By Erin Creegan* –
Although there is no shortage of attention to each of the varied threats to national security, each of these threats (and the available government responses to them) are most often treated as independent subject matters. Yet there are significant connections between these apparently distinct criminal offenses, although little work has been done to draw such connections and develop a framework for studying national security criminal law as a unified discipline. This Article takes the first step towards building such a curriculum by integrating the criminological and legal aspects of crime in the national security realm. It examines four categories of crimes—treason, espionage, sabotage, and terrorism—and the applicable federal statutes available to prosecutors to combat these threats to national security. The Article then proceeds to draw upon interdisciplinary connections across these disparate crimes to examine why individuals engage in both violent and “white-collar” national security crime. Looking at tools ranging from wiretap authorizations to classification systems, the Article addresses what the Government can do to detect, prevent, prosecute and punish national security crimes.
* Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, National Security Division, Counterterrorism Section; Adjunct Professor of International Criminal Law at the University of Maryland— College Park, Criminology and Criminal Justice; Adjunct Professor of Scholarly Writing in International Law at the George Washington University Law School. The opinions represented in this paper are those of the author and do not express the positions of the United States Government in any way.