The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Raffaela Wakeman
Saturday, May 11, 2013, 11:00 AM

I have emerged from my undisclosed location to bring you this week at Lawfare, which saw a lot of detention-related commentary, a serious dose of Ben critiquing Harold Koh, analysis of U.S.-versus-China in cyberattack-rhetoric, and miscellaneous posts about forthcoming memoirs and casebooks,  3-D printed guns, and analyses of national security-related legislation.

Matt and Ken critiqued the recent onslaught of anti-autonomous weapons advocacy, drawing on a recent paper they co-wrote.

Ben sent out another memo to the press, this time to Slate's Political Gabfest, about how the Gabfesters construe "cleared for transfer" in the Guantanamo detainee context. In other detention-related news, Wells shared a handwritten note to the D.C. Circuit by Ali Hamza Al-Bahlul asking to drop his case, and then a follow-up from his defense counsel Michel Paradis in which Bahlul retracted his request.

Matt noted media analysis of the Second Circuit's oral arguments in Guantanamo detainee Ahmed Ghailani's appeal. (Here's some past coverage of the case.) He also commented on reports that the FBI withheld key information from the Boston Police about Tamerlan Tsarnaev---and then responded to FBI and Brennan Center comments on the issue.

Meanwhile, Steve linked back to a series of posts about the prospect of rewriting the AUMF in advance of an upcoming hearing on the subject. Ritika took note of a New America Foundation study of Guantanamo recidivism, which reports numbers far lower than those claimed by the intelligence community.

And Steve analyzed U.S. District Court Chief Judge Royce Lamberth's recent order regarding the handling of mail down at Guantanamo.

Former Legal Adviser to the Secretary of State Harold Koh gave a speech at the Oxford Union entitled "How to End the Forever War?" We've got your transcript here. Ben couldn't get enough of commenting on the speech, as it turns out: read his brief commentary about what he coins as Mr. Koh's discovery of inherent presidential powers here, his analysis of Koh's comparison between the Obama and Bush administration here, his pointing out of evidence of Bush administration fidelity to Koh's principles in the B.K. ("Before Koh") era here, and his critique of Koh's What-would-Gore-have-done counterfactual here. Phew.

Steve reacted to (some of) Ben's commentary and asked Ben two questions in response, which Ben kindly responded here.

Jack alerted us to the release of his and Curtis Bradley's supplement to their casebook on Foreign Relations Law. Jack also looked forward to the release of John Rizzo's forthcoming memoir.

And speaking of looking foward, Ben welcomed the Heritage Foundation's new program on national security law and posted video of its first event.

Alan told us all about the world's first 3D-printed gun.

Paul shared the news that the U.S. government has finally, officially placed the blame on the Chinese government for allegedly hacking U.S. government and private sector websites; he also commented on China's and the Chinese company Huawei's responses to that announcement. Jack sent out a list of questions the press should ask regarding the DoD's decision to call China out.

Paul also provided this very useful analysis of the House of Representatives' cybersecurity bill CISPA.

On the heels of the news that policymakers are considering rewriting wiretapping laws, Susan Landau wrote in with her critique of the reported proposal.

More analysis of proposed legislation comes from Bobby, who wrote about a bill that would enhance oversight of the capture/kill operations going on in Afghanistan.

Laura Dean, a writer in Cairo, wrote this piece about Salafi groups in Egypt and Tunisia.

And in lighter fare, Ben noted the invasion by a giant rubber ducky of Hong Kong.

And that was the week that was. I’m heading back to my undisclosed location.  As always, we continue to solicit readers’ views about this experimental feature.  Please drop me a line and let me know yours.