NYU School of Law hosted a debate yesterday between Edward Lucas, Senior Editor of The Economist and author of The Snowden Operation: Inside the West’s Greatest Intelligence Disaster---which Ben reviewed last month---and Stephen Holmes, Professor at NYU Law.
Latest in Covert Action: Legal Framework
Marty Lederman has a long post picking apart the errors in last week’s AP story on last December’s drone strike in Yemen. Along the way he carefully parses the covert action statute, and has interesting things to say about the relationship between secrecy and non-acknowledgment, and how those concepts apply to CIA and DOD. A flavor:
What follows from this understanding of section 413b and the definition of “covert
David Sanger reports that the Pentagon and the NSA planned a sophisticated cyberattack aimed at “the Syrian military and President Bashar al-Assad’s command structure” that “would essentially turn the lights out for Assad.” He also reports that President Obama declined to go forward with the attacks then or since because of uncertainty about the proper role of offensive cyber weapons and worries about retaliation.
In the last ten days, an interesting controversy has bubbled up over congressional control of the drone program. The quarrel, which has been both internal to the Senate and between the Congress and the Executive, raises some important issues regarding Congress’s ability to control controversial but classified programs (such as the current drone program and CIA's previous interrogation program).
The latest controversy became public when the Washington Post’s Greg Miller http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/lawmakers-seek-to-...
One hears that the worst of the Snowden documents (from the perspective of the USG) have not yet been released, and one wonders what that might mean. Yesterday’s story that “most of the documents he took concerned current military operations” might provide the beginning of an answer (though I expect that another part of the answer is that Snowden took documents concerning even more sensitive and surprising intelligence relationships than have yet been disclosed). Representatives Rogers and Ruppersber
Last night Jack highlighted certain parts of Caroline Krass's answers to the Additional Prehearing Questions that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence posed to her.
I have noted how openly the United States has been leaking information about its covert action to support moderate Syrian rebels – from its inception through the supposed recent ramp-up. I notice via a http://ww
Two pieces in the news worth noting on the issue of secrecy v. transparency in the U.S. intelligence world.
There are at least three noteworthy elements in the WP’s story this morning about intelligence committee “approval” of “CIA weapons shipments to opposition fighters in Syria.”
First is the fact that the intelligence committees “voted on the administration’s plan” last week. An intelligence committee vote is not typically a prerequisite to a covert action. Under the http://www.law.cor
This morning both the WSJ (behind paywall) and NYT have stories on how law and lawyers have influenced the changing USG posture on intervening in Syria. The gist of the WSJ story is that administration lawyers, apparently relying on the ICJ Nicaragua Case, pushed ba