David Cole

David Cole is a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and a
lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Recent Articles

An Ounce of Detention

In Steven Spielberg's Minority Report , set in the not-all-that-distant future, police in Washington, D.C., have hit upon a way -- through the enslavement of psychic visionaries -- to predict and prevent future crimes. Would-be criminals are apprehended before they actually break the law and are punished for their intent to do so. But as one might expect, things go awry when one officer learns that the psychics' visions can be manipulated, and an innocent man is implicated in a future murder he does not intend to commit. Neither President George W. Bush nor Attorney General John Ashcroft has discovered any psychic visionaries -- with the possible exception of Karl Rove, and his field of vision is limited -- but in fighting the war on terrorism, they have nonetheless adopted sweeping new "preventive" strategies that depend on the ability to predict the future. At home, the Department of Justice's goal is no longer simply to prosecute criminals after the fact but to keep violent acts...

How Not to Fight Terrorism

T he calamitous attacks of September 11 have imposed on Americans a sense of vulnerability that we've been privileged to avoid for a long time. But as we respond to the threat of terrorism in our midst, and as the nation takes up what President Bush has called a fight for our freedoms, we must maintain our commitments to those freedoms at home. We must be careful not to overreact and should insist that any response be measured and effective. Unfortunately, the antiterrorism bill proposed by the Bush administration utterly fails this test. Its worst provisions are aimed at the most vulnerable in our society: immigrants who have no voice in the political process. The Bush bill would make aliens deportable not for terrorist activity but for peaceful and nonviolent associational activity in support of any group that ever engaged in a violent act, without any showing that the alien's support furthered illegal ends. It would authorize the Immigration and Naturalization Service to detain...