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Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Latest Video from the Once Proud Amnesty International

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 10:26 PM

It’s hard to believe this video made it through the vetting process over at Amnesty International. My first instinct was that it had to be a group of high school students parodying an Amnesty International video. But no; it appears to be the real thing.

Obama Administration Says Corporations May be Held Liable Under Alien Tort Statute

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 7:25 PM

The Obama Administration filed an amicus curiae brief today with the Supreme Court in support of the Nigerian petitioners in the Kiobel case (which was brought against Shell Oil, relating to its activities in Nigeria), arguing that corporations may be held liable for violations of international law under the Alien Tort Statute.  The brief –signed by . . .
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In the Mail…

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 9:22 AM

…comes Justice and the Enemy: Nuremberg, 9/11, and the Trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, by William Shawcross.

Please Hold Off on that Cert Petition

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 11:25 PM

Counsel for Guantanamo habeas petitioners Uthman, Almerfedi, and Latif–all of whom have cert petitions pending or imminent–have asked the Supreme Court to hold off on deciding whether to grant until the petitions can be considered in concert. In a letter submitted on December 16, David Remes and William Livingston–who represent all three petitioners–write: The Court . . .
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Guilty Verdict in Online Incitement Case

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 10:55 PM

A jury has returned a guilty verdict against Tarek Mehanna, in a case that raises questions about the scope of criminal liability for online activities promoting violence.  The case raises very interesting First Amendment issues, which I discuss briefly here and which we’ll likely see developed more fully on appeal to the First Circuit.  I . . .
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Raha Wala Writes His Own FAQ

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Raha Wala of Human Rights First has rewritten Bobby and my NDAA FAQ. Here is his very commendable effort: While I agree that much of he public discussion of the NDAA provisions has been hyperbolic, I also think there’s much to be worried about in this bill and, therefore, I’m glad the debate has escaped . . .
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Seema Saifee on Obama’s Veto Backdown

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 9:33 PM

As Lawfare readers know only too well, I don’t engage with He Who Must Not Be Named on this Blog. I do, however, engage with Seema Saifee, who represents four Guantanamo Uighurs (three of whom are no longer detained there) and who sent some interesting comments to me on President Obama’s decision not to veto . . .
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The Daqduq Mess: Apportion Blame Widely

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Another bad development in the Daqduq situation (see here if you don’t know whom I’m talking about).  According to the AP, Iraqi officials have indicated that the only charge they plan to bring against Ali Musa Daqduqwould be a very minor one: illegal entry using a fake passport.  The report indicates that one can get . . .
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Immunity vs. Preemption in the Fourth Circuit Torture Cases–And Why That Distinction Matters

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 12:16 PM

We’ve previously covered the Fourth Circuit’s pair of decisions in September dismissing tort suits against various contractors arising out of claims of torture at various detention facilities in Iraq–including Abu Ghraib.  In the cases, Al Shimari v. CACI Int’l, Inc. and Al-Quraishi v. L-3 Servs., Inc., the Fourth Circuit’s analysis turned on the conclusion that the . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Let’s start today’s news roundup with drone news: First they replace soldiers with drones; now, as if the pressures on the media industry weren’t bad enough, they’re going after journalists. The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Europe blog rounds up a number of items reporting on the potential for using drones in journalism. Bloomberg Businessweek’s Tony Capaccio . . .
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NDAA FAQ: A Guide for the Perplexed

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Monday, December 19, 2011 at 3:31 PM

The volume of sheer, unadulterated nonsense zipping around the internet about the NDAA boggles the mind. There was a time–only a few months ago–when the NDAA detention provisions were the obscure province of a small group of national security law nerds. Now, however, this bill has rocketed to international notoriety. The added attention to it . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, December 19, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Ritika has decamped to an undisclosed location for a few weeks, so I have seized sole control of the Headlines and Commentary feature for a spell.  Please send noteworthy articles I may have missed to wakeman.lawfare@gmail.com, and feel free to note any Ritika sightings in your messages as well. Here’s today’s news: Kim Jong Il is dead. No national security . . .
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Senate Debate on the NDAA Conference Report

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Monday, December 19, 2011 at 11:03 AM

In our final installment of NDAA transcripts, we bring you the Senate’s debate on December 15th on the conference report’s detention provisions. Here are some highlights: Senators Carl Levin and John McCain tout the strengths of the detention provisions starting on pages 1 and 3, respectively. Senator McCain acknowledges the collaboration the conference committee had with . . .
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David Cole on President Obama’s Backoff on the NDAA

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 8:31 AM

David Cole, writing in the New York Review of Books blog, has this essay on the President’s decision not to veto the NDAA. Key passage: the law as amended continues to contain extraordinarily dangerous principles. It creates a presumption in favor of indefinite military detention for foreign al-Qaeda suspects, even if a criminal arrest and prosecution would . . .
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Paul Rosenzweig on Cybersecurity and Public Goods

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Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Former DHS policy official Paul Rosenzweig has this new contribution to a paper series published by the Hoover Institution’s Task Force on National Security and Law–of which I am a member. The paper, entitled “Cybersecurity and Public Goods: The Public/Private ‘Partnership,’” concludes as follows: cyberspace is unique. And the best way to correctly approach fundamental policy questions . . .
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Iran Hijacked U.S. Drone?

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Friday, December 16, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Scott Peterson and Payam Faramarzi at the Christian Science Monitor have an interview with an unnamed Iranian engineer who says that Iran took over the computer systems of the RQ-170 Sentinel UAV, cut off its communication links with the USG, and then reconfigured its GPS coordinates to cause it to land in Iran rather than . . .
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Lawfare Traffic Update

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Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Neat fact for Lawfare Traffic Nerds: Today, only 16 days into December, we passed our previous monthly record for traffic on this site. As of this hour, December has seen 69,810 visits–passing our October record of 67,457, according to data from Google Analytics. Thanks to all who have been visiting the site and sharing our work . . .
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Meanwhile, a Guilty Plea From Another Person Involved in the Iraq Insurgency

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Friday, December 16, 2011 at 5:34 PM

What an interesting day for the question of how to address cases involving participation in the insurgency in Iraq. Earlier today we learned that Ali Musa Daqduq, the last American military detainee in Iraq (who is believed to have orchestrated the capture, torture, and murder of a group of U.S. servicemembers in Iraq), was turned . . .
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Daqduq Transferred to Iraq

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Friday, December 16, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Oh my.  Ali Mussa Daqduq, a Hezbollah agent held by the U.S. military for many years in Iraq and believed to have been responsible for an episode involving the capture, torture, and murder of a group of U.S. soldiers, has been transferred to Iraqi custody.   I’ve commented on him many times recently (see, e.g., here).  . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, December 16, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Rejoice Greatly! The Iraq War is officially over–”after nearly nine years, 4,500 Americans dead, 32,000 wounded and more than $800 billion,” says the Associated Press. Here are the Washington Post and the New York Times acounts. There have been a slew of op-eds about our departure from the Land of No WMDs: Kirk W. Johnson, a former reconstruction . . .
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