The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare In One Post

By Nick Basciano
Saturday, November 23, 2013, 10:00 AM

NOCON//REL TO ALL:  Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper declassified a trove of documents pertaining to pen register/trap-and-trace (PR/TT) collection pursuant to section 401 of FISA and business record (BR) collection pursuant to section 501 (as amended by section 215 of the PATRIOT Act). Included are 20 FISC orders and opinions, 11 documents submitted to the Court, 24 documents addressed to Congress, and 20 internal NSA reports and training slides. Team Lawfare broke the cache down:

After the exposure of controversial SIGINT programs, will U.S. intelligence still be willing to get 'chalk dust' on its cleats? Ben doesn't think so. He gave his reasoning why the the Intel Community is pulling back and explained why we should be concerned. Ben also explained why he was “bewildered” by Ken Roth’s article labeling  NSA a global threat to free speech.

Lauren noted that the Supreme Court denied the EPIC’s request for mandamus review of the telephony metadata collection under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.

Congressmen Sensenbrenner doesn't want to hear your classified briefing, even if it is his job to do so. Ben covered the latest iteration of Mr. Sensenbrenner’s disturbing proclamations.

Paul commented on the sentencing of Jeremy Hammond, the man who hacked Stratfor and leaked its subscriber list to WikiLeaks. Hammond was sentenced to the maximum 10 years under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 U.S.C. 1030).

Bobby explained the full range of options for applying Obama’s NDU speech targeting parameters to Yemen and gave his thoughts on each.

On the topic of detention: Raffaela updated us on the detention problem at Parwan where six men, including one with an ongoing D.C. Circuit habeas appeal, were recently repatriated to Pakistan. Lauren described the government’s brief in Al Laithi v. Rumsfeld and Celikgogus v. Rumsfeld, a case involving the consolidated claims of former Guantanamo detainees against former government officials in their individual capacities. Raffaela linked us to coverage of the Senate’s debate on the 2014 NDAA, and Wells followed up with a discussion on the Guantanamo-related amendments.

Cairo is still rife with amorphous movements whose opaque membership continues to complicate the social scene. In her latest "Cairo Diary" (complete with images and video straight from Tahrir), Laura Dean explored the problem on the two year anniversary of the Mohamed Mahmoud street massacre.

Ken commented on the “compact and readable” SSRN draft by Georgetown’s C. Christine Fair “Drones, Spies, Terrorists and Second-Class Citizenship in Pakistan – A Review Essay.

Ben gave a nod to Daniel Byman’s essay “Iran’s Terrorism Problem” posted in Brooking’s Iran@Saban blog.

The week's debates in living-color:

  • A discussion on NSA collection by Sen. Leahy, Siobhan Gorman (The Wall Street Journal), and Josh Gerstein (Politico).
  • Two Senate committees teamed up for double-header hearings on bitcoin.
  • From the Federalist Society’s convention in Washington:
      • Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Jeremy Rabkin discussed NSA data collection.
      • Steven Bradbury, Joel Brenner, Michelle Richardson (ACLU), Paul Rosenzweig, and John Yoo discussed cybersecurity.
  • NYU’s Center for Law and Security conference on "Law and Strategy in an Era of Evolving Threats":
      • “The Role of the Courts in Intelligence and National Security”
      • “Law and Strategy in the Executive Branch”
      • Keynote address by Lisa Monaco (prepared remarks here)
      • “National Security Law and the Press.”

Here’s hoping your weekend doesn't involve any annoying debates with SMEs on how to pronounce obscure file names—UGH.

And that was the week that was.