The Lawfare Podcast

Lawfare Podcast Episode #46: Speaking on "Speaking the Law"

By Benjamin Wittes
Sunday, November 3, 2013, 10:00 AM

On October 25, the Hoover Institution held a terrific day-long media colloquium out at Stanford University for a first-rate group of journalists focused on national security legal issues and the work of Hoover's Jean Perkins Task Force on National Security and Law. I am a member of the task force, as is Jack, Matt, and Ken, and we all gave sessions on various aspects of our work. The sessions, which involved the kind of active, probing question-and-answer periods that journalists are so good at, were excellent, and while the event was not open to the public, Hoover did record them and has made the recordings available to Lawfare to podcast. So over the next few weeks, we'll be releasing several of the sessions, each edited both for length and because not all of the journalists consented to having their remarks made public.

The first session of the day was a talk I gave about Speaking the Law, Ken and my serialized book---which Hoover is publishing---on the Obama administration's speeches on national security legal issues. In the talk, I focus on the President's May 23 speech at the National Defense University and, specifically, on his comments about targeting.

One note: At one point late in the discussion, I refer to a paper on revising the AUMF that Jack, Bobby, Matt and I wrote. The paper in question is discussed in a portion of the audio I had to cut, so the reference may be a bit jarring. The paper in question, which Hoover published back in February, is available here.