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Category Archives: AUMF: Scope and Reach

Oral Argument Preview: Hatim v. Obama, or the “Counsel Access Case”

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Friday, December 6, 2013 at 5:25 PM

On Monday morning, a significant Guantanamo case, Hatim v. Obama et al., will be argued before D.C. Circuit Judges Merrick Garland, Karen L. Henderson, and Thomas B. Griffith.  Petitioners and respondents both will have fifteen minutes to present arguments, in what has come to be known as the “Counsel Access Case.”  It will be the first matter heard . . .
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D.C. Circuit Affirms Habeas Denial in Ali v. Obama

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 5:41 PM

As Steve already noted, the D.C. Circuit has affirmed the district court’s denial of a writ of habeas corpus to Guantanamo detainee Abdul Razak Ali. We covered the oral argument this fall, in preview and recap posts. The D.C. Circuit concludes, in an opinion authored by Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh and joined by Senior Circuit Judge Stephen . . .
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Judge Edwards and “Functionally Useless” Habeas

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 11:39 AM

This morning’s D.C. Circuit decision in Ali v. Obama is not exactly a shocker, given the court’s ever-solidifying body of jurisprudence on the scope of the government’s power to detain non-citizen terrorism suspects at Guantánamo. In short, Judge Kavanaugh’s opinion for a (mostly) unanimous panel affirms the district court’s denial of habeas relief to Abdul Razak . . .
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How Does the President’s Policy on Lethal Force Apply in Yemen Today?

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Long War Journal reports an airstrike on three AQAP fighters in Hadramout, Yemen, earlier today.  By LWJ’s count, this would be strike number 23 for the year (suggesting 2013 might fall short of 2012′s high of 42 strikes, but still far north of 2011′s 10 strikes).  I mention this in part because the numbers are . . .
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Back to Lethal Force in Somalia: What If Anything Does the Drone Strike on Ibrahim Ali Signify?

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Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 5:38 PM

When U.S. Navy SEALs attempted the capture of an al Shabab figure in Somalia earlier this month, contemporaneous with the successful capture of an al Qaeda target in Libya, it generated a considerable amount of coverage and discussion, including speculation about what this might signify regarding the administration’s position on the use of lethal force . . .
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Gabor Rona of Human Rights First Responds…

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Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 4:08 PM

…to my revised meta-study of drone strike casualties. Ritika Singh’s updated meta-study of drone strike casualties reaches exactly the right conclusion: the more we hear from non-government sources, the more we understand the inadequacy of the US government’s disclosures and indeed, the duplicity in its claims that drone strikes are “surgical.” (Not that surgery is always so surgical). But I wish Ritika . . .
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Speaking the Law: Chapter 3

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Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 7:58 AM

The Hoover Institution has released Chapter 3 of our serialized book: Speaking the Law: The Obama Administration’s Addresses on National Security Law. The Introduction and Chapter 1 came out in March. Chapter 2 came out in May. Chapter 3 offers a detailed account of President Obama’s May 23 speech at the National Defense University. It attempts to describe . . .
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Interim Report by UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson on Drones in Counterterrorism Operations

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Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM

You can find the interim report—the final won’t be submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council until 2014, apparently—here. There’s a good bit to pore over in the paper authored by Emmerson, with whom Lawfare chatted during his May fact-finding trip to the United States.  (Just Security’s Sarah Knuckey, who Emmerson consulted in the course of his work, . . .
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Thoughts About the Obama Administration’s Counterterrorism Paradigm in Light of the Al-Liby and Ikrima Operations

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Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Mary DeRosa and Marty Lederman, both of whom were senior national security lawyers in the Obama administration, have a helpful if somewhat hopeful post at Just Security on the significance of the recent al-Liby and Ikrima capture operations.  The post is long, but I would summarize it as follows (this is my summary, not theirs): . . .
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A Bad Idea Recycled

