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The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

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Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 8:00 AM

All of Lawfare, that is, except for Today’s Headlines and Commentary, as it seems silly to round up what is itself a roundup.

Let’s start with detention, Guantanamo, habeas, and related matters: Wells shared the latest in the emergency motion “for humanitarian and life-saving relief” filed in Anam et al v. Obama. He wrote again when the District Court asked the parties to explain whether the court has jurisdiction to hear the detainee’s complaint. And he noted as well when habeas petitioner Musa’ab Omar al-Madhwani filed his brief responding to the court’s request.

Ben put the New York Times on notice after critiquing the newspaper’s latest Sunday editorial on GTMO and the hunger strikes.

In other detention-related news, Alan updated us on the goings-on in the Second Circuit appeal of Hedges v. Obama; particularly, he focused on how the parties’ arguments over the Supreme Court’s decision in Clapper v. Amnesty International implicate the plaintiffs’ standing in this case.

In military commissions news, I shared Military Judge James Pohl’s order granting a postponement of the Al Nashiri hearings originally scheduled for next week. We later learned through a motion in the 9/11 case that the motion in Al Nashiri was prompted by the revelation that defense emails had been shared with the prosecution, and that computer files had disappeared from the defense’s DoD-hosted server. Wells, meanwhile, covered defense counsel J. Connell III’s announcement revealing that and the 9/11 counsels’ motion for a postponement in that case’s upcoming hearings.

Turning to domestic criminal cases, I summarized the latest filings—both the government’s opposition brief and the defendant’s reply—in Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani’s Second Circuit appeal. And Peter Margulies of Roger Williams School of Law provided his thoughts on convicted terrorist Tarek Mehanna’s appeal.

Ben continued his defense of CIA lawyer Jonathan Fredman, with Covington & Burling’s Brian Foster responding to Ben’s comments about his client Adnan Latif.

From the world of cybersecurity: Ben posted a read-out, courtesy of Peter Margulies, of the National Institute of Science and Technology’s recent efforts in response to President Obama’s executive order on cybersecurity. And Paul shared the new version of the cybersecurity bill that is headed to the floor of the House.

With respect to national security investigations in general, Sara Aronchick Solow reviewed David S. Kris and Douglas Wilson’s 2nd edition of their casebook National Security Investigations and Prosecutions.

On to drones and other ominous technologies. Ben announced the newest addition to the Wiki Project—a resource page for targeted killing compiled by law student Samantha Goldstein. (No pressure, but if you are interested in helping us out with developing our Lawfare Wiki Project, send me an email.) Alan summarized an excerpt from New York Times reporter Mark Mazzetti’s new book, which focused on U.S. and Pakistani cooperation on drone strikes. And Ritika pointed out former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s admission that he had approved U.S. drone strikes in Pakistani territory during his tenure, and wondered what U.N. Special Rapporteur Ben Emerson might think of Musharraf’s statement, too. 

On a lighter note, Susan picked up on anti-drone fashions.  Stylish drone-avoiders can buy clothing, itself made of material that frustrates surveillance by thermal imaging.

Matt and Ken shared their new Hoover Institution policy paper on the ethical and legal implications of deploying autonomous weapons systems. They recommend creating codes of conduct based upon more traditional principles that govern weapons and warfare. Coincidentally, Ben got ahold of video from an event he participated in at Georgetown Law on that same topic.  Along with Ben, the panelists were Washingtonian’s Shane Harris, Human Rights Watch’s Tom Malinowski, and MIT’s Missy Cummings. For those who prefer to listen to this event at the gym, it will run as an episode of the Lawfare Podcast tomorrow.

And speaking of events, we also shared these videos of panels at the American Society of International Law conference held here in Washington last week.

Ben also couldn’t resist sharing this comic that, in his words, “almost perfectly encapsulates the problems with national security debates.”

Thus concludes the Week that Was.  It is very much an experiment, so please drop me a line and let me know what you think of it. Is a week-ending roundup useful or just repetitive? And how could it be better?  We’re eager to know.

Filed under: The Week that Was