On October 17the, 2016, Andrew McCarthy, a contributing editor at National Review and a former U.S. attorney, spoke on the subject of terrorism law, and why it should be handled differently than in the normal military or criminal procedure. A major critique of the existing system that Mr. McCarthy mentioned is how the legal profession, drawing its impetus from the culture and vantage point of the ivory tower, is given undue deference in deciding the default process by which a terrorism case is handled. In other words, priority is given to certain forms of prosecution, to the exclusion of others which are otherwise more welcoming of the opinions and best practices of the intelligence community and other authoritative stakeholders. These stakeholders are essential to include in a conversation, such as law is, on American homeland security.
McCarthy discussed how terrorism is more synonymous to a military act than to a crime, thus translating over the need to evolve the ways in which it is handled. He explained that criminal investigation processes are effective, but that does not transfer into national security. Specifically, he states, “The failure to act in a timely manner can be the difference between prevention of a mass murder attack and thousands of American civilian casualties”.
He mentioned that people would rather see the government lose than an innocent person wrongly convicted. However, within a national security situation, if the government does not prevail, than our rights and liberties become threatened.
McCarthy concluded his lecture by explaining his integrative plan that would implement a national security court. This would ameliorate the framework of terrorism response by melding together the civilian and military justice system into one.