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    Between them, the NYT and the Daily Beast published over 10,000 words on Obama’s drone assassination program yesterday. Both stories rolled out the new acronym the Administration wants us to use: terrorist-attack-disruption strikes, or TADS. Neither of them, in those … Continue reading

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    I realized something as I read this Gregory Johnsen post. For all the so-called transparency on targeting we’ve gotten since the AP first revealed John Brennan was seizing control of the targeting process, we still don’t know what went wrong … Continue reading

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    I’m ultimately going to get around to arguing that the reason the government response to the ACLU targeted killing FOIA is so funky is because (mind you, this is a wildarsed guess) the CIA didn’t rely on the OLC memo … Continue reading

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    There’s been a series of moves and trial balloons among Obama’s national security lawyers that lead me to assume that any effort to apply some regularity and the patina of legality to the drone program is dead. First, after some … Continue reading

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    Charlie Savage covers a very troubling development in the case of Ