Benjamin Wittes

Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution

Benjamin Wittes is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution and co-director of the Harvard Law School-Brookings Project on Law and Security. He is the author of Detention and Denial: The Case for Candor After Guantanamo, published in November 2011 by the Brookings Institution Press, and co-editor of Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change (forthcoming from the Brookings Institution Press). He is writing a book on data and technology proliferation and their implications for security. He is also the author of Law and the Long War: The Future of Justice in the Age of Terror, published in June 2008 by The Penguin Press, and the editor of the 2009 Brookings book, Legislating the War on Terror: An Agenda for Reform. He co-founded and co-writes the Lawfare blog (, which is devoted to non-ideological discussion of the "Hard National Security Choices," and is a member of the Hoover Institution's Task Force on National Security and Law.

His previous books include Starr: A Reassessment, which was published in 2002 by Yale University Press, andConfirmation Wars: Preserving Independent Courts in Angry Times, published in 2006 by Rowman & Littlefield and the Hoover Institution.

Between 1997 and 2006, he served as an editorial writer for The Washington Post specializing in legal affairs. Before joining the editorial page staff of The Washington Post, Wittes covered the Justice Department and federal regulatory agencies as a reporter and news editor at Legal Times. His writing has also appeared in a wide range of journals and magazines, including The Atlantic, SlateThe New RepublicThe Wilson QuarterlyThe Weekly StandardPolicy Review, and First Things.

Benjamin Wittes was born November 5, 1969 in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from Oberlin College in 1990. He has a black belt in taekwondo.

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Publications and Multimedia
The NSA Telephone Metadata Program - Event Audio/Video
The NSA, Security, Privacy, and Intelligence Symposium
March 04, 2014
The War-on-Terror Government - Event Audio/Video
2011 National Lawyers Convention
November 11, 2011
An Analysis of the National Defense Authorization Bill
New Federal Initiatives Project
June 21, 2011
Preventing Attacks through Interrogation and Transfer of Terrorist Suspects - Event Audio/Video
International & National Security Law Practice Group and the Heritage Foundation
May 28, 2009