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Liberty vs. Security: An NPR Special Report
A 'Virtual Roundtable' of Experts' Opinions

listen Listen to Barbara Bradley's report on the Nov. 28 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

To address the issues of curbing civil liberties in the name of national security, NPR Online offers a "virtual roundtable" of lawmakers, current and former government lawyers and legal experts. Their statements came at a Nov. 28, 2001, hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where the subject was "DOJ (Department of Justice) Oversight: Preserving Our Freedoms While Defending Against Terrorism." The series of hearings continues, and will culminate with the appearance of Attorney General John Ashcroft Dec. 6, 2001.

The roundtable participants:

Michael Chertoff is U.S. assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. Previously he was a partner with Latham and Watkins in Newark, N.J. Before joining that firm, he served as the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey from 1990 to 1994. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School.

Philip Heymann is James Barr Ames Professor of Law at the Harvard Law School. He was deputy U.S. attorney general from 1993-94, He was a Fulbright Scholar with degrees from Yale University, Harvard Law School and the Sorbonne. Heymann was an associate prosecutor and consultant to the Watergate Special Force.

Griffin Bell, senior partner of Atlanta's King & Spalding law firm, was U.S. attorney general from 1977-79. He served on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1961-76 and was counsel to President George Bush during the Iran-Contra investigation.

Kate Martin is director of the Center for National Security Studies, a non-governmental advocacy and research organization founded in 1974 to work for control of the FBI and CIA and to prevent violations of civil liberties in the United States. She also serves as general counsel to the National Security Archive, a research library at George Washington University.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is serving his fifth term. He chairs the Judiciary Committee and is also a senior member of the Agriculture and Appropriations committees. Leahy is a graduate of Saint Michael's College in Winooski and earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He served for eight years as State's Attorney in Vermont's Chittenden County.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has served in the Senate since 1976. He is the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He graduated with a history degree from Brigham Young University and earned his law degree at the University of Pittsburgh.