The Week That Was

The Week that Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Tara Hofbauer
Saturday, July 5, 2014, 10:00 AM

Ahmed Abu Khattala, the suspect allegedly behind the attack on the American embassy in Libya, arrived in Washington this week. Bobby brought us the initial news, while Ben shared the government’s memo regarding pre-trial detention. Wells summarized the detention proceedings that took place before the District Court in D.C. on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Jane considered cases that perhaps hold “precedential value for the coming litigation over Abu Khattala’s capture and interrogation.”

In other news on terrorism trials: in the 9/11 case, defense attorneys for Ammar al Baluchi have filed a motion to force the government to turn over evidence concerning CIA torture of the Guantanamo detainee. Wells brought us the defense’s statement.

On 7/02, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) released its report on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Ben notified us beforehand, and Wells shared a pre-release copy of the Board’s findings. Peter Margulies then examined the report’s treatment of human rights concerns.

Lawyers for Canadian former detainee and military commission convict Omar Khadr filed a motion on Monday in support of the reversal of Khadr’s 2010 conviction. Wells linked to the defense filing.

Susan Landau, a professor of Cybersecurity Policy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, analyzed Riley v. California, the recent Fourth Amendment case, and highlighted the Supreme Court’s decision to rely not on expectation of privacy, but search as the basis of the opinion.

Jack examined House Republicans’ decision to sue President Obama and pointed out that there are many other ways for Congress “to fight back politically to preserve its prerogatives.”

On Monday, I shared the ODNI’s recently released Statistical Transparency Report Regarding Use of National Security Authorities.

In media criticism this week: Ben noted the peculiarity of the New York Times’ objection to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new interpretation of his country’s constitution. Ben also highlighted news regarding Glenn Greenwald’s next anticipated NSA disclosure. Apparently, “a journalist is reporting that an activist is reporting that a journalist will at some point publish a story.”

In Bits and Bytes this week, Paul brought us a wealth of cyber news. He later provided some writing he has been doing on the intersection of international humanitarian law and cyber warfare.

Paul also flagged a new app, Blue Force Tracker, which shares reports about the military and international affairs that most news sources miss.

Stewart Baker shared the latest Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast. This week’s guest speaker was Dmitri Alperovich, co-founder and CTO of Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity technology and service provider.

Ben brought us this week's Lawfare Podcast, featuring a conversation with Suzanne Maloney, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. She shared her thoughts on Iran, ISIS, and the prospects of the nuclear negotiations.

This week’s Foreign Policy Essay considered the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Author Brian Fishman, a counterterrorism research fellow at the New America Foundation, focused specifically on al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusrah (JN).

Ben highlighted the satirical “Moderate Syrian Rebel Application Form” from the New Yorker’s Borowitz Report.

Ritika noted that Lawfare is looking for an intern to replace me in the fall. Please send a cover letter and resume to Hillary Schaub at

Jack commented on a New York Times story on Obama's counterterrorism blueprint---and its collision with reality.

Paul, in celebration of July 4, shared an a cappella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

Finally, as Thursday marked Ritika’s last day as Lawfare’s associate editor, Ben shared some remarks on her time with us.

And that was the week that was.