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Posts by Matt Danzer

Matt Danzer is a second-year student at Columbia Law School, where he is a member of the Columbia Law Review and the president of the National Security Law Society. He previously worked as an editor for the public policy blog Wonk Wire. He graduated from Cornell University in 2012 with a B.S., with honors, in Industrial and Labor Relations.

8/15 Session: Hashing Out a Protective Order

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Military judge J. Kirk Waits begins Monday’s session in the military commission case against Hadi with some housekeeping matters: the detailing of a new member of the defense team, Lt. Col. Thomas Jasper, and the release of an outgoing member, Lt. Col. Chris Callen. The commission explains that it will not release Callen until his orders expire at the end of . . .
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The Legal Justifications For Domestic Surveillance: A Summary

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Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Late last week, the Department of Justice released two memos authored by Lawfare‘s own Jack Goldsmith back when he was the head of the Office of Legal Counsel (“OLC”) in the Bush Administration. The memos provide the most comprehensive legal analysis to date of the surveillance program codenamed STELLAR WIND, which President Bush initiated in October 2001 to intercept terrorist communications within . . .
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DOJ Declassifies Memos On Domestic Surveillance Program

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Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 8:36 AM

The Department of Justice recently released two Office of Legal Counsel opinions by Lawfare‘s own Jack Goldsmith from 2004. The first memo provides a lengthy and at times heavily-redacted justification for the National Security Agency’s STELLAR WIND program—a suite of domestic surveillance authorities that began in the Bush administration. The second, much shorter memo analyzes the implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hamdi . . .
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8/14 Session #2: On Severing Al-Hawsawi

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Friday, August 15, 2014 at 7:49 PM

With no more conflict motions for today, the Special Review Team swaps out and the normal prosecutors come back. The court begins with AE 299, a motion by Mustafa al-Hawsawi’s defense team seeking to sever his case from the rest of the accused so that his case can proceed while the others deal with the many conflict issues. CDR . . .
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8/14 Session #1: Conflicts, Conflicts Everywhere

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Friday, August 15, 2014 at 11:26 AM

After agreeing Wednesday to reconsider the severance of Ramzi Binalshibh from the other four accused in the 9/11 case, Judge Pohl reconvenes the commission on Thursday with a full house—all five accused, their defense teams, and the Special Review Team on behalf of the government. The usual prosecution team is recused from the morning’s proceedings so the . . .
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8/13 Session: Severance, Re-Reconsidered

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Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Army Col. James Pohl starts Wednesday’s brief session begins with a summary of where things stand in the case of United States v. Binalshibh: On Monday, the prosecution presented argument on its motion for reconsideration of the court-ordered severance of Binalshibh from the other four accused in the 9/11 case, with an oral response from the defense before filing its opposition. Today, the defense . . .
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Court Demands New Procedures for Challenging No-Fly List Determinations

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Friday, June 27, 2014 at 5:00 PM

As Wells noted a few days ago, the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon issued an opinion this week in Latif v. Holder, which held unconstitutional certain redress procedures for individuals on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s No-Fly List.  This post overviews the opinion. Judge Anna Brown begins with a recitation of the . . .
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The Key Amendments to the Defense Appropriations Act

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Monday, June 23, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Last week the House of Representatives passed its version of the Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2015, H.R. 4870, with a series of amendments with major implications for national security policy. Here is a list of those amendments, brief summaries, and what happened to each one. Curbing NSA Activities Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and . . .
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4/25 Motion Hearing #3: Charge Multiplication & Jury Consultants

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Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 8:33 AM

After CDR Lockhart lays out the parties’ agreed upon schedule for the rest of the afternoon session, the court begins with AE 244, a defense motion to dismiss numerous charges as multiplicitous of other charges. Maj. Danels starts off for the defense, explaining that the U.S.S. Cole charges of murder by perfidy, attempted murder by perfidy, caused injury . . .
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4/25 Motion Hearing #2: More Aggravators

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Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 8:32 AM

Picking up on the end of Thursday’s session, the court will consider multiple defense motions seeking to strike the first aggravator—that the life of one or more persons other than the victim was unlawfully and substantially endangered—from various charges against Al-Nashiri. These are AE247, AE248, AE249, and AE250. Learned Counsel Kammen reminds the court that the defense’s objections, . . .
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4/25 Motion Hearing #1: Dr. M’s Brief Appearance