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 11:56 AM

If a capture comes, can calls to send the terrorist to Guantanamo be far behind? Apparently not. ABC News is reporting that GOP Senators Lindsey Graham, Kelly Ayotte, and Saxby Chambliss are calling for Abu Anas al-Libi to be taken to Guantanamo Bay: Republican Senators Lindsey Graham, Kelly Ayotte and Saxby Chambliss said today it was . . .
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Thoughts on Legal Issues Raised by the Baraawe Raid and the Tripoli Rendition

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Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Yesterday’s Special Operations Forces raid on an al-Shabaab facility in Baraawe, Somalia, and the near-simultaneous capture-and-rendition of an al Qaeda figure in Tripoli, raise a number of interesting legal questions.  It’s hard to say too much about them given the limited amount of information available at this stage, so my aim here is simply to . . .
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On the Legal Consequences of Moving Away from the Armed-Conflict Model of Counterterrorism

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Friday, October 4, 2013 at 3:03 PM

When it comes to detention and drone strikes, both critics and supporters of the status quo assume that abandoning the armed-conflict model would have not just diplomatic and legal effects but also a significant legal effect.  Critics bank on it, supporters fear it.  But what if their common assumption is wrong?  It’s a question I . . .
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Oral Argument Preview: The Bagram Habeas Petitions

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Monday, September 16, 2013 at 7:34 PM

The question before a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Tuesday morning: can a group of detainees held by the United States at Bagram airfield, in Afghanistan, challenge their detentions by petitioning for writs of habeas corpus?   It is presented in three cases, Al Maqaleh, Amanatullah, and Hamidullah, all of which were dismissed by District . . .
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Manchin/Heitcamp Syria Proposal and the Vienna Convention on Treaties

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Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Senators Manchin and Heitcamp are working on an alternative Syria Resolution that tentatively provides: The failure by the government of Bashar al-Assad to sign and comply with the [Chemical Weapons] Convention clearly demonstrates a disregard of international norms on the use of chemical weapons. If the Government of Syria does not sign the Convention within . . .
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Dehn on Syria and Humanitarian Intervention

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Friday, September 6, 2013 at 3:22 PM

John Dehn, a professor at  Loyola University Chicago School of Law and  a Senior Fellow in West Point’s Center for the Rule of Law, writes in with this comment about Syria and humanitarian intervention: Much of the discussion surrounding potential U.S. attacks against the Assad regime seems to assume that the administration is advancing some form . . .
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Response to Peter Spiro on the Senate’s Syrian AUMF, and a Request for Clarity

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 11:17 AM

I disagree with Peter Spiro’s take on Section 4 of the draft AUMF. Section 4 terminates the congressional authorization after 60 (or 90) days, but it does not affirmatively prohibit the President from using force at that point, and thus it allows the President to fall back on his claims of inherent presidential power (which, . . .
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The Senate Draft AUMF for Syria is Narrower Than the Administration’s Draft, But Still Broad In Some Respects

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 5:03 AM

The draft Senate Syria AUMF contains a narrower authorization for the use of presidential force than the one the administration proposed.  But it is in some respects still broad, and it actually enhances the president’s claims of independent constitutional authority to intervene in Syria. Before parsing the draft, a few background points to keep in . . .
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The Administration’s Proposed Syria AUMF Is Very Broad [UPDATE on Ground Troops]

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Sunday, September 1, 2013 at 7:27 AM

If you like this post, please like our Facebook page and follow Lawfare on Twitter: Follow @lawfareblog The administration’s proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for Syria provides: (a) Authorization. — The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate . . .
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A Quick Primer on AUMFs

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Sunday, September 1, 2013 at 6:06 AM

Via Ilya Somin at Volokh, I see that the administration has proffered its proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for Syria.  Now it is Congress’s turn to decide what proposal(s) it wants to debate and possibly approve.  And it appears that the scope of the authorization will be an issue in Congress. . . .
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On the AQAP-al Qaeda Relationship and Its Implications for the AUMF

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 7:19 AM

This story from Ellen Nakashima and Anne Gearan, in the Washington Post, reports that the threat leading to the closure of so many embassies and consulates involves a direct order from Ayman al-Zawahiri (successor to bin Laden as head of al Qaeda central) to Nasir al-Wuhayshi (head of AQAP but also, as the article reminds . . .
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