The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Tara Hofbauer
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 10:00 AM

With the continuation of the crisis in Iraq, President Obama announced last week that U.S. airstrikes there would be “a long-term project.” In light of this news, Jack pointed out that “the case for seeking authorization from Congress… just grew stronger.” Meanwhile, Cody highlighted the National Security Network’s report outlining ways to successfully repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).

On Monday, Iraqi President Fuad Masum tapped Haider al-Abadi to succeed Nouri al-Maliki as the country’s prime minister. Originally, Maliki intended to contest the nomination before Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court. Ashley Deeks considered Maliki’s constitutional argument. However, the case is now moot, as Maliki has decided to back Abadi.

Wells flagged Vice News’ five-part video series, depicting the “inner workings” of the Islamic State.

Bruce Riedel, director of the Brookings Institution’s Intelligence Project, wrote this week’s Foreign Policy Essay, which analyzed lessons learned from America’s Soviet-era conflict in Afghanistan.

Cody brought us the Lawfare Podcast, which featured a conversation with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on the future of Somali democracy, development, and security.

Ben, who is currently travelling through Iceland, considered what it must be like to grow up and live in a country free from external security threats.

Jack examined criticism of President Obama’s foreign policy and noted that many assessments of the President’s decisions rely in some way on the Nirvana fallacy---the flawed comparison of bad things caused by an actual, flawed foreign policy with the good things caused by better, hypothetical ones.

In GTMO News: pre-trial hearings in the 9/11 case resumed this week. Wells shared Chief Prosecutor Mark Martins’ opening statement. On Monday, he brought us dispatches from the proceedings. After a coverage update, Wells noted Matt Danzer’s digests of the transcripts of the August 13 and August 14 sessions. In U.S. v. Al-Nashiri, Air Force Col. Judge Vance Spath dismissed charges regarding a 2002 terrorist attack on a French oil ship. Wells flagged the initial story and then brought us the actual ruling.

Jane Chong noted Ali al-Bahlul’s brief seeking to overturn his military commission conviction for conspiracy to commit war crimes.

Jane also flagged plaintiffs-appellees’ response to the government’s appeal of Judge Richard Leon’s opinion in Klayman v. Obama.

Wells highlighted the release of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)'s February 2010 opinion on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)'s targeted killing of Anwar al-Aulaqi.

Ben shared the text of Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson’s speech at the American Bar Association’s annual convention.

I noted a number of recently declassified documents regarding the National Security Agency (NSA)’s bulk collection of electronic communications metadata.

Last week, Paul attended DefCon and Black Hat in Las Vegas. On Tuesday, he shared his thoughts on the events there.

And that was the week that was.