The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare In One Post

By Raffaela Wakeman
Saturday, August 24, 2013, 11:00 AM

What with the declassified NSA documents and the 9/11 commission hearings, it's been a busy week. Oh, and there was that whole site host-problem, thanks to Bluehost. Help us, please.

O.K., here's what's going on in the world of NSA surveillance:

Ben critiqued the Washington Post's handling of the most recent NSA surveillance leak, and the administration's response to the Post story. Ben also shared Brookings colleague Bill Galston's Wall Street Journal column on the debate over surveillance laws.

On Wednesday, the DNI declassified an assortment of documents, and we have been summarizing each one. Here's what we've published thus far:

  • Ben's Introduction
  • Summary of the October 2011 FISC Opinion, written up by Ben and Lauren
  • Summary of the November 2011 FISC Opinion, by Ben and Jane
  • Summary of the September 2012 FISC Opinion, by Ben and Sean
  • Summary of Statements to Congress, by Ben, Ritika and me
  • Summary of the Minimization Procedures, by Ben and Sean

And some analysis came in from Georgetown Law's Carrie Cordero, whose piece received a critique from Steve.

Ben also shared the NSA's response to a Wall Street Journal story on NSA monitoring of email traffic.

Human Rights First's Raha Wala wrote in to respond to Matt's earlier post on the Feinstein-Durbin op-ed proposing a plan to close Guantanamo. Catch the two-page memo the White House sent to members of Congress to prepare them for the late July Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on closing the detention facility.

Wells and I spent the week up at Fort Meade, covering the 9/11 military commission pre-trial hearings. Here are each day's compilations of posts: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On the eve of the hearings, defense counsel J. Connell III released a statement regarding his unprecedented visit to the high-value detention facility. We also heard from the Chief Prosecutor, Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, in advance of this week's hearings, and at the conclusion of them. And Al Arabiya's Muna Shikaki, reporting from Guantanamo, sent in a photo of the Caribbean island paradise.

Of course, other non-NSA non-GTMO things took place this week too: the Second Circuit interpreted the Supreme Court's ruling in Kiobel to say that all Alien Tort Statute-related claims against defendants in Balintuno v. Daimler are barred. John was all over that decision. And Ritika noted the conviction of Maj. Nidal Hassan in the Fort Hood shooting and the sentencing of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales to life without parole, both courts martial proceedings.

Apropos of Bradley Manning's sentencing, Lawfare's intern Clara Spera reviewed the movie about Wikileaks, called We Steal Secrets.

Ben shared a moving episode of This American Life, and Rick recommended the book Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies, written by Ben MacIntyre.

If you're interested in surveillance, technology, and privacy issues, Bobby endorses a proposed event by UT’s Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, along with instructions for voting for it.

A new organization spawned by Martin Feldstein caught Jack's attention---The Economics of National Security Association.

And while we didn't have a new episode of the Lawfare podcast this week, you can access future episodes on Stitcher. Actually, there is an episode this week; it's just hiding, for now. Laura Dean is coming to the U.S. for a visit from Cairo; she is this week's guest on the podcast, only it will happen next week, when she's here.

And that was the week that was.