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Although huge in scope and impact, the 9/11 attacks were not the first threat by foreign terrorists no American soil. During World War II, eight Germans landed in the USA bent on sabotage.
Caught before they could carry out their missions, under FDR's presidential proclamation they were hauled before a secret military tribunal and found guilty.;Meeting in an emergency session, the Supreme Court upheld the tribunal's authority. Justice was swift: six of the men were put to death - a sentence much more harsh than would have been allowed in a civil trial.
The author chronicles the capture, trial and punishment of the Nazi saboteurs in order to examine the extent to which procedural rights are suspended in time of war. He provides an inside look at the judicial deliberations, drawing on the 3,000-page tribunal transcript, Supreme Court records and the private papers of the justices and executive officials involved. He also analyzes the deep disagreements within the Roosevelt administration.