Latest in Interrogation

Foreign Policy Essay

Donald Trump and the Normalization of Torture

Editor's Note: A Trump presidency is disturbing on so many levels. One of the worst is his campaign's embrace of some of America's biggest mistakes, such as the use of torture to fight terrorism. Elizabeth Grimm Arsenault, my colleague at Georgetown, looks at Trump’s campaign rhetoric on this issue and the disturbing possibilities for his administration.

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Alien Tort Statute

Jawad v. Gates: Former Guantanamo Detainee Seeks Redress Under the Alien Tort Statute

Mohammed Jawad was arrested in Kabul in December 2002 by Afghan security forces responding to the scene of a grenade attack on US military personnel. See Jawad v. Gates, No. 14-00811 (D.D.C. July 8, 2015) (D.D.C. Opinion). He was 14 or 15 at the time; Jawad doesn’t know his exact age but believes he was born in 1987. Afghan security forces abused, threatened, and coerced Jawad, “forcing him to sign a confession (written in a language that he could not read) with his thumbprint.” D.D.C. Opinion at 2.

Terrorism Trials: Civilian Court

Judge Denies Abu Khattala Request to be Returned to Libya and Spared Death Penalty

In a 20-page opinion, D.C. District Judge Christopher R. Cooper yesterday denied a request by Ahmed Abu Khattala to return to Libya and be spared the death penalty. Khatalla, who stands accused of orchestrating and leading the 2012 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, claims that his rights to due process were violated upon his arrest and subsequent 13 day detainment without counsel aboard a U.S. Navy ship. In October 2014, he pleaded not guilty to an 18-count indictment that included charges of murder, conspiracy, and destroying a U.S. facility.

Interrogation: CIA Program

SSCI Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program: A Flawed Report

Who won the torture debate -- the CIA or Senate Intelligence Committee Report? Were waterboarding, rectal hydration, stress positions, and other techniques used against detainees effective? Legal? Ethical? In a forthcoming special issue of the journal Intelligence and National Security, a range of academics and one former CIA lawyer weigh in.

Interrogation

APA Releases Report Critical of Ethics Guidelines That Facilitated CIA Enhanced Interrogation

A little over a week ago, the law firm Sidley Austin LLP submitted its "Independent Review Relating to APA Ethics Guidelines, National Security Interrogations, and Torture" to the APA Board of Directors. Today, the report was released to the public along with a story in the New York Times summarizing its contents.

Syria

Some Domestic and International Law Questions Raised by the Abu Sayyaf Raid

Today’s White House statement about last night’s spectacular Special Operations raid into Syria states that “This operation was conducted with the full consent of Iraqi authorities and, like our existing airstrikes against ISIL in Syria, consistent with domestic and international law.” However, the raid raises complicated questions about the domestic and international law basis both for the incursion into Syria, and for the detention of Abu Sayyaf’s wife

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