Latest in Military Commissions: Legislative Development

Terrorism Trials: Legislative Development

House Votes to Bar Civilian Trial of Persons Within Scope of Military Commission Jurisdiction

Amidst all the discussion of whether and how to amend the House NDAA bill to address domestic captures, I am amazed that I did not notice the Rooney Amendment, which has been adopted.  What does it do?  Well, it looks like it flat out forbids civilian criminal prosecution for persons who would come within the personal jurisdiction of a military commission, at least if the plan is to charge the person for an offense that could also be charged by commission.  Now perhaps I'm misunderstanding what transpired today, but if this did indeed g

Terrorism Trials: Military Commissions

Darrel Vandeveld On Reformed Military Commisions

Lt. Col. Darrel J. Vandeveld became a kind of cause celebre a few years back when he quit as a prosecutor in the military commission system over ethical concerns about the process, gave a declaration on behalf of a commission defendant, and then testified against the Military Commissions Act of 2009. So it seems to me especially significant that he sent me this thoughtful statement today explaining why he has come to rethink his opposition to military commissions conducted under the 2009 MCA. That the new commissions are getting a second look from people like Lt. Col.

Terrorism Trials: Legislative Development

Peter Margulies Reports on AALS II

Here is Part II of Peter Margulies's reporting from AALS:

AALS Federal Courts Debate II: Military Commissions and Material Support

The lively federal courts panel at the American Association of Law Schools conference also sparked disagreement on trials in military commissions.  Marty Lederman recalled that the administration had advised Congress in 2009 that courts might find that “material support” of terrorism was not a crime under the law of war.  As a result, the administration recommended that legislation listing crimes triable by military commissions should exclude

Terrorism Trials: Legislative Development

House-Senate Side-by-Side of NDAA Provisions: Part II

The following is a continuation of our side-by-side comparison of the House and Senate versions of the NDAA:

Prohibition of Detainee Transfer to the United States

The House version of the bill (Section 1039, p. 586) contains a specific prohibition on using fiscal year 2012 funds to "transfer or release an individual detained at Guantanamo Bay" or a non-citizen detained elsewhere into the United States.

Terrorism Trials: Legislative Development


May God bless their little souls. The poor dears really are trying. The New York Times editorial page has now corrected its correction.

This is getting meta, and this post will be incomprehensible to those have not read my earlier post and updates concerning the Times' Sunday editorial and its factual difficulties.

Terrorism Trials & Investigations

A Call for Debate on the Merits of the Mandatory Military Custody Provision of the NDAA

The latest public development in the long-running fight over the detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act occurred last Friday when a group of 13 Senate Democrats (all the Democrats on SSCI and some but not all from Judiciary) wrote this letter to Senator Reid urging him not to bring the Senate version of the NDAA FY'12 to the floor unless its detention-related provisions are removed.  The letter includes as an attachment a short memo explaining the pr

Terrorism Trials & Investigations

Unsporting to Shoot Fish in a Barrel?

Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Kenneth Anderson writes of my post yesterday, "What should most concern the Times are the couple of emails I’ve received from several eminent professors, smart and intellectually scrupulous folks whose opinion I value a lot, deeply committed progressives, who have asked that I urge Wittes to greater restraint, because it’s unsporting to shoot fish in a barrel."

Ken here is making an important point abou

AUMF: Legislative Reaffirmation

Stimson on the Pending NDAA FY12 Bills

Cully Stimson (Heritage) has posted a very handy review of the pros and cons of the pending NDAA FY12 bills, highlighting both the useful and problematic aspects of that legislation.  And as a reminder, DOD's General Counsel, Jeh Johnson, will be at Heritage at 12:30 tomorrow to talk about this very subject.  Watch it live in person, or streaming here.

Military Commissions: Legislative Development

My Responses to Questions for the Record After July's HASC Hearing on Detention Policy

As noted previously, I testified in late July before House Armed Services regarding detention policy, with a focus on the Warsame situation.  I've seen received a handful of QFRs from committee members, and thought readers might be interested in seeing what I had to say in response (especially since QFRs and responses aren't often widely circ

Terrorism Trials: Military Commissions

Military Commissions and Timely Transparency: Video, Transcripts, Motion Papers, Rulings

A while back Ben posted about the pressing need for “radical transparency” in the military commissions process. It’s time to say it again:  The Pentagon must make it much easier for outsiders to follow the details of military commission trials (and pretrial litigation) if it hopes to enhance their legitimacy.

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