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This article addresses the claim that times of crisis require jettisoning legal rules in favor of ad hoc balancing. Part I demonstrates that the coercive preventive measures adopted by the Bush administration in carrying out the War on Terror discarded clear legal rules in favor of ad hoc balancing and relied on suspicions rather than objective evidence. Part II examines the claims of prevention paradigm supporters that ad hoc balancing is necessary in the new post-911 era in order to reach decisions that correctly weigh the values of liberty and peace versus national security. This article argues that discarding the legal rules that prevent or limit the application of coercive preventive measures in favor of an ad hoc balancing test not only undermines law and liberty, but fails to protect our security.