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Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Netanyahu’s Foolish Speech

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 2:59 PM

Yesterday, Speaker John Boehner announced that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had accepted his invitation to address a joint session of Congress. In what reporters are calling “breach of protocol,” the White House appears to have been blindsided, receiving notification only shortly before the news became public. The decision to invite Netanyahu for a speech . . .
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You Are a Lawyer in the Executive Branch

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 8:24 PM

Correspondence finds its way into your inbox, bearing the signature of the newly-installed Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Richard Burr. His letter (per today’s New York Times) last week was sent to the White House, and sets forth an unusual request: In it Senator Burr allegedly asks “the executive branch” to return all copies of . . .
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The French Response to Terror: Counterterrorism Detention and Prosecutions Across the Atlantic

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 12:15 PM

In the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery, Western European security forces unleashed a dizzying storm of arrests and prosecutions and announced “exceptional” new measures to combat terrorism. In the space of just a few days, dozens of suspects were detained in Belgium, France and Germany, many of whom were questioned for days without . . .
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What David Cameron Doesn’t Get

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 10:30 AM

Last week British Prime Minister David Cameron gave an extraordinary speech in which he urged the the banning of private communications, that is communications to which the government could not listen into when legally authorized to do so. Cameron is not the first government official to do so; GCHQ Director Robert Hannigan urged the same . . .
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Law Enforcement as a Counterterrorism Tool

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Monday, January 12, 2015 at 10:39 AM

As I read the exchange between Bryan, Wells and Jack about law enforcement versus military methods of dealing with terrorism, I was reminded of a speech I gave at the Brookings Institution in 2010, which was later turned into an article.  And, perhaps not surprisingly, I found that I continue largely to agree with myself, . . .
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On War and Crime

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Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Yesterday at Lawfare, Bryan Cunningham sought to breathe new life into the “military versus law enforcement” debate over terrorism, along the way deeming the horrific assaults in Paris to be “consequences” of France’s police-centric strategy. He thus finds fault with the current counterterrorism regime generally, and invites others to join in a broader discussion about . . .
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To Die Standing Up

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Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 9:47 AM

“I would rather die standing up than live on my knees,” so presciently declared Stéphane Charbonnier in response to “friendly” suggestions that he tone down his provocative commentary satirizing religious fanaticism. Yesterday in Paris, at the marches following the attack that left twelve employees of the publication Charlie Hebdo dead in their office, protestors stood up, carrying signs with . . .
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Abolish West Point?

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 2:50 PM

That’s the idea behind this article in Salon.  A different kind of lawfare, I guess.  Here’s the opening: Many pundits have suggested that the Republicans’ midterm gains were fueled by discontent not merely with the president or with the (improving) state of the economy, but with government in general and the need to fund its . . .
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The Interview — Ugh

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Friday, December 26, 2014 at 7:46 PM

Jane beat me to it …  This is a really bad movie.  The only thing worse than watching a bad movie out of a sense of patriotic obligation is doing so with the intent of writing a scathing review, only to find that most of your best analysis has already been written and published by . . .
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Christmas in the Trenches 2014

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Thursday, December 25, 2014 at 9:00 AM

This season makes me think of the story of the Christmas truce of 1914 in the trenches of the Western Front. With warm wishes to all of of Lawfare‘s readers and especial thanks to those of our readers who are serving overseas and are in harm’s way, here’s “Christmas in the Trenches,” by John McCutcheon:

NSA Swag Made in Pakistan

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Three years ago, Lawfare broke the important news that CIA branded gear at the CIA’s gift shop was being imported from, of all places, Pakistan. Now, just in time for your last-minute holiday shopping, comes news that NSA hoodies on sale at Fort Meade are also made in frenemy territory. Can’t make this stuff up. Too . . .
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Released: SSCI Detention and Interrogation Study, Along With Minority Views and the CIA’s Response

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Here is the long-awaited Executive Summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The latter includes in a single file a foreword authored by Senator Feinstein, as well as the Study’s findings and conclusions.  Additionally, the Committee also has published these materials: Senator Feinstein’s statement;  a history of key dates in in . . .
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ICC Prosecutor Advances Examination of U.S. Detention Policies in Afghanistan

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Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 9:11 AM

As Professors Ryan Goodman and David Bosco have both noted in excellent posts at Just Security and Foreign Policy, respectively, over the past seven years, the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Prosecutor has quietly but persistently advanced a “preliminary examination” of the conflict in Afghanistan.  Although it has been clear that the United States was one . . .
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WaPo: Ashton Carter to be Nominated As Next SecDef

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 11:52 AM

The Washington Post reports: President Obama will nominate Ashton B. Carter, a physicist with long experience in national security circles and at the Pentagon, as his new secretary of defense, according to a person familiar with the decision. If confirmed by the Senate, Carter would succeed Chuck Hagel, the former Nebraska senator who is being pushed aside . . .
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How to Deep Fry a Turkey Safely

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Saturday, November 29, 2014 at 2:00 PM

My favorite ever Washington Post editorial was this one, entitled “A Deep-Fried Thanksgiving Tradition,” which was a sort of comic meditation on the dangers and attractions of the deep-fried turkey. It concluded: To be fair, turkey-frying (which seems to be done mostly by men) reflects features of the national character for which we can, as a . . .
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What Does the Swiss Coat of Arms Have to do with the Immigration Imbroglio?

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 2:36 PM

If you peruse the darker corners of the U.S. criminal code—as I used to do in my youthful efforts to educate myself in law without going to law school—you’ll eventually stumble across 18 U.S.C. § 708, which bizarrely makes it a federal crime to “willfully use[] . . . for any trade or commercial purpose, the coat of . . .
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Confiscating Passports: Is this a Good Way to Stop Citizens from Joining Jihadists in Syria and Iraq?

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Monday, November 24, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Thousands of westerners, including at least 100 Americans and more than 500 Britons, are known to have joined ISIS or the Al Nusra Front in Syria and Iraq. In the United States and the United Kingdom small numbers may have already come back, and some of these may have nefarious plots in mind. An undisclosed number . . .
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A Charlie Brown Congress

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Monday, November 24, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Sometimes metaphors are subtle … but sometimes they just slap you in the face.  So it has been the past two days as my wife and I went walking on Capitol Hill.  As we did we saw the Congressional Christmas tree being planted in all its splendor. Except it wasn’t that splendid.  It reminded us . . .
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Happy Guy Fawkes Day

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 5:59 PM

The only holiday devoted to celebrating the failure of non-state actors to destroy the symbols and institutions of state power.

KSM: The Face for Hair Removal Product

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 11:17 AM

It’s Ben’s birthday, and a very kind person sent over this excellent story in Slate as a present. It begins:   Turkish hair removal product ad featuring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed pic.twitter.com/KImYWPjaop — yusuf sayman (@ysfsymn) October 31, 2014 A Turkish cosmetics company committed—in nonadvertising speak—a bit of a marketing no-no when it used a picture of . . .
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