Professional, Moral and Ethical Lessons from the War on Terror
Lt. General Richard C. Harding
In his role as Air Force Judge Advocate General, Lt. General Richard C. Harding (USAF, Retired) served as the legal advisor to the Secretary of the Air Force and professionally supervised over 4000 attorneys and legal support personnel. His presentation is enriched by his having witnessed policy makers’ decisions on 9/11, his service in combat theaters, his involvement in decision-making in the Pentagon regarding application of the law of war and his 34+ years on active duty.
General Harding’s presentation offers a fresh and surprising perspective on complex contemporary legal issues associated with the post-9/11 use of military power—how aggressive legal analyses :
• facilitated an expansion of Executive power to wage war against unlimited enemies without Congressional authorization and publicly vetted strategies.
• authorized targeted killing and signature strikes outside the traditional battlefield.
He explains how military commissions work and how the courts have given expansive habeas rights to terrorists. Harding delivers a compelling explanation of how law, history, cultural bias, the lack of transparency, and fear about future attacks on the homeland give rise to ill-advised changes in domestic law and policy, which in turn endangers our national security“ Can we do that?!” It’s the core question of ethical and professional quandaries. For Lt. General Rich Harding, that question forms the theme of this course. Your professional obligations and aspirations may not be summoned in the command center during the most costly attack in U.S. history, but for each of your clients, their case is a matter of personal terror and your counsel must be just as steady and well-reasoned. From 9/11 through the current war against terrorism, the parallels Harding outlines will strike home.
Beyond the tactical decisions made in a moment of uncertainty, your profession also calls you to address macro-level issues of injustice. For General Harding, what began as a directive to curtail sexual assault in the Air Force blossomed into what is now military-wide policy. His methods of forming and implementing that policy serve as a sturdy guide for you in both your community obligations and in making sure that your office avoids the warning signs of tragedy.
His presentation is enriched by his participation in policy makers’ decisions on 9/11, his service in combat theaters, and his involvement in decision-making in the Pentagon regarding application of law in multiple operations in the Middle East. His views are further informed by his legal leadership at Air Combat Command and Air Force Space Command, and by a childhood spent living in Lebanon and Pakistan.
General Harding offers a fresh and surprising perspective on complex contemporary legal issues associated with the post-9/11 use of military power. He uses real-world examples of how policy makers reach decisions that affect when and how we go to war against terrorist organizations. This presentation is a compelling explanation of how history, military science, and cultural awareness give rise to changes in policy and law.
Program Agenda & Detail
3.5 Professionalism and Ethics Hours
[Part I: 90 Minutes]
A View from the Bunker on 9/11
U.S. response to commercial aircraft as weapons.
Is this law enforcement or war? An important distinction.
Is declaring “war on terrorism” legal, or even smart?
The enemy’s strategy.
U.S. strategy — do we have one?
15 Minute Break
[Part II: 60 Minutes]
Confronting Sexual Assault
Weighing the sometimes conflicting loyalties of fighting for a client and fighting for a cause
Seeking justice from within the halls of power—due process for all,
15 Minute Break
[Part III: 90 Minutes]
Practical Ethics Lessons from a Command Position
Who is the client – the official or the institution?
Is the attorney’s advice confidential?
The importance of speaking truth to power—being a zealous advocate and restrained, wise counsel
Is legal creativity in the country’s (or the client’s) best interest?
The ethics of creating “secret law” in warfighting
The ethics of managing and marginalizing others’ legal advice
The ethics of issuing “controlling legal advice”
If you are not convinced that your understanding of the course topic has
improved after completion of any P.E.G.® seminar, we will refund your course tuition.