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Posts by Susan Hennessey

Susan Hennessey is a third-year student at Harvard Law School, where she is an editor on the Harvard National Security Journal and a law clerk at a laboratory that develops advanced defense technologies. While at law school she has interned in the violent crimes and terrorism section of the criminal division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2008. Susan can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @Susan_Hennessey.

Rep. Smith’s proposed NDAA amendments on Guantanamo and Indefinite Detention

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Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM

This week, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) filed two amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2014 (H.R. 1960).  The first, co-sponsored by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and James Moran (D-VA), provides a framework to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility by December 31, 2014 (full text here).  Smith advances a six-part plan for achieving . . .
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Summary: D.C. Circuit Affirms Habeas Denial in Al Warafi

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Friday, May 24, 2013 at 3:33 PM

As Wells reported this morning, the D.C. Circuit has affirmed the habeas denial in Al Warafi. Mukhtar Yahia Naji Al Warafi unsuccessfully argued that even if he was a member of the Taliban, he was entitled to protected status as permanent medical personnel under Article 24 of the First Geneva Convention. The appellate court agreed . . .
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A Deep(er) Dive into Chechnya and Kyrgyzstan

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Monday, April 22, 2013 at 8:13 PM

While the manhunt for one of the Boston bombing suspects was underway Friday, Susan and I wrote up this short annotated bibliography linking to pertinent resources about the conflicts in Chechnya and Kyrgzstan. Over the weekend, we took a deeper dive into the issues in the region, and wrote up this article for the Huffington Post. It . . .
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Good Twitter Sources and News Links on the Ongoing Boston Marathon Bombing Manhunt

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Friday, April 19, 2013 at 11:39 AM

We’re reposting our Twitter feed of reliable sources on the manhunt that’s ongoing in Boston right now. As with last time: “This does not mean that everything they are saying will turn out to be correct. This is a fluid situation. But these are all responsible people and outlets.” In addition, we’ll be posting useful . . .
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A Crash Course on Chechnya and Kyrgyzstan

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Friday, April 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

It has been widely reported that the two prime suspects in the Boston marathon bombings—one who was killed in a shootout early this morning—are ethnic Chechens. The brothers allegedly lived in Kyrgyzstan with their family before moving to the United States in 2002, and reports say they are citizens of that country. Here is a running . . .
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Dodging Drones in Style

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Monday, April 8, 2013 at 6:00 AM

The latest in “counter-surveillance” fashion” has arrived just in time for spring: a metallic hood designed to hide the wearer from drones. This is not your average tinfoil hat, reports the Guardian: “It’s what I call anti-drone,” explains designer Adam Harvey. “That’s the sentiment. The material in the anti-drone clothing is made of silver which is . . .
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Banished: A British Solution to Citizenship, Due Process, and US Drone Strikes

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Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Senator Paul’s nearly 13-hour filibuster over domestic drone strikes and executive authority to kill U.S. citizens included both laudable calls for transparency and increasingly absurd—even damaging and distracting—hypothetical scenarios. Here is a non-hypothetical approach to confronting citizen-terrorists: The British executive avoids pesky due process considerations entirely by simply revoking the citizenship of suspected terrorists, even . . .
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How to be Funny about Emotionless Killing Machines

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Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Tuesday, Ben bemoaned the state of drone-themed humor in the New York Times, and followed it up yesterday morning with a tale of national security parody gone awry. Lawfare is not above the occasionally-off-color sense of humor in this realm, but as Ben said, drone comedy should at least make you laugh. Here’s some that . . .
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A Brief Word In Response to Jack

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 8:43 AM

We don’t disagree with Jack that the filling in of details in the White Paper is important—and didn’t mean to suggest otherwise. But the importance Jack assigns to this aspect of the White Paper is decidedly not what has made it headline news for just about every major news organization in the country. If that were . . .
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Just Calm Down About that DOJ White Paper

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 11:56 PM

Okay, everyone, take a deep breath. Chill out. The DOJ’s “White Paper” on targeted killing is no big deal. Really. You wouldn’t know this from reading the somewhat breathless press coverage of the document, much of which offers a reasonable reader some confusion as to what the White Paper actually is. The more responsible reporters have . . .
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China Hacks the New York Times? Probably.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 6:43 AM

Just on the heels of the Anonymous takeover of the US Sentencing Commission website, the New York Times is reporting that its network has been subject to persistent hacking over the last four months at the hands of Chinese attackers.  The paper hasn’t released precise details on the nature of the attacks. However, this Symantec Threat . . .
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How the Rules Changed on Women in Combat—A Legislative and Executive History Primer

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Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 9:17 AM

To considerable fanfare, departing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey announced this week the decision to lift the ban on woman serving in combat units. Panetta stated: “General Dempsey and I are pleased to announce that we are eliminating the Direct Ground Combat Exclusion rule for women and we are moving . . .
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Anonymous Hacks U.S. Sentencing Commission Website, Declares “War” on U.S. Government

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Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 8:57 AM

That’s the cyber news from Mashable.com.  From the site’s report—which elsewhere says the attack was intended as retaliation for the prosecution of Aaron Swartz:  The hacktivist group Anonymous hacked the US federal sentencing website early Saturday, using the page to make a brazen and boisterous declaration of “war” on the U.S. government. The group claims mysterious code-based . . .
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A Belated FISA Amendment Act Reauthorization Act Update

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Monday, January 21, 2013 at 2:14 PM

As readers probably already know, the Senate ended an otherwise largely legislation-light 2012 by approving a controversial five-year extension of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA), which the House had previously passed in September. President Obama signed the reauthorization into law on January 4th. The legislative debate that led up to the bill had . . .
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