On January 7, 2010, Stewart Baker, former assistant secretary of Homeland Security, explained how exponential advances in technology improve the quality of life while at the same time provide terrorists unprecedented powers to wreak death and destruction. In the course of his presentation, which was part of the meeting of Hoover’s Task Force on National Security and Law, Mr. Baker discussed institutional reforms to deal with these new threats while protecting personal liberties.
The National Security and Law Task Force examines the rule of law, the laws of war, and American constitutional law with a view to making proposals that strike an optimal balance between individual freedom and the vigorous defense of the nation against terrorists both abroad and at home. The task force’s focus is the rule of law and its role in Western civilization, as well as the roles of international law and organizations, the laws of war, and U.S. criminal law. Those goals will be accomplished by systematically studying the constellation of issues—social, economic, and political—on which striking a balance depends.