The Charlie-Savage-Used-to-Be-Richard-Lugar’s-Intern SFRC Libya Hearing

By: Tuesday June 28, 2011 9:32 am

Boy has Charlie Savage caused a headache for Barack Obama and Harold Koh. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee had a hearing to grill Koh today, in part, because of Savage’s report that Obama overrode OLC, DOJ, and DOD lawyers in deciding that we are not engaged in “hostilities” with Libya and therefore he can blow [...]

Why Didn’t We Ask China to Find Scooter Libby’s Missing Plame Leak E-Mails?

By: Thursday June 2, 2011 6:49 pm

WSJ has an article reporting on the purportedly Chinese-launched GMail hacks that targeted top White House officials. The article is interesting not because it claims the Chinese want to hack top officials. Who do you think they’d be most interested in hacking? Rather, the article is interesting for some of the implications bandied about in [...]

As Expected, DOD Charges al-Nashiri; Will the US Also Charge His Torturer?

By: Wednesday April 20, 2011 12:27 pm

DOD has filed charges against Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole bombing. (h/t jl) The Department of Defense announced today that military commissions prosecutors have sworn charges against Abd al Rahim Hussayn Muhammad al Nashiri of Saudi Arabia. The chief prosecutor has recommended that the charges against Nashiri be referred [...]

DOJ Points to David Passaro’s Trial as Proof We Investigate Torture, But It Actually Proves John Yoo Should Be Tried

By: Wednesday April 13, 2011 1:37 pm

Update: Meanwhile, the Spanish judge threw out the case. A SPANISH judge overnight dismissed a complaint filed against former top US officials over alleged torture at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Judge Eloy Velasco decided to throw out the case as he said the US justice system is competent to handle any such complaint. The [...]

SWIFT and the Asymmetric Control of Data

By: Monday April 4, 2011 8:27 am

I’ve been thinking a lot about SWIFT lately. Partly that’s because of the renewed discussion on how some big banks relied on cash from drug cartels to survive as the housing bubble began to pop. Partly that’s because of advance publicity for Nicholas Shaxson’s Treasure Islands and coverage of corporate tax dodging. And partly it’s [...]

In Re Sealed Case and the Goldsmith Memo

By: Monday March 28, 2011 12:55 pm

In addition to what I laid out here, comparing the 2006 White Paper with the May 6, 2004 Goldsmith memo on the warrantless wiretap program made me realize that the White Paper relies more frequently on In re: Sealed Case than Goldsmith does, at least in the unredacted portions. By my count, the White Paper [...]

The Abu Zubaydah Standard in Obama’s Miranda Memo

By: Friday March 25, 2011 11:16 am

Here are the claims the Bybee Two memo premised its authorization to torture Abu Zubaydah on: As we understand it, Zubaydah is one of the highest ranking members of the al Qaeda terrorist organization, [snip] Our advice is based upon the following facts, which you have provided to us. We also understand that you do [...]

The White Paper and the Classified Opinion

By: Thursday March 24, 2011 3:05 pm

As has often been noted, the White Paper the Bush Administration released on January 19, 2006 largely repeats the analysis Jack Goldsmith did in his May 6, 2004 OLC opinion on the warrantless wiretap program. So I decided to compare the two documents. Not only did such a comparison help me see things in both [...]

How to Ensure You’ll Always Have War Powers to Fight Eastasia

By: Monday March 21, 2011 3:33 pm

As we’ve known for years, the May 6, 2004 OLC opinion authorizing the warrantless wiretap program shifted the claimed basis for the program from inherent Article II power to a claim the Afghanistan AUMF trumped FISA. But one problem with that argument (hard to fathom now that Afghanistan has once again become our main forever [...]

The March–and April or May–2004 Changes to the Illegal Wiretap Program

By: Monday March 21, 2011 9:41 am

Apologies in advance. I’m going to be in the weeds reading the May 6, 2004 Goldsmith opinion for a little bit. In this post, I want to point to some details of timing that, I think, suggest that the changes DOJ made to Cheney’s illegal wiretap program in 2004 included, first, a limitation on collection [...]

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