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Category Archives: AUMF

The AUMF and IHL’s Field of Application

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Our friends at the ICRC DC delegation have a wonderful blog, intercross, and often use it to host brief exchanges among scholars and practitioners on current IHL and IHL-related issues. Right now, they’re digging into questions about IHL’s applicability in connection with the 2001 AUMF (e.g., whether passage of the AUMF automatically brought IHL to . . .
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A Summary of Friday’s Decision in al-Aulaqi v. Panetta

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Monday, April 7, 2014 at 1:19 PM

As Ben mentioned on Friday, Judge Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a Bivens suit brought by the families of Anwar al-Aulaqi, his son Abdulrahman, and Samir Khan—three U.S. citizens killed in U.S. drone strikes in 2011—seeking to hold various federal officials personally liable for their roles in . . .
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D.C. Circuit Affirms Denial of Preliminary Injunction in Abdullah v. Obama

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Friday, April 4, 2014 at 12:52 PM

The D.C. Circuit has just handed down a 12-page decision in Abdullah v. Obama, affirming the district court’s denial of Abdullah’s motion to enjoin the U.S. government from detaining him. Hani Saleh Rashid Abdullah, a Yemeni national, claimed his detention at Guantanamo violates a 1946 executive agreement between the U.S. and Yemen. He filed for habeas in 2005, and . . .
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Thornberry and Lumpkin on AUMF Renewal

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Friday, March 21, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Last week I noted an interesting exchange on AUMF renewal (and life in a post-AUMF world) during Michael Lumpkin’s March 11 testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.  When Lumpkin appeared before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities, two days later, Representative Mac Thornberry (a graduate of UT Law, I . . .
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Michael Lumpkin (ASD-SO/LIC) on Revisiting the AUMF and Article II as a Backstop

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Friday, March 14, 2014 at 6:10 PM

The slow-boil debate regarding the fate of the 2001 AUMF continues.  The subject came up on March 11 when Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC) Michael Lumpkin testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.  Micah Zenko has very helpfully posted key passages from the transcript here, and these are the lines that . . .
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Guantanamo’s War

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Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:11 AM

In the past decade, the word “Guantanamo” has come to represent far more than the Cuban bay that lent its name to one of America’s oldest military bases more than a century ago; it has joined our 21st century lexicon as a term emblematic of abuse, overreach, and disregard for the rule of law.  In . . .
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Director Brennan on al Qaeda’s Associated Forces and Jabhat al-Nusrah

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

In an interview conducted yesterday at the Council on Foreign Relations, CIA Director John Brennan had an interesting exchange with Audrey Kurth Cronin on the subject of al Qaeda’s organizational scope.  Kronin asked: So my question is, we tend to use a shorthand with respect to al-Qaida, calling every group that has a Salafist agenda . . .
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The Clear and Convincing Standard and Citizen Drone Strikes

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Friday, February 28, 2014 at 3:14 PM

When last we debated the Government’s legal authority to kill an American terrorist overseas, some big-ticket questions had to do with proof: exactly how much evidence would be required before executive branch officials would approve a lethal drone strike against U.S. citizen?  And what sorts of proof would suffice, in establishing a target’s stature in . . .
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What is the Domestic Legal Basis for Planned Cyberattacks in Syria?

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 8:12 AM

David Sanger reports that the Pentagon and the NSA planned a sophisticated cyberattack aimed at “the Syrian military and President Bashar al-Assad’s command structure” that “would essentially turn the lights out for Assad.” He also reports that President Obama declined to go forward with the attacks then or since because of uncertainty about the proper role of offensive . . .
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The ISIS Expulsion and the AUMF

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 7:39 AM

Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller report in the WP that Al-Qaeda’s recent expulsion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has raised questions about whether the AUMF “still applies” to ISIS.  “According to some administration lawyers and intelligence officials,” they report, “the expulsion of ISIS removes the group from the short list of . . .
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Reactions to Stories on Possible New U.S. Citizen Strike

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 7:18 AM

Some thoughts on this morning’s drone strike news (NYT, WSJ). The NYT says that President Obama’s announcement last May of an intention “to gradually shift drone operations from the C.I.A. to the Pentagon” was designed in part “to make them more transparent.”  The theory, I think, was that CIA strikes are covert and cannot be . . .
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U.S. Citizen Possibly Targeted for Drone Attack

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Monday, February 10, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Kimberly Dozier AP reports this morning that “[a]n American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, . . . and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year.” . . .
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Bipartisan Group of Senators Push for Congressional Vote Before Extending Afghanistan Troop Presence

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Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 3:40 PM

That is the title of this press release by Senator Jeff Merkley, announcing a resolution “calling for Congress to have a role in approving any further United States military involvement in Afghanistan after the current mission ends on December 31, 2014.”  The Resolution is sponsored by Merkley (D-OR), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Senator Joe Manchin . . .
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Gregory Johnsen on the History of the AUMF

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 8:07 AM

The estimable Gregory Johnsen has a lengthy article in Buzzfeed about the history of the AUMF. Entitled “60 Words and War Without End: The Untold Story of the Most Dangerous Sentence in U.S. History,” the article gives a critical history of the AUMF seen through the lens of several people who have played roles in its . . .
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Is the AUMF Next?

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Friday, January 17, 2014 at 7:34 AM

Hmmmm. Here’s a very interesting few paragraphs from the Wall Street Journal: The president’s speech, to be delivered at the Justice Department, caps a process that was similar to the one he undertook on other controversial, post-Sept. 11 issues, such as the use of armed drones and closing the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. . . .
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Oral Argument Recap: Obaydullah v. Obama, Round Two

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 7:53 AM

Your Lawfare team is ready with pen and paper, and bated breath, to hear oral arguments in the habeas-related appeal of Afghan detainee Obaydullah before the three-judge panel of D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Merrick Garland and Judges Karen LeCraft Henderson, and David Tatel. We’ve been here before, and were promptly kicked out, so we’re relieved . . .
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The Effect of the Proposed Repeal of the 2002 Iraq AUMF

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Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:07 PM

The Washington Post reports that Senator Paul “plans to introduce legislation to repeal the use-of-force resolution that paved the way for the Iraq war,” and notes that President Obama supports the repeal of the Iraq AUMF.  The 2002 Iraq AUMF authorizes the President to use necessary and appropriate force to “(1) defend the national security . . .
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The D.C. Circuit’s Opinion in the Bagram Habeas Petitions

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Monday, December 30, 2013 at 4:31 PM

On Christmas Eve, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit handed down its opinion in a habeas appeal brought by three detainees held by the United States at Bagram Air Force Base’s Parwan detention facility in Afghanistan. The opinion in the consolidated cases of Al Maqaleh v. Hagel, Amanatullah v. Obama and Hamidullah v. Obama, authored by . . .
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Abdullah Files His Reply-Brief Before the D.C. Circuit

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Monday, December 30, 2013 at 12:17 PM

As Raffaela previously noted, the case of Abdullah v. Obama is an exercise in “heel dragging and losing arguments.” A brief refresher on the case: the legal saga started when Guantanamo detainee Hani Saleh Rashid Abdullah filed a habeas petition. The petition went unanswered. Accordingly, Abdullah switched tactics and instead moved for a preliminary injunction against his . . .
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Cert Petition Filed in Al Warafi v. Obama

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Friday, December 27, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Shortly before Christmas, counsel for Guantanamo detainee Mukhtar Yahia Naji Al Warafi filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in his habeas petition, having been denied earlier this year an en banc rehearing in the D.C. Circuit. (We’ve covered this case at length—read our coverage here.) Al Warafi had argued that his role was as a . . .
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