The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By Raffaela Wakeman
Saturday, June 15, 2013, 10:00 AM

Like most people accessing the Internet this week, we at Lawfare were a bit focused on everything related to the Edward Snowden leaks. We had some other valuable commentary, though, including a rather intensive three-day liveblogfest of the renewal of hearings in United States v. Al-Nashiri.

Let's start with the Snowden stuff. Bobby noted the Guardian's disclosure that Edward Snowden was its source for the FISC order over the weekend, and Ashley wrote about the different ways by which the United States might procure Snowden's return to the States. We shared DNI Clapper's statement outlining the facts surrounding intelligence collection under Section 702 of FISA.

Ben and Bobby co-authored a piece at The New Republic about the differences between the two leaks, and Paul wrote about how one could learn in which Hong Kong hotel Snowden was hiding. Joel Brenner guest posted on oversight of intelligence collection. Paul was dismayed by the communication he, along with anyone else who holds a security clearance, received regarding the Snowden leaks. Bill Galston, Senior Fellow at Brookings, authored a guest post discussing Alexander Hamilton's arguments in Federalist No. 8 on the intersection of national security and civil liberties. Ben commented on friend of the site John Villasenor's Forbes op-ed on the implications of the leaks on economic espionage.

Joel Brenner commented on Senator Rand Paul's interpretation of Edward Snowden's actions, which Senator Paul called "civil disobedience.

Paul responded to Ben's query from a week ago about what would be required to receive an order under Section 215. He also shared a memo from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel entitled "Cultivating the Future Cyberspace Operations Workforce," and noted inaccuracies in the Washington Post's story on the NSA PRISM program.

In other news, Wells and  I spent a good chunk of time at Fort Meade; we were two of the few visitors  focused on the military commission hearings in United States v. Al-Nashiri, not Bradley Manning's trial. Here are Wells's preview post, Brig. Gen. Mark Martins's statement prior to the hearings, links to Tuesday's, Wednesday's, and Thursday's live blog coverage, and Brig. Gen. Martins's concluding remarks. Next up are hearings for another military commission case, United States v. KSM et al, for which Wells and I will be reporting to Fort Meade beginning on Monday.

Speaking of military commission, Wells noted that prosecutors have sworn charges against Abd al Hadi al Iraqi. Wells also highlighted a Reuters story this week explaining that far fewer GTMO detainees will likely be tried in the special courts, because of Hamdan II and the D.C. Circuit's pending decision in Al-Bahlul. Meanwhile, in the latter case, Steve filed an amicus brief with the D.C. Circuit in support of the GTMO detainee.

Steve and Jennifer Daskal noted Congressman Adam Schiff's proposal that would sunset the AUMF at the end of 2014. Bobby wrote about how a recent public argument between Al Qaeda in Iraq and Al Nusrah demonstrates the difficulty in identifying associated forces under the current AUMF.

In other news, the House of Representatives passed a heavily-amended version of the National Defense Authorization Act for the next fiscal year; prior to this, the White House made clear that it would veto that bill should it arrive at President Obama's desk. Bobby shared the White House statement to that effect; Susan explored Rep. Adam Smith's proposed GTMO amendments to the bill; and I shared information on the Lawfare-relevant amendments that received votes on the floor.

Not a big drone week, but Ben did share U.N. special rapporteur Ben Emmerson's statement summarizing his visit to Washington.

wrote a piece about the CFIUS review of and public debate over the acquisition of Sprint-Nextel by Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank.

Some administration national security staffing changes were announced this week: Stephen Preston, current General Counsel for the CIA, will become the next General Counsel for the Department of Defense, while Avril Haines, originally nominated to succeed Harold Koh as Legal Advisor to the Secretary of State, will instead become CIA Director John Brennan's Deputy. And speaking of executive branch appointments, John wants to know whatever happened to those GTMO envoys, pledged in President Obama's NDU speech.

On the topic of staffing changes, Ritika noted some reshuffling in national security journalism: Noah Schachtman of Wired is to be the next Executive Editor of News at Foreign Policy, and Shane Harris of Washingtonian is heading to that same outlet as a senior writer.

Also in the world of government employment: a CIA paramilitary officer filed a lawsuit against his employer---a lawsuit which Ben noted.

Paul shared a paper by British researchers identifying a disturbing vulnerability in silicon-composed computer chips.

We ran two book reviews of Lincoln's Code: The Laws of War in American History by John Fabian Witt---one written by Amy J. Sennett, the other authored by Stephen C. Neff.

Steve sang 'Happy Birthday' to Boumediene v. Bush, which is now five years old.

And that was the week that was.