City under siege

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  • A prolonged series of terrorist attacks could seriously endanger America's stability. In this Fred Friendly Seminar, moderator and Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree compels a team of experts to wrestle with a frightening scenario-a wave of bombings in a large port city and the credible rumor of a nuclear "dirty bomb" arriving in the harbor on the Fourth of July. With 5,000 shipping containers landing daily, those tasked with protecting the city face agonizing logistical and ethical questions: Is an effective search for the bomb possible? Should the threat be made public, or would that only cause panic and undermine the investigation? And perhaps the most troubling issue of all-with thousands of lives in the balance, how can information be elicited from suspects? Is torture a last resort? The clock is ticking. Additional resources are located online at


  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on Dec. 28, 2005.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
  • Mode of access: Internet.
  • System requirements: FOD playback platform.
  • Closed-captioned.


  • Is It Terrorism? (4:09) -- Information Dissemination (3:40) -- Prevention vs. Building a Case (6:17) -- "Dirty Bomb" Rumors (3:41) -- American Port Security (2:41) -- Informants and Terrorism (5:45) -- Terrorist Threat (4:05) -- The Public's Right to Know (4:49) -- Interrogation and Legal Counsel (4:37) -- Enemy Combatant (3:45) -- Interrogation Techniques (5:53) -- Decision Makers (3:10)
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