For the fundamental lesson was this: a counterterrorism architecture that is founded on criminal justice principles is fundamentally oriented to punishing those who have plotted or carried out attacks.
During the 1970s and 80s, airline hijackings and overseas bombings were the focus of most terrorist activity.
In 1993, violent Islamist extremists bombed the World Trade Center, causing six deaths and more than a thousand injuries, but failing to significantly damage the structures themselves.
Exchange of information collected by foreign and domestic agencies was determined by a strict set of rules that was (perhaps somewhat incorrectly) interpreted as forbidding pure “intelligence” information from being collected for law enforcement purposes, and – conversely – made it difficult to share criminal justice-derived information with other agencies.
When terrorists were apprehended either in the United States or abroad, they were accorded the treatment of any other criminal defendant, including receiving warnings about the right to silence, and a full-blown criminal jury trial.
All of these attacks and attempts were addressed through the existing criminal justice system.
Under that legal architecture, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, as well as a host of other statutes and regulations, governed domestic intelligence collection.
11, 2018 Seventeen years ago, the United States wasn't officially engaged in any wars.
Few of us had ever heard of al-Qaeda or Osama bin Laden, and ISIS didn't even exist. Our surveillance state was a fraction of its current size.
The clash between international law giving the US the right to vet all incoming air travelers and European law seeking to cloak the privacy of those travelers threatened to cause disruption in the air industry.
Fortunately this was averted for the time being through a US-European Union agreement that set an acceptable framework to accommodate security and privacy concerns.