WASHINGTON -- An architect of the government's legal battle against terror defended the Patriot Act yesterday, telling a federal commission that the law rightly empowers investigators to "wage a coordinated, integrated counterterrorism campaign."
Larry D. Thompson, a former deputy attorney general, told the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks that counterterror laws should be strengthened so that suspected terrorists could be denied bail, and so that prosecutors could move with more confidence against those who provide support to terror organizations.
But Stephen J. Schulhofer, a New York University law professor, said that more than a dozen government initiatives "are demonstrably not justified as a response to 9-11." Limited resources that should be devoted to US intelligence are being misspent on unnecessary new legal procedures, Schulhofer said.
Philip B. Heymann, a Harvard Law School professor, said Congress should reject several assertions of authority invoked by the Bush administration in the name of security.