David Cole

David Cole is the National Legal Director of the ACLU and the Honorable George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at the Georgetown University Law Center. His most recent book is Engines of Liberty: How Citizen Movements Succeed (April 2019). He is also the author of The Torture Memos: Rationalizing the Unthinkable (New Press). Follow him on Twitter: @DavidColeACLU

Articles by this author

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014
The CIA’s Poisonous Tree
The old Washington adage that the cover-up is worse than the crime may not apply when it comes to the revelations this week that the Central Intelligence Agency interfered with a Senate torture investigation. It’s not that the cover-up isn’t serious.
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Saturday, December 21, 2013
The NSA on Trial
Ever since Edward Snowden’s revelation that the National Security Agency was collecting and storing data on every phone call every American makes and every text every American sends, the Obama administration has maintained that the program is fully lawful, and that it has been approved repeatedly by all three branches of government. This defense has always been misleading.
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Sunday, November 03, 2013
How (and How Not) to Uphold Racial Injustice
Achieving justice for racial discrimination has long been fraught with obstacles. During the civil rights era, it was Southern governors and school boards who blatantly obstructed court orders to desegregate schools.
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Friday, June 07, 2013
Secret NSA Program Gives the Agency Unprecedented Access to Private Internet Communications
What you don’t know can hurt you, it turns out. In back-to-back revelations this week, Americans learned that their electronic communications are subject to massive monitoring by the National Security Agency, without any individualized basis for suspicion.
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Thursday, June 06, 2013
It’s Worse Than You Thought: NSA Spying and the Patriot Act
“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.” Never has Joseph Heller’s observation from Catch-22 been more apt than today, as news spreads that the National Security Agency has been using the USA PATRIOT Act to sweep up phone call data on every Verizon Business Network customer in the nation—and presumably on residential and cell
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Responding to Terror
The April 15 bombing of the finish line at the Boston Marathon has triggered—and will continue to trigger—a series of state responses.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The Roberts Court vs. Voting Rights
What happens when a Supreme Court ostensibly committed to judicial restraint confronts a long-standing civil rights statute that offends its conservative majority’s sense that law should be colorblind, even if the world is not? That question will be front and center when the Court
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Can Obama Say He's Sorry for US Role in Torture of Innocent Man?
Can the President say he’s sorry to an innocent man whom the United States delivered to Syria to be tortured?
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Thursday, May 03, 2012
39 Ways to Limit Free Speech
Google “39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad” and you’ll get over 590,000 hits. You’ll find full-text English language translations of this Arabic document on the Internet Archive , an Internet library; on 4Shared Desktop , a file-sharing site; and on numerous Islamic sites.
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Friday, January 06, 2012
Guantánamo: Ten Years and Counting
On January 11 it will have been a decade since the first of the men we once called “the worst of the worst” were brought to Guantánamo Bay, a location handpicked by the Bush administration so that it could detain and interrogate terror suspects far from the prying eyes of the law. In the intervening years much has improved at this remote US-controlled enclave in Cuba. Allegations of ongoing torture have ceased; the detainees have access to lawyers and court review; and more than 600 of the 779 men once held there have been released.
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