The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Anushka Limaye
Saturday, November 3, 2018, 2:10 PM

In the wake of the shooting in Pittsburgh at the Treet of Life synagogue, Quinta Jurecic explored the role of social media in providing a platform in far-right extremism. Matthew Kahn shared the 44-count indictment against Robert Bowers, the main suspect in the shooting, and Jen Patja Howell posted this week’s episode of Rational Security, in which the incident was discussed in the context of domestic terrorism. The Rational Security crew this week also discussed calls for a cease fire and peace talks in Yemen, and the transparently malicious sexual misconduct accusations against Special Counsel Robert Mueller:

Jen Patja Howell posted an episode of the Lawfare Podcast, featuring a conversation between Stephanie Leutert, director of the Mexico Security Initiative at the Strauss Center for International Security and Law, and Benjamin Wittes about Leutert’s time with migrants on the Mexico-Guatemala border:

Leutert also shared her experience in an article posted on Monday.

In other immigration news, President Trump announced his intention Tuesday to revoke birthright citizenship by means of an executive order. That same day, Carrie Cordero and Quinta Jurecic discussed the chaos that this change would cause, successful or not, and Bob Bauer explored the challenge that this broad assertion of presidential power would present to the White House counsel. On Thursday, Scott R. Anderson and Benjamin Wittes dug into the Justice Department’s take on birthright citizenship by filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests on records related to the matter.

Anderson and Wittes also examined the responses they received on their earlier FOIA request on former CIA officer and current congressional candidate Abigail Spanberger’s SF-86 form.

Jeremy Gordon also categorized and summarized the scope of 9/11-related material made public under a FOIA request made by author and researcher J.M. Berger.

On Monday, in the fourth part of his series on AI and counterintelligence, Jim Baker responded to criticism that AI is neither artificial or intelligent.

J. Dana Stuster posted this week’s edition of the Middle East Ticker, covering the U.S. response to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the escalating violence in Yemen, and a suicide bombing in Tunisia that deepened existing political divisions there. Bruce Riedel provided an analytical summary of the history of America’s relationship with Yemen, and Jen Patja Howell posted an episode of the Lawfare Podcast that covered the role of U.S. policy in the crisis in Yemen:

On Wednesday, the National Archive released the famed Watergate “Road Map,” whose unsealing Stephen Bates, Jack Goldsmith, and Benjamin Wittes had been seeking. Wittes flagged the 62-page document, and Victoria Clark and Quinta Jurecic shared the National Archives’s trove of related information. Wittes, in collaboration with Jack Goldsmith, also analyzed what the document says and what it means for Bob Mueller’s investigation.

In other Middle East news, Sharan Grewal examined Tunisia’s new law protecting minorities and argued that it may provide a useful model for other countries in the region.

Sarah Grant assessed an upcoming trial in which prosecutors will try for the third time to convict Blackwater guard Nicholas Slatten for his role in the 2007 Nisour Square massacre in Iraq.

Robert Chesney provided an in-depth analysis of the legal and policy lessons learned from Doe v. Mattis in the wake of Doe’s release to Bahrain.

On Friday, Chesney, along with Steve Vladeck, posted a new episode of the National Security Law Podcast, covering the Doe case as well as border deployment, birthright citizenship and domestic terrorism.

Other news this week involved the indictment of a number of Chinese and Taiwanese entities including intelligence officers and semiconductor firms. Matthew Kahn shared the Justice Department’s indictment of two firms accused of stealing trade secrets from Micron Corp., a U.S.-based chipmaker. Kahn also shared the unsealed indictment of 10 defendants, including intelligence officers and their recruits, in two conspiracies to steal sensitive commercial aerospace information and technology from American companies.

The newest edition of SinoTech, posted on Wednesday by Rachel Brown and Preston Lim, covered the U.S. Commerce Department’s addition of Chinese semiconductor company Fujian Jinghua to a list of companies disallowed from purchasing some U.S. exports of components, software and technology goods.

Eliot Kim analyzed the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union.

On the topic of leaving treaties, Scott R. Anderson explored three ways the U.S. could leave the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the consequences that withdrawal might have on non-proliferation and presidential authority over treaties.

This week’s edition of the Cyberlaw Podcast, posted by Stewart Baker, focused on the reach of American "soft power" as it relates to internet trolling:

Jack Goldsmith flagged a new Hoover Institution Project on Governance in an Emerging New World, exploring the challenge to governance posed by changing demographics, emerging technologies, and new means of production of goods.

And Raj M. Desai also analyzed the changing nature of governance and world politics in a piece centered on the effect the rising global middle class has on democracy.

And that was the week that was.