William J. Dunn

Document Type

Symposium Article


Attorney General Mukasey was correct when he noted that national security lawyers traditionally oscillate between aggression and timidity. Debates about which extreme is “better,” however, miss the larger point; namely, that these cycles are driven by factors that the competent national security lawyer has a duty to understand. Such a thorough knowledge allows lawyers in this field to dampen the harmful oscillation and render the best legal advice possible. After identifying factors that affect the rendering of such counsel, the author makes several specific policy recommendations that will assist lawyers—who are “uniquely suited to bear this responsibility” —in this critical task.