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Category Archives: Unfiled

Senator Feinstein on the CIA Accountability Review Board

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 1:04 PM

To the long-running story of the CIA-SSCI dispute–and to its most recent chapter, regarding the conclusions of a CIA Accountability Review Board—we can add today’s statement by Senator Dianne Feinstein. It reads as follows: Washington—Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released a list of 15 factual errors and omissions in the December . . .
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What the Detention Policy Debate Really Is About

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Monday, January 26, 2015 at 2:16 PM

Ben bemoans the state our nation’s current debate over Guantanamo as “terrible,” observing that “the arguments about Guantanamo are nearly all wrong, disingenuous, irrelevant, or just plain dumb.”  It’s true that Guantanamo—like most political issues—sometimes takes on a special kind of inside-the-beltway rhetorical flavor that can really annoy the wonks, who would much rather focus . . .
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Breaking Bad Drones

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 12:32 PM

Just in time for Gabriella Blum and my forthcoming book, The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones: —Confronting A New Age of Threat, comes this story from the Associated Press: Police in a Mexican border city said Wednesday that a drone overloaded with illicit methamphetamine crashed into a supermarket parking lot. Tijuana police spokesman . . .
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We Are Losing Money

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Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 9:37 AM

As part of our ongoing series on Bitcoin, I thought I would note today’s report that the value of Bitcoin has fallen below $200/XBT.  Since buying the coin on December 31 it has lost more than 33% of its value.  I sure am glad that Lawfare bought the coin, and not me personally.

CIA Review: CIA Didn’t Snoop Improperly on SSCI Staff

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 4:47 PM

That’s the gist of Jason Leopold’s extraordinary article this afternoon for Vice, which in turn cites this report by a CIA Accountability Review Board.  (The latter document, as I can now see thumbing through it, says the Board was “directed to limit its investigation only to the conduct of Agency officers, [sic] not to investigate the conduct . . .
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Futher Reflections on the Need for a Criminal Law Enforcement AND Military Approach to Terrorism

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Monday, January 12, 2015 at 6:36 PM

I was pleased to see my former DoJ Criminal Division colleague David Kris’s re-post of his thoughtful 2010 Brookings remarks, in which he argued that both criminal law enforcement and military force are appropriate tools to use in the conflict with Al Qaida.  As usual, I agree with David’s pragmatic approach.  The U.S. and European conflict . . .
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France: At “War” With Radical Islam: A Brief Response to Jack Goldsmith

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Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 9:47 AM

If someone had predicted a day that I would be agreeing with France’s socialist party Prime Minister more than with Jack Goldsmith, I would have told them I was more likely to be attacked by a crazed guinea pig (two of which we adopted for Christmas so maybe not all that unlikely).  But that day . . .
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On the Tired War v. Law Enforcement Distinction

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Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 2:07 PM

I agree with much of what Wells says in response to Bryan Cunningham’s piece on War v. Crime, but thought I would add my two cents. It is not fair to say, as Bryan does, that the attacks in France were a “consequence” of a return to a “largely law enforcement approach to terrorism” by . . .
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Audio of FBI Director James Comey’s Remarks on North Korea and Sony

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Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 11:06 PM

Cody earlier posted the text of James Comey’s speech yesterday. Here’s the audio:

Federalist Society Podcast on “America In Retreat”

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Last week a Lawfare reader brought this item to our attention: Earlier this month, the Federalist Society’s International and National Security Law Practice Group hosted a Podcast with The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens.  The latter discussed his recent book, “America In Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder.”  

The Consequences of Credible Doubt About the USG Attribution in the Sony Hack

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 8:15 AM

A few weeks ago I wrote critically of the FBI’s statement that it had “enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible” for the Sony hack: First, the evidence” is of the most conclusory nature – it is really just unconfirmed statements by the USG.   Second, on its face the evidence shows only that . . .
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A Modest Defense of the Government’s Legal and Policy Confusion Re Sony

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 8:25 PM

The attribution problem makes it very hard for the public to know if North Korea in fact attacked Sony, the precise damage Sony suffered, and the party responsible for the (apparent) counter-attack in North Korea.  Attribution problems are present in other realms of conflict, of course.  Some kinetic terrorist attacks leave no fingerprint; covert action is . . .
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In the “No Hope” Category

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 3:52 PM

You can put this lawsuit against Edward Snowden, Laura Poitras and others in the “no hope” category.  According to Tech Dirt: Horace B. Edwards, Navy veteran and former Secretary of Transportation for the state of Kansas, is suing Edward Snowden, Laura Poitras and a handful of “Hollywood Defendants” for profiteering from the distribution of “stolen . . .
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Extradition, Chesimard, and U.S.-Cuba Relations

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Monday, December 22, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Following President Obama’s announcement that the US would begin normalizing relations with Cuba, questions immediately arose on the possible extradition of Joanne Deborah Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur.  She is a member of the Black Liberation Army (“BLA”) and murdered Werner Foerster, a New Jersey police officer, in 1973.  A New Jersey court sentenced . . .
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USG Seems Befuddled About How to Respond to Sony Hack

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Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 9:25 PM

David Sanger, Nicole Perlroth, and Eric Schmitt have a must-read NYT story on USG thinking about a response to the Sony hack, allegedly carried by the North Korean government.  The story is jaw-dropping because, after many years of USG thinking about cyberwar and its cousins, the government seems in disarray about how to respond to . . .
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The Sony Hack: Attribution Problems, and the Connection to Domestic Surveillance

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Friday, December 19, 2014 at 5:19 PM

The FBI said today of the Sony hack: As a result of our investigation, . . . the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions.  While the need to protect sensitive sources and methods precludes us from sharing all of this information, our conclusion is . . .
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The Sony Hack: Will the United States Take Countermeasures Against North Korea?

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Friday, December 19, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Now that the United States has concluded that North Korea was responsible for the hack into Sony’s computers, it has begun to make noises about responding to that hack in some way. If the United States wants to make its response consistent with international law, how should it think about how to proceed? Mike Schmitt posted an . . .
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District Court Suppresses Pole Camera Surveillance Footage

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Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Twitter brings news of this interesting little order in United States v. Vargas.  The court’s opinion was authored by Judge Edward F. Shea and opens: The first duty of government is the safety of its people—by Constitutional means and methods. Technology, including the means for covert surveillance of individuals through the use of a hidden video camera . . .
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A Coffee Shop on the Israeli-Al Qaeda Border

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 5:13 PM

The last time I was on the Israeli-Syrian border looking at the ruined Syrian city of Quneitra was thirty years ago. I was fifteen and taking a summer course in Israel. And an Israeli soldier manning a border position was explaining to my class the mechanics of this tense but oddly stable border, over which . . .
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The Heroism of Effective Logistics: A Dispatch from Kerem Shalom

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 5:15 PM

We witnessed a moving scene today—if the loading and unloading of trucks amid looming concrete security barriers can ever really be moving: A major joint Palestinian-Israeli operation to route goods into the Gaza Strip. We’re not talking here about politics. The politics of the Kerem Shalom crossing are endless and complicated, with Palestinians and many . . .
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