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Posts by Raffaela Wakeman

Raffaela Wakeman is a third-year evening student at Georgetown University Law Center, where she is a Note Development Editor on the Journal of National Security Law & Policy, and a project manager at the Brookings Institution. She graduated with a B.S. and M.S. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009, and wrote her Master’s thesis on electoral design in the Middle East.

Bagram Detainees Repatriated to Pakistan, Is Habeas Appeal Moot?

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Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 11:17 AM

A few weeks ago, Bobby and John reacted to a Washington Post story reporting that seven hundred Afghan detainees at Bagram Air Force Base whom the US transferred to Afghan custody earlier this year may be released. Despite the custody transfer agreement, the U.S. still has its own detention facility at the base, in which it houses non-Afghan . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Today marks the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address. Here’s some bits and bobs from around the internet:  a republication of AEI scholar Leon Kass’s 2007 remarks, the remarks of Lincoln Scholar Allen Guelzo at the Heritage Foundation (and at the New York Times), a reading of the speech at NPR, Chuck . . .
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Senate Begins Floor Debate on 2014 Defense Authorization

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 11:28 AM

On Monday, the Senate approved in a 91-0 vote to proceed to debate on the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, and floor debate began today. We’ve covered the competing bills on Lawfare, one passed by the House and the other approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The bills part ways on, among other matters, the . . .
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Another FISA Document Dump from ODNI

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Monday, November 18, 2013 at 11:44 PM

This latest set of declassified documents is related to programs authorized by Sections 501 and 702 of FISA. The materials include, writes DNI James Clapper on the Tumblr: 20 orders and opinions of the Foreign Surveillance Court, 11 pleadings and other documents submitted to the Court, 24 documents provided to Congress, and 20 reports, training slides, . . .
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Senate Hearings on bitcoin

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Monday, November 18, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Two hearings in one week on bitcoin. On Monday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on virtual currencies. Panel I Jennifer Shasky Calvery (Testimony) Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, U.S. Department of the Treasury Mythili Raman (Testimony) Acting Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice Edward W. Lowery III (Testimony) Special Agent . . .
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DOJ Reviewing Criminal Cases Utilizing FISA Intelligence, Will Notify Defendants

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Friday, November 15, 2013 at 2:57 PM

So reports Sari Horwitz at the Washington Post, who learned of this effort in an interview with Attorney General Eric Holder. In Clapper v. Amnesty International, the 2013 challenge to Section 702 surveillance programs, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli represented to the Supreme Court that the government would notify criminal defendants when it planned to use evidence derived from . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, November 15, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Would a cyber attack on the most vulnerable nodes of the U.S. power grid paralyze us, or would we be prepared? That’s what 10,000 war gamers tried to assess in a simulation this week. Have a glimpse through a New York Times story, by Matthew Wald. What other cybersecurity threats do we face? Bloomberg talked to former . . .
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Heel Dragging and Losing Arguments: The Abdullah Briefing

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Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 10:04 PM

The appellant and appellee briefs in a Guantanamo detainee’s habeas-related appeal, Abdullah v. Obama, have been filed with the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. First, a short recap of the case: After not getting a decision from the district court on his habeas petition, Hani Saleh Rashid Abdullah (perhaps in an attempt to test whether the district . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 11:28 AM

SecDef Chuck Hagel has sent more American troops to assist with the recovery efforts in the central Philippines. Here’s The Hill. On Iran, the New York Times editorial today expresses the paper’s support for continued negotiations. The Senate, meanwhile, will pause before adding more sanctions against Iran until it hears from SecState John Kerry in a Senate . . .
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Reply Brief Availabile in Hatim v. Obama, Oral Argument Set for Dec. 9

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Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 9:19 PM

In Hatim v. Obama, a.k.a. the Guantanamo “counsel access case,” the government’s reply brief has been submitted, and the D.C. Circuit has slated the case for oral argument on Monday, December 9. We’ve covered this Guantanamo detainee-related case a bit; it’s the one in which, earlier this summer, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Royce Lamberth had partially invalidated . . .
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D.C. Circuit Defines a Docket “Entry” In Hentif v. Obama, Dismisses Habeas Appeal

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Today the D.C. Circuit handed down its opinion in a Guantanamo detainee’s habeas-related appeal. The detainee filed his notice of appeal too late, concluded the three-judge panel, thus divesting the appeals court of jurisdiction. The panel dismissed the appeal. The detainee, Fadhel Hussein Saleh Hentif, lost his habeas case in the district court in 2011. He . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Kenyan authorities have charged four in connection with the siege of the Westgate Mall in September. Read the Daily Nation story. Today the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Bond v. United States, a case addressing the scope of Congress’ power to pass a criminal law to help enforce a treaty. John spoke on NPR’s Morning Edition today about . . .
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An Overview of FISA Reform Options on Capitol Hill

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Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Edward Snowden’s disclosures and subsequent government declassifications have prompted a wave of proposals to retool the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”). Some of these proposed revisions are new; others merely reprise older ideas which were put forward earlier in Congress, as recently as 2012. Rare bipartisan alliances have coalesced during the debate—ones that have more . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Ike Skelton, defense policy expert and former Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has died. Today is the re-scheduled House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on NSA surveillance programs. Catch it here around 1:30. Perhaps the hearing witnesses will be asked about the latest proposal to address NSA surveillance programs, unveiled by Senator Patrick . . .
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U.S. Notifies Criminal Defendant of Its Intention To Use FISA Information Against Him

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Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 5:06 PM

In what could be a consequential move, federal prosecutors this week informed a man accused of providing material support to the Islamic Jihad Union (“IJU”) that they intend to “offer into evidence or otherwise use or disclose in proceedings [against him] … information obtained or derived from” intelligence collection conducted under Section 702 of FISA. The 2011 complaint filed . . .
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9/11 Defense Counsel to President Obama: Please Declassify RDI Program

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Friday, October 25, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Today defense counsel to Mustafa al Hawsawi in United States v. Mohammed et al, the 9/11 case, delivered this letter to President Obama. It requests that details of the rendition, detention and interrogation program be declassified in accordance with EO 13526, as the press release attached to the letter explains: Guantanamo Naval Station, Cuba — The Defense . . .
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Second Circuit Affirms District Court Judgment in Ghailani

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Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Big news out of the Second Circuit today: a three-judge panel has affirmed the conviction and life sentence of Ahmed Ghailani, for his role in the U.S. Embassy bombings in 1998. Ghailani put forth three broad arguments in his appeal: first, that his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial was violated; second, that the district court . . .
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9/11 Case, October Session: Statement of the Chief Prosecutor

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Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 8:57 AM

In advance of this week’s hearings in the military commission case United States v. Mohammed et al, Brigadier General Mark Martins, Chief Prosecutor of the Military Commissions, delivered the attached remarks. They open: Good evening. As we begin a week of pre-trial sessions in United States v. Mohammad, et al., let us pause to remember the Americans . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Today is the 30th anniversary of the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, which killed 241 U.S. service members, and 58 French paratroopers. Here are SecDef Hagel’s remarks, President Obama’s, an AP story, and a BBC News commemoration Benjamin Weiser’s latest piece in the New York Times explains that the U.S. has asserted that Nazih Abdul-Hamed . . .
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FISC: Yahoo Can Review Court Submissions Pre-Publication

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 10:39 AM

As Yahoo News reports,the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has published an order granting Yahoo and the government’s joint motion to allow Yahoo pre-publication access to FISC documents after declassification.