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Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 8:31 AM

The morning session starts off with the calling of a pseudonymous witness, Dr. M, to testify on Al-Nashiri’s psychological diagnosis and current treatment at Guantanamo Bay. But there’s already a problem: Learned Counsel Rick Kammen, of the defense, informs Judge Pohl that the witness viewed Dr. Sondra Crosby’s testimony on Thursday. Although this witness is considered a defense witness, . . .
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4/24 Motion Hearing #4: Miscellany

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Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:03 AM

The court returns from recess and quickly puts off consideration of two defense motions—AE229 and AE230—seeking to compel information from the government pertaining to the training and certifications of the medical personnel treating Al-Nashiri, as well as any changes in the Guantanamo medical polices for high-value detainees since 2006. The government indicates that Friday’s witness, the senior medical . . .
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4/24 Motion Hearing #3: Dr. Crosby’s Return

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Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 9:53 PM

The court briefly considers AE236, a defense motion seeking clarification or creation of process by which it may appeal denials of access to two classified government servers—the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS) and the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet). Maj. Hurley explains that currently the defense may only access those servers when it is deemed to . . .
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4/24 Motion Hearing #2: Recalling Crosby & Another Multiplicitous Charge

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Friday, April 25, 2014 at 9:24 PM

The afternoon session gets started without Al-Nashiri in attendance. Learned Counsel Rick Kammen rises to press Lt. Hurley’s case one last time that the defense should be able to question Dr. Crosby about certain facts that, he says, will show systemic problems that contribute to the inadequacy of treatment at Guantanamo Bay. Judge Pohl hears out the . . .
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4/24 Motion Hearing #1: Dr. Sondra Crosby

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Friday, April 25, 2014 at 5:55 PM

The court begins Thursday’s session with AE205K, a government request, opposed by the defense, that a witness be allowed to testify under a pseudonym. CDR Brian Mizer explains that this is a general objection by the defense to “shroud[ing] these proceedings in secrecy.” While there are obviously limits on openness in this context, the defense worries that . . .
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4/23 Motion Hearings #5: A Multiplicity of Charges

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Friday, April 25, 2014 at 1:34 PM

To close out the unclassified portion of the afternoon session, the court hears argument on AE231-234, all defense motions to dismiss charges for multiplicity. The defense first raises AE231, seeking dismissal of the prosecution’s first charge, perfidy, because it is subsumed by the elements of the second charge against Al-Nashiri, murder in violation of the . . .
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Al-Nashiri Motions Hearing: April 24 & 25 Sessions

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Friday, April 25, 2014 at 1:05 PM

The military commission at Guantanamo continued pre-trial motion litigation in United States v. Al-Nashiri yesterday and today. We will be digging through the transcripts to provide summaries of key motions in our “Events Coverage” section, with links to those posts below. 4/24 Motion Hearing #1: Dr. Sondra Crosby 4/24 Motion Hearing #2: Recalling Crosby & Another . . .
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4/23 Motion Hearings #4: Still More Discovery & Jury Sequester

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Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 8:35 AM

The court begins the afternoon session with quick consideration of one more defense discovery motion, AE226, seeking exculpatory information from a case in the Southern District of New York pertaining to additional people that were allegedly involved with the bombing of U.S.S. Cole. Learned Counsel Kammen explains that this particular motion pertains to information about Sayf . . .
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4/23 Motion Hearings #3: Discovery, Discovery, Discovery

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 10:59 PM

The court returns from recess to consider two defense discovery motions, AE224, seeking information surrounding the facts and circumstances of the death of Abdul Aziz Bin Attash, and AE225, requesting files on the Kuwaiti prosecution of four individuals in 2005 for the attacks on the Lumburg and U.S.S. Cole. On the Bin Attash motion, CDR Mizer . . .
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4/23 Motion Hearings #2: In Defense of Ex Parte Letters Rogatory

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 7:46 PM

Next up is AE223A, a government response to a defense request that Judge Pohl authorize ex parte letters rogatory—essentially letters from the court to a foreign government seeking assistance in obtaining evidence and witnesses. Although the pleading in question is the government’s response, Al-Nashiri lawyer CDR Brian Mizer rises first to explain exactly what it . . .
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