David Ryan

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David Ryan is a third-year student at Harvard Law School. Before attending law school, he served on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in International Relations and from Georgetown University with an M.A. in Security Studies.

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Case Coverage: Al Nashiri Case

12/15 Session: Sleepovers at Camp Justice and “Unlawful Influence”

Thursday’s morning session in the Nashiri proceedings begins a few minutes after 9am, with mlitary judge Air Force Colonel Vincent Spath calling the commission to order. The first witness of the day is Edward Sheeran, deputy chief of staff at the Office of the Convening Authority (OCA).

Case Coverage: 9/11 Case

7/21 Session: A “Despicable” and “Perverse” Motion for Recusal, and a Possibly Toxic Courtroom

Thursday’s open session of the trial of five men accused of plotting 9/11 begins with a testy exchange between Judge Pohl and and one of the accused, Walid Bin Attash, who refuses several instructions to remain quiet and seated.

Case Coverage: 9/11 Case

2/18 Session: Trying to Finish Classification Review “Within the Lives of Living Men” and Zero Dark Thirty Discovery

The commission is called to order with four defendants present (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa al Hawsawi) and one conspicuously absent (Walid bin Attash.) Judge Pohl begins the session by swearing in an unnamed Army Major to confirm that bin Attash voluntarily waived his right to be present.

After a brief moment of confusion related to Appellate Exhibit (AE) 408 - or is it 408A? – everyone gets on the same page and realizes that it’s just bin Attash’s waiver form for today, as opposed to the one from yesterday’s session.

Alien Tort Statute

Warfaa v. Ali: Fourth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Somali’s Alien Tort Statute Claims

Last week, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of several Alien Tort Statute claims against Yusuf Ali, a former Colonel in the Somali National Army who served under the military dictatorship of Mohamed Siad Barre. The plaintiff, Farhan Warfaa, is a member of a clan persecuted by the Barre regime during the 1980s, and still resides in Somalia. Warfaa alleges that in 1987, Ali (and soldiers under Ali’s command) detained, interrogated, and repeatedly tortured him before shooting him and leaving him for dead.

Secrecy: FOIA

NYT v. DOJ, Part 2: Second Circuit Narrows Circumstances in Which Official Statements Waive FOIA Exemption 5 Protection

The five-year targeted killing FOIA litigation by the ACLU and New York Times suffered a setback yesterday when the Second Circuit unsealed an opinion affirming an SDNY ruling from October 2014 allowing DOJ to withhold several OLC documents related to lethal targeting.