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The Week that Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

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Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 1:58 PM

On the Lawfare menu this week was a lot of discussion of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, docket updates in a number of related court cases, detention matters, surveillance law, two new podcasts, and quite a lot of recommended readings.

There was a host of analysis of possible revisions to the AUMF: Bobby and Matt fleshed out a few issues that readers raised in response to their Hoover Institution paper, which was jointly written with Ben and Jack; Steve and Jen Daskal co-wrote an alternative to the foursome’s framework for a new AUMF, a version of which appeared as a New York Times op-ed later in the week; the Washington Post editorialized on the prospect, and Steve reacted to that editorial.

We shared the testimony from the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on AUMF reauthorization, and Jack provided two read-outs on the hearing here and here.

Ben’s pretty excited that David Kris is writing a series of guest posts on surveillance law. Here’s the first; three more are to follow.

Wells posted the D.C. Circuit’s query to GTMO detainee Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman Al Bahlul—there’s been some confusion over whether Al Bahlul wishes to continue his appeal of a 2008 military commission conviction. Given the significance of Al Bahlul’s case, we thought it timely to publish the first of our Wiki resource pages. This one, which I drafted, provides a timeline and important documents related to Al Bahlul’s military commission trial and appeal.

Ben pointed out a lengthy NPR piece on the situation in GTMO, and Peter Marguiles commented on the hunger strike there, particularly as to it relates to bioethics. Wells noted details of  the government’s plea agreement with Noor Uthman Muhammad, identified in a New York Times article by Charlie Savage. Meanwhile, another GTMO detainee, Hani Saleh Rashid Abdullah, moved for the D.C. Circuit to step in and push the District Court to rule on a motion for a preliminary injunction made by the detainee in 2010.

The U.S. Supreme Court denied cert in a case challening the constitutionality of submitting civilian defense contractors to the court-martial system.

Susan Landau wrote in to react to a Times story on expanding CALEA to peer-t0-peer communications.

Two (yes, two) new Lawfare podcast episodes came out this week: first, Ben’s remarks at the British Parliament on drone strikes, and second, an interview with UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counterterrorism Ben Emmerson.

A House Judiciary subcommittee held a hearing on drone strikes, featuring some individuals familiar to Lawfare readers; Wells shared the archived webcast and testimony here.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was the commencement speaker at UC-Berkeley Law School; his full remarks are available here, and Ben highlighted a particular section on the blog.

Paul reacted to the news that Russia decided to expel a man who it believes is a CIA agent, focusing on the cyber-related aspects of the incident (namely, the Gmail address that the American offered when attempting to recruit a Russian intelligence agent).

The news that the Department of Justice obtained AP reporters’ phone records got to the blog quickly, and Alan put together an explainer on the controversy. Carrie Cordero of Georgetown Law wrote in about the disclosure as well.

Ken pointed out UVA Law Professor Thomas Nachbar’s working paper on SSRN entitled “Counterinsurgency, Legitimacy, and the Rule of Law”, as well as Michael Glennon’s latest working paper, also on SSRN, with the title “The Road Ahead: Gaps, Leaks, and Drips.” Ben and Stephanie Leutert’s piece on Wikipedia and a long-running struggle with its “Lawfare” subject page was published in the Harvard National Security Law Journal. Shortly thereafter, the Wikipedia editor believed to have taken down Ben and Stephanie’s contributions commented on the piece. Jack noted a new essay by cybersecurity Melissa Hathaway arguing that cyber-issues should be on the G20’s agenda.

And that was the week that was. As always, we continue to solicit readers’ views about this experimental feature.  Please drop me a line and let me know yours.

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