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Political, media, and academic observers have consistently noted the adverse impact of post-9/11 antiterrorism measures on civil liberties, yet Attorney General John Ashcroft and others in the administration insist that the measures are consistent with constitutional values. The national security versus civil liberties debate has special saliency during wartime, particularly an open-ended war against terrorism. Responding to the attacks as a war—instead of a crime against humanity—has led to two domestic developments for the presidency: first, the centralization of authority in the White House, and second, the securitization of the domestic sphere, specifically the administration's view of civil liberties as a weakness in the system that can be exploited by terrorists. This study focuses on the second of these developments. It examines how the conception of liberties as points of vulnerability compels the administration to restrict individual rights while, at the same time, to deny that it is doing so.