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Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Holder on “Something That Gives Us Really Extreme, Extreme Concern”

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Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 2:01 PM

President Obama, in his NDU speech last year, stated: “[T]his war, like all wars, must end.  That’s what history advises.  That’s what our democracy demands.” Attorney General Holder, in a conversation today (scroll down) with Pierre Thomas on ABC’s “This Week” about the threat from Americans and Europeans in Syria, stated: HOLDER: “In some ways, it’s more frightening . . .
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Obama’s Blueprint for Fighting Terrorism Collides With Reality in Iraq

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Friday, July 4, 2014 at 8:42 AM

That is the title of a NYT story this morning by Landler, Gordon, and Mazzetti.  The “Blueprint” they have in mind is the one the President laid out at West Point, which (in their words) “relies less on American soldiers . . . and more on training troops in countries where those threats had taken . . .
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Whence Imminence in that Drone Memo? A Puzzle and a Theory

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 11:19 AM

On May 27, a unanimous Supreme Court—to little notice from just about anyone—handed down a case called Plumhoff v. Rickard, which dealt with a police shooting and a claim of excessive force during a high-speed car chase. Donald Rickard had led police in Arkansas on a highway chase, at the end of which officers shot him and . . .
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Statement by the President on Iraq

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Friday, June 13, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Ben posted the video of his remarks and the short Q and A that followed. Here is the transcript: THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, everybody.  I wanted to take some time to give you a quick update about the situation in Iraq. Yesterday, I convened a meeting with my National Security Council to discuss the situation . . .
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President Obama to Issue a Statement on Iraq

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Friday, June 13, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Here it is:

The Unreality of “Ending the War”

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Friday, June 13, 2014 at 10:32 AM

The march of ISIS across Iraq (and in Syria), and the Obama administration’s scramble to react to it, and the new round of drone strikes in Pakistan, and continuing and growing Islamist terrorist threats from North Africa to Yemen to Afghanistan and many places in between, all got me thinking about President Obama’s NDU speech . . .
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The Bergdahl Swap: Who Kicked Off the “Political Football” Game?

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Friday, June 6, 2014 at 10:23 AM

President Obama complained yesterday that Sergeant Bergdahl is “not a political football.”   That should be true, but unfortunately President Obama is responsible for kicking off the football game by announcing the Taliban-Bergdahl swap in a Rose Garden appearance, rather than leaving the announcement to Secretary Hagel and Chairman Dempsey.  The White House should not be . . .
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Vice-President Cheney’s Funny Criticism of President Obama for Not Complying with the GTMO Notice Requirement

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 4:46 PM

I laughed when I heard former Vice-President Cheney on the Laura Ingraham show (approximately the 8:15-9:10 mark) criticizing President Obama for not notifying Congress under Section 1035 of the 2014 NDAA about the Bergdahl swap.  Ingraham complained about the failure of members of Congress to stand up to “the flouting of American law,” including the “failure . . .
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The Administration’s New (and Unconvincing) Reading of the Notice Requirement for GTMO transfers

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 11:04 AM

The Obama Administration has backed away from its suggestions over the weekend that it failed to comply with the notice requirement in Section 1035 of the 2014 NDAA on constitutional grounds.  It is now claiming, as Marty Lederman notes, that it complied with the statute because it determined “that the notification requirement should be construed not to . . .
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The President Pretty Clearly Disregarded a Congressional Statute in Swapping GTMO Detainees for Bergdahl

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Monday, June 2, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Marty Lederman tries mightily to interpret Bergdahl’s release as consistent* not inconsistent with the wishes of Congress, but I don’t think he succeeds. Section 1035 of the 2014 NDAA authorizes the Defense Secretary to “transfer or release any individual detained at Guantanamo” if he makes certain certain determinations, and it further requires without exception that the . . .
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Relevant Excerpts from President Obama’s West Point Speech

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Not a lot in President Obama’s West Point speech that is new on Lawfare-related matters. Here are key excerpts. On broad counterterrorism strategy: First, let me repeat a principle I put forward at the outset of my presidency: The United States will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it — when . . .
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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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Bruce Riedel on the Mumbai Attacks, Five Years Later

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Friday, November 29, 2013 at 9:38 AM

My Brookings colleague Bruce Riedel has an essay up on the Brookings web site entitled, “Five Years On, Mumbai Terror Masterminds Still at Large.” It opens: Five years ago, the city of Mumbai was attacked by Pakistani terrorists in the most important terror attack since 9/11. The 10 terrorists’ tactics have been copied by others . . .
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Additional NSA Declassified Documents on 215 Collection

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Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:25 PM

I have not read these yet but will do so over the next few days and offer thoughts and summaries as I do. DNI James Clapper issued this statement along with the document release: In June of this year, President Obama directed me to declassify and make public as much information as possible about certain . . .
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The “NSA Affair” Goes Criminal in Germany

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Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:00 AM

The “NSA Affair” still commands German headlines. Over the weekend, the news was dominated by the fit-for-a-spy-novel revelations that the top floor of the U.S. Embassy on Pariser Platz (overlooking the Brandenburger Tor and the Reichstag) apparently housed equipment and officials that listened in on Chancellor Merkel’s calls. There is a great picture here. It . . .
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Human Rights Watch Responds

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Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Not to be outdone by Amnesty International, which responded earlier to my post on reports by Amenesty and Human Rights Watch, Letta Taylor of Human Rights Watch writes in with the following response as well: In his posting “Thoughts on the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International Reports,” Benjamin Wittes notes that the both organizations “raise . . .
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Dispatch from Berlin on a Diplomatic Disaster

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Friday, October 25, 2013 at 7:00 AM

A diplomatic disaster for the United States is currently unfolding in Berlin. The revelation that the NSA may have monitored cell phone conversations and text messages of Chancellor Angela Merkel has led to popular outrage in Germany, as well as unusually pointed language from the Chancellor and other government officials. The U.S. Ambassador was not . . .
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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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Thoughts on the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International Reports

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 8:50 AM

I have now read both of the two major human rights reports released yesterday on civilian casualties in drone strikes—one by Amnesty International on strikes in Pakistan and the other by Human Rights Watch on strikes in Yemen. I have a few thoughts on them. First, it is impossible for a modestly-moral person to read . . .
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The Debt Ceiling as a National Security Issue

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 7:49 AM

If a body other than the Congress of the United States were actively contemplating a step that would, by the accounts of virtually all economists, tank the U.S. economy, cause interest rates to shoot up, and trigger a financial crisis, we would talk about that body as threat to national security. At a minimum, we . . .
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