and counterterrorism operations since 9/11. I got down to the business of writing a list – but I should have poured a scotch first, because the results are depressing.
    The Progress Not Made on Protecting Civilians
  • Terrorism / Counterterrorism
    As Joe Biden settles into his presidency, in addition to facing a pandemic and economic crisis, he will hear demands for accountability. If President Biden is going to help restore a robust commitment to the rule of law, he will need to reach further back than Donald Trump and the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. He will also need to address the abuses that followed the 9/11 attacks — specifically, the CIA-run torture program.
    Declassify the Post-9/11 Torture Program