The National Security Law Podcast: Everyone Knows It Is Saudi Arabia!

By Robert Chesney, Steve Vladeck
Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 7:47 PM

We have much to discuss in the world of national security and law this week, including but not limited to the worst-kept secret in the world. To wit:

  1. Doe v. Mattis and the district court ruling enjoining the government from transferring Doe to Saudi Arabia. Wait, what’s that? The identity of the receiving state is a secret? Except that Doe is a Saudi citizen and there are multiple points where the briefing reveals that the plan in question is to send Doe back to Saudi Arabia. Ah, well. We’ve got an extensive discussion of the good and the bad about Judge Chutkan’s ruling on the injunction, functioning also as a preview of the oral argument that will occur this Friday morning.
  2. The capture of 9/11-related suspect Mohamed Haydar Zammar: another high-profile captive with European citizenship in SDF custody in Syria, adding to the importance of determining what will become of those detainees for the long term.
  3. News of two former Guantanamo detainees who had been transferred to Senegal, but whom Senegal then sent to Libya—at which point they disappeared.
  4. Meanwhile, another 9/11-linked individual (Mohammed al-Qahtani) is seeking to use habeas jurisdiction to press for an external medical review of his circumstances.
  5. In Trumplandia, we’ve got heavily-hyped allegations of classified information in memos James Comey wrote; a sprawling lawsuit filed by the Democratic National Committee against an array of defendants including Russia, the GRU, Guccifer 2.0, Julian Assange, Roger Stone, WikiLeaks, Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, the Trump Campaign itself, and then some. It raises some interesting Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act questions.
  6. An update on the gradual progress of the special counsel protection legislation, and the prospect of an interesting amendment from Sen. Chuck Grassley.
  7. We also draw attention to this very handy resource mapping the reactions of various states to the U.S.-U.K.-France missile strikes against Syria.

Best (or worst) of all, however, is our finale, as we have an uber-geeky breakdown of a critical doctrinal dispute, a question of categorical definition put in issue by Billboard announcing its list of 100 greatest “boy band” songs of all time. What are the necessary and sufficient conditions to qualify as that kind of band? That’s all for now; bye bye bye!