The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By William Ford
Saturday, March 17, 2018, 10:18 AM

The majority staff of the House intelligence committee closed the panel’s Russia probe this week. Matthew Kahn shared the statements released by the majority and minority members of the House panel and the director of national intelligence on the decision to close the investigation. Kahn also posted the Russia investigation status report released by the minority staff of the committee. Paul Rosenzweig argued that the majority staff’s decision to close the investigation amounted to a total failure to conduct crucial intelligence oversight.

Jack Goldsmith offered several important questions to consider in light of the news that Russia and other adversary states are deeply embedded in critical American infrastructure networks.

Mieke Eoyang, Ben Freeman and Benjamin Wittes shared and analyzed the latest polling on public confidence in government institutions on issues related to national security.

Robert Litt argued that there is no reason to believe that the Bloomberg article, “Mueller Weighs Putting Off Trump Obstruction Decision,” offers real insight into the special counsel’s thinking.

Bob Bauer argued that President Trump’s treatment of his lawyers—in the Stormy Daniels case and in the special counsel investigation—points to his lack of respect for legal advice that gets in his way.

Matt Tait deciphered the subtle messages in British Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech on Russia’s attempted assassination of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter with a banned nerve agent.

Ashley Deeks explored the role that NATO might play in the U.K.’s response to the attack and examined the variety of actions available to the U.K. in its response.

Michel Paradis suggested that the U.K. hold Russia accountable for the attempted assassination through international legal institutions such as the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.

In this week’s Middle East Ticker, J. Dana Stuster discussed America’s push for a cease-fire in Syria and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s trip to Britain, Egypt, and the U.S.

Adel Abdel Ghafar discussed a study he authored for the European Parliament on the causes of instability in Egypt, Egypt-EU relations, and how the EU can increase stability and prosperity in Egypt.

In the lead-up to oral arguments in Al-Alwi v. Trump this coming Tuesday, Sarah Grant summarized the history and proceedings of the case.  

William Ford posted the live video of and prepared testimony from the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. Central and Africa Commands.

Scott Anderson and Allison Murphy offered an overview of the Trump administration’s “Report on the Legal and Policy Frameworks Guiding the United States’ use of Military Force for National Security Operations.” Matthew Kahn shared the unclassified document.

Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck posted this week's National Security Law Podcast:  

Anderson and Quinta Jurecic considered the implications of the president’s decision to remove Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replace him with CIA director Mike Pompeo. 

Benjamin Wittes shared this week's Rational Security Podcast, the “Rex, Eat the Salad” Edition:

Stewart Baker posted the Cyberlaw Podcast, which included an interview with Amb. Nathan Sales, counterterrorism coordinator at the State Department:   

Ford shared the live video of and prepared testimony from the Senate intelligence committee’s hearing on the nomination of Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone to be director of the National Security Agency.

He also posted the livestream of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Cybersecurity hearing on the cyber posture of the services and the prepared statements for the record in that hearing.

Rosenzweig shared the results of a public opinion survey on personal cybersecurity, concluding that people do not care about taking personal cybersecurity measures. Philip Reitinger challenged Rosenzweig’s conclusion, arguing that people do care but fail to implement personal cybersecurity measures because of the high investment they require.  

Andrew Grotto outlined six tools the United States can use to combat the national security risks of Kaspersky Labs’ software.  

Nicholas Weaver highlighted the acute national security risk posed by the newly discovered vulnerability CHIMERA.  

Craig Forcese examined proposed reforms to Canada’s Communications Security Establishment, the country’s foremost signals intelligence and cybersecurity agency.  

Evelyn Douek dissected the final report authored by the European Commission’s High Level Expert Group on Fake News and Online Disinformation and explained what will come next.  

Rosenzweig shared the latest installment of Bits and Bytes, a collation of important news stories concerning cybersecurity and technology.

Jennifer Daskal and Peter Swire argued that the CLOUD Act would enhance privacy and civil liberties protections. Neema Singh Guliani and Naureen Shah contended that the act would harm these protections and put human rights activists, religious minorities, and others in danger.

Kahn flagged President Trump’s decision to nominate Ed Felten and Jane Nitze to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Cameron Kerry praised the nominations.

Ford shared the livestream of and prepared testimony from the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Freedom of Information Act.

Shannon Togawa Mercer and Matthew Kahn examined the legal ramifications of President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Kahn posted the Lawfare Podcast, in which Benjamin Wittes and Yascha Mounk discuss Mounk’s new book, “The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It”:

And he later posted another episode, in which Jack Goldsmith interviews former homeland security secretary, Jeh Johnson:

 

Austin Long evaluated the argument that submarines, after firing their missiles in the event of a nuclear war, make for easy targets for American adversaries, finding that they are difficult to target and likely to survive a nuclear engagement.

And J. Francisco Lobo analyzed the role that the “accumulation of events” doctrine might play in determining the legality of a “bloody nose” strike on North Korea.

And that was the week that was.