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Posts by Matt Danzer

Matt Danzer is a third-year student at Columbia Law School, where he is a member of the Columbia Law Review and served as 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.

Friday at the Military Commissions: Al Nashiri

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Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 10:29 PM

Last Friday’s sessions in the Al Nashiri military commission case were quick. The first came quite early in the morning to resolve an outstanding issue from Thursday’s closed session: whether the defense can interview Navy TJAG Nanette DeRenzi for purposes of the defense’s pending unlawful influence motion. (The latter, recall, concerns a recent Defense Department . . .
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Wednesday and Thursday at the Military Commissions: Al Nashiri

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Friday, February 27, 2015 at 3:00 PM

At the outset of Wednesday’s session in the Al Nashiri military commission—the criminal proceeding against a Guantanamo detainee accused of plotting, among other things, the 2000 attack on the USS Cole—Judge Vance Spath added an extra wrinkle to the ongoing “unlawful influence” debate surrounding Change 1 to the Regulation for Trial by Military Commissions.  The latter requires that . . .
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Monday and Tuesday at the Military Commissions: Al Nashiri

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 4:24 PM

The Al Nashiri military commission proceedings returned Monday for what is scheduled to be two weeks of pre-trial motion hearings. After an off-the-record session in the morning, the commission picked up in the afternoon session with AE 332, a defense motion to dismiss for unlawful influence and violation of due process for failure to provide an independent judiciary. Before beginning oral argument . . .
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Thursday at the Military Commissions: The 9/11 Case

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Monday, February 16, 2015 at 8:00 AM

After the ups and downs of this week’s hearings in the military commissions case of United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed et al., Thursday provided a much more straightforward series of motions brought on behalf of one accused 9/11 plotter only, Mustafa Al-Hawsawi. I overview some of Thursday’s highlights, including courtroom discussion Hawsawi’s motions, below. Hawsawi’s Learned . . .
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Wednesday and Thursday at the Military Commissions: Al Hadi

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Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 10:15 PM

Editor’s Note: This post represents a modest adjustment in Lawfare‘s military commissions coverage, one made necessary in part because of the surge in criminal hearings at Guantanamo in the coming weeks and months. For a full explanation, please see the first post in this series. Wednesday The second day of the week-long hearing in United States v. . . .
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Yesterday at the Military Commissions: Al-Hadi

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 7:55 PM

Editor’s Note: This post represents a modest adjustment in Lawfare‘s military commissions coverage, one made necessary in part because of the surge in criminal hearings at Guantanamo in the coming weeks and months. Previously, when Lawfare writers have been unable to live-blog Guantanamo proceedings by visiting a CCTV observation facility at Fort Meade, they have turned . . .
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Findings, Conclusions and Areas of Dispute Between the SSCI Report, the Minority, and the CIA: Part Five

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Friday, December 12, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Here is the fifth and final installment in our running, side-by-side comparison of the twenty findings and conclusions of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Study on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program—along  with responses by the Committee Minority and the CIA. Summaries of Study findings seventeen through twenty can be found below.  By way of reminder, . . .
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Findings, Conclusions and Areas of Dispute Between the SSCI Report, the Minority, and the CIA: Part Four

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Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 4:25 PM

In this post, we proceed with Lawfare’s ongoing, side-by-side comparison of the SSCI Study’s key findings, and responses to them by both the SSCI Minority as well as the CIA. By way of reminder, the SSCI’s Study made twenty findings and conclusions about the CIA’s detention and interrogation practices after 9/11—twelve of which the blog has summarized so . . .
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11/6 Session: Fighting Over MRIs & Hearsay

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Monday, November 10, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Thursday’s session opens with an update on AE 284, the defense motion seeking Skype calls for Al-Nashiri, from prosecution attorney Col. Robert Moscati. The prosecution has learned that the Guantanamo administrators expects to be able to provide direct interactive communication between high-value detainees and their family members by the end of the year. The parties . . .
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11/5 Session #4: Statements, Transcripts, and Questionnaires

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Monday, November 10, 2014 at 10:37 AM

The final session for the day begins with AE 314C, a defense motion to compel testimony at the hearing on a defense motion to suppress statements made by Al-Nashiri. Capt. Daphne Jackson explains that in order for the defense to prove the underlying motion—seeking suppression of some of Al-Nashiri’s statements due to the length of his detention . . .
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11/5 Session #3: On the Necessity of the Death Penalty

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Friday, November 7, 2014 at 6:32 PM

The parties return for the afternoon session and Judge Spath begins by laying out his thinking on the previous motion seeking supervised telephone and Skype calls between Al-Nashiri and his family. In the interest of moving this issue forward, the judge would like to understand why a supervised and delayed-transmission telephone or Skype conversation between Al-Nashiri and his family is unacceptable . . .
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11/5 Session #2: Skyping With HVDs

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Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 10:00 AM

The commission returns from recess and prepares to consider AE 284 and 284L, a defense motion and supplement seeking to allow Al-Nashiri to hold supervised Skype calls with his elderly parents. Before that, however, defense attorney Richard Kammen informs Judge Spath that Al-Nashiri has an upset stomach due to his transportation and would like a corpsman to bring some dissolvable . . .
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11/5 Session #1: Arguing to Reargue

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Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Military judge Vance Spath opens Wednesday’s motions proceedings with AE 181G, a defense request to reargue the underlying defense motion to remove the possibility of the death penalty for Al-Nashiri if he is not given access to classified information presented against him. Judge Spath notes that after the parties argued the underlying motion in February, . . .
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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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