TRIALS BY FIRE - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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TRIALS BY FIRE - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Despite their most concerted efforts, terrorists will not cause the systemiccollapse of American civilization. As such, this publication is ultimately notabout them. Rather, it is about us and whether we as a people and as a nationcan craft appropriate, legitimate mechanisms to safeguard our society fromexternal danger without compromising too many of our core national valuesalong the way. Terrorists may be able to inflict deaths and destruction uponinnocents in this country and abroad, but it is more important that the Americanpublic and its political class make the choices to keep this nation intact inthe 21 st century.Policymakers, legislators and jurists have made and will continue to make—inthe harsh light of hindsight—ill-advised choices. Despite the best intentions andefforts of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, case officers, analysts and cops, terroristswill attempt to strike the country and its citizenry again, and may occasionallysucceed. Nevertheless, it will be through our laws and our system ofgovernment that we will find, if not a permanent safe harbor against danger, atleast the most American means to safeguard our nation and our people.Any mistakes, omissions, errors or oversights contained within this publicationare our own.We thank you for reading our book.Sincerely,Eric Rosenbach and Aki J. PeritzAugust 2010Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs | Harvard Kennedy School3

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