The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Hadley Baker, Vishnu Kannan
Saturday, June 29, 2019, 8:08 AM

Let's start with Iran news.

Scott Anderson explored the legal arguments at play regarding the scope of President Trump’s authority to conduct military operations against Iranian targets. Geoffrey Corn analyzed the argument of self-defense as a justification for a U.S. response. Bobby Chesney offered his analysis of the legal issues not only of the shootdown of the drone but also of the reported CYBERCOM operations against Iran, addressing the background of the events between the two countries as well as what this might mean for the future of U.S.-Iran relations. Jen Patja Howell also shared the latest edition of Rational Security in which contributors discussed the situation in Iran, as well as Former Special Counsel Mueller’s upcoming testimony and recent conflict regarding the NSA’s collection of phone records:

Vishnu Kannan shared both of the House Committee on Homeland Security’s hearings this week. The first, on Tuesday, covered issues on artificial intelligence and counterterrorism. On Wednesday, the committee addressed the efforts of social media companies to combat online terror content and misinformation.

Evelyn Douek and Kate Klonick analyzed Facebook’s recent report on its proposed oversight board for content moderation.

Justin Sherman and Robert Morgus reflected on the confusing messaging from the U.S. to other nations on economic and national security risks posed by Chinese telecommunications company Huawei.

In cybersecurity news, Stewart Baker shared the latest edition of the Cyberlaw Podcast, in which he interviewed Dick Clarke and Robert Knake on their most recent book, “The Fifth Domain”: Michael Fischerkeller and Richard Harknett engaged the discussion of persistent engagement, responding to a Lawfare post by Jim Miller and Neal Pollard from April.

Bob Bauer argued that President Trump is weaponizing the executive branch for political purposes, particularly for his reelection campaign, in a fashion that marks the a new problem in modern presidencies.

Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast, in which Jack Goldsmith spoke with documentarian Errol Morris about Morris’s film on former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, as well as two of his other films regarding Robert McNamara and Donald Rumsfeld:

The D.C. Circuit ruled in the case of Qassim v. Trump earlier this month, a decision which Robert Loeb addressed in his piece exploring the right to due process in habeas proceedings for detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared the National Security Law Podcast, in which they discussed the Qassim case, as well as cyber operations against Iran, Supreme Court decisions and the current Pentagon succession chain:

Jesse Morton and Mitchell Silber reflected on the past year of their NGO dedicated to researching and preventing domestic extremism, emphasizing that a comprehensive plan for preventing and countering extremism is necessary to effectively combat the issue.

Regarding asylum seekers in the U.S., Andrew Patterson discussed the amicus brief from officers screening border asylum claims who argue against the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico policy.

Todd Carney explored the recent ruling in the European Court of Justice in the case of M and Others v. Commissaire Général aux Réfugiés et aux Apatrides that EU member nations can no longer deport refugees for committing serious crimes if there is a threat to the refugee’s life in his or her home country.

Geoffrey Corn and Rachel VanLandingham offered their concerns about Human Rights Watch's report on Israeli operations in Gaza.

Bruce Riedel analyzed the U.N. report on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi that recommended imposing sanctions on the 15 Saudis involved in the killing, including the crown prince.

Russell Spivak and Benjamin Wittes initiated a conversation about foreign actors’ exploitation of the U.S. legal system.

Sean Quirk wrote the most recent edition of Water Wars, discussing deteriorating Phillippine-China relations, including the recent ramming of a Phillippine fishing vessel in the South China Sea, Chinese military deployments, and the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea.

And Jen Patja Howell shared the latest episode of the Lawfare Podcast, in which Wittes interviewed Mike O’Hanlon on his recent book “The Senkaku Paradox”:

And that was the week that was.