Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Stephanie Zable
Thursday, August 30, 2018, 4:51 PM

Recently declassified documents illustrate the critical role Iran played in shaping the Iraq war, according to the Wall Street Journal. The documents shed light on the relationship between Iran and one of Iraq’s most important Shiite politicians, at a time when the U.S. is considering designating him a terrorist.

The State Department is confiscating or withholding passports from U.S. citizens born along the U.S.-Mexico, reports the Washington Post. The people whose passports have been confiscated have included veterans, and some U.S. citizens have been thrown in detention centers and threatened with deportation.

Nearly 200 U.S. lawmakers have written a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin urging them to impose sanctions on China in response to China’s indefinite detention of up to 1 million Uyghurs, according to Radio Free Asia. As many as 10 percent of Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim Turkic ethnic group native to China’s western Xinjiang province, have been sent to “reeducation” camps for such offenses as being overly religious or having contact with relatives overseas. China has begun refusing to renew passports for Uyghurs overseas and summoning them back to China. No Uyghurs have been released from the camps. China has called the mass internment a counterterrorism operation.

The Trump administration has not ruled out sanctioning India if it goes ahead with its planned purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system, writes Foreign Policy. Under existing sanctions law, India would automatically be sanctioned for purchasing the system, but the U.S. has in the past waived the sanctions for allies.

President Trump and his former attorney Michael Cohen had a plan to buy all of the damaging stories kept by the National Enquirer in order to prevent their release, reports the New York Times. The publisher of the National Enquirer, American Media and the company’s chairman, David Pecker, had for years bought publication rights for stories that were potentially damaging to Mr. Trump.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

In a bonus edition of the Cyberlaw Podcast, Stewart Baker revisited a 2015 interview with Bruce Schneier.

Dakota Rudesill contextualized Trump’s recent classified cyber order within of recent national security trends.

Keith Whittington examined whether impeachable offenses can be cumulative.

Matthew Kahn posted audio of the full oral argument from United States v. Hasbajrami.

Jen Patja Howell uploaded this week’s episode of the Lawfare Podcast, to discuss the intelligence community’s critiques of the president. She also posted this week’s Rational Security, the “Kim Jong Umm Just Kidding” edition, in which the team talked about Reality Winner’s prison sentence, disarmament talks with North Korea, and the Trump administration’s decision to cut billions of dollars in foreign aid.

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