Segments in this Video

Introduction: Intelligence Squared U.S. (02:38)


Intelligence Squared U.S. chairman Robert Rosenkranz frames the debate, discussing the question of whether terrorists are criminals, enemy soldiers or neither.

Moderator (01:54)

Moderator John Donvan instructs the audience in pre-debate voting.

For the Motion: Mark Thiessen (07:31)

Former Bush speechwriter Mark Thiessen encourages the audience to recall the emotions of 9/11, and the expectation of further attack. He credits our ability to get information from terrorists with preventing further attacks.

Against the Motion: David Frakt (08:12)

David Frakt, a lawyer in the military who represented Guantanamo detainees, says law enforcement is about disrupting crime, not just punishing it. Guantanamo Bay detainees were imprisoned unjustly.

For the Motion: Michael Hayden (08:38)

Former CIA director Michael Hayden, who commissioned a review defending the CIA's interrogation program, argues that the debate comes down to the question of whether we are at war. He criticizes the decision to give the Christmas bomber a lawyer.

Against the Motion: Stephen Jones (08:05)

Lawyer Stephen Jones frames the debate in terms of American ideals and the rule of law. He talks about his own legal defense of Timothy McVeigh as an instance of a successful trial of a terrorist.

QA: Do Your Opponents Know More than You? (10:15)

John Donvan suggests that the proposition team, consisting of a former CIA director and former Bush speechwriter, may have special knowledge of the dire threat. Frakt argues that the ends do not justify the means. Hayden argues that we have the right to imprison enemy combatants without habeas corpus; Frakt argues that the government has defined the war too broadly, beyond any theater of war.

QA: Is Policy on Terrorists Un-American? (04:59)

Thiessen says the Geneva Convention does not recognize a right to contest your detention.

QA: What Does Treatment as Enemy Combatant Entail? (08:09)

Thiessen argues against Miranda warnings for terrorists. Jones says criminals frequently provide information after Miranda warnings. Frakt says the proposition team is inadequately defining what the war on terror allows government to do.

QA: How Can U.S. Maintain Moral High Ground? (10:43)

An audience member argues that Guantanamo Bay costs America moral high ground. Hayden argues for the right to hold enemy combatants without trial. Thiessen defends Guantanamo Bay, saying there was no abuse there; Frakt rebuts this.

QA: How Do We Know Suspected Terrorists are Guilty? (12:41)

Thiessen argues that we don't have to prove terrorist suspects' guilt, because they aren't criminal defendants but enemy combatants. Jones says terrorist suspects aren't enemy combatants. Thiessen cites FDR's use of military commissions for saboteurs. The sides debate ticking time bomb scenarios.

QA: How Do We Know Who is a Terrorist? (03:36)

Hayden says there is a rigorous process for making sure detained people are terrorists.

QA: How Much Certainty Do We Need to Justify Detention? (01:38)

An audience member notes the principle that in criminal justice, it is better to let 100 guilty men go free than convict an innocent man unjustly, and asks how much certainty is needed with terrorist detainees. Hayden says intelligence agencies and the military are careful.

Closing Statement Against: Stephen Jones (02:42)

Jones argues that we must not create a separate legal system for terrorism, which would leave the government unaccountable.

Closing Statement For: Marc Thiessen (02:23)

Thiessen says the law enforcement approach failed as a response to escalating Al Qaeda attacks throughout the 1990s, while the subsequent enemy combatant approach has prevented another attack. The criminal approach would not allow drone strikes.

Closing Statement Against: David Frakt (02:20)

Frakt rejects the proposition claim that the enemy combatant approach has prevented Al Qaeda from attacking, noting Madrid, London and Bali. He cites the story of a man he argues was unjustly detained.

Closing Statement For: Michael Hayden (02:21)

Hayden argues that treating terrorists as enemy combatants is consistent with the rule of law, and defends the CIA's performance.

Additional Resources: Intelligence Squared U.S. (02:58)

Additional Resources: Intelligence Squared U.S.

Treat Terrorists Like Enemy Combatants, Not Criminals: Vote Results (00:40)

Pre-Debate - For: 33% - Against: 32% - Undecided: 35% Post-Debate - For: 39% - Against: 55% - Undecided: 6%

Credits: Treat Terrorists Like Enemy Combatants, Not Criminals: A Debate (00:23)

Credits: Treat Terrorists Like Enemy Combatants, Not Criminals: A Debate

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Treat Terrorists Like Enemy Combatants, Not Criminals: A Debate

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The announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind behind the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, would be tried in New York City set off a firestorm of protests. Besides the cost and safety concerns, at issue are whether suspected terrorists should be tried in criminal court or whether national security requires the use of military commissions. Likewise, issues like the closing of the U.S. naval prison at Guantánamo, Cuba, the reading of Miranda rights to suspected terrorists, and enhanced interrogation all center on the same question: How should the United States treat and try individuals captured in the "war on terror"? As "enemy combatants," who are entitled to limited rights? Or as suspected criminals, who are entitled to full legal rights?

Length: 103 minutes

Item#: BVL58315

ISBN: 978-0-81609-894-1

Copyright date: ©2010

Closed Captioned

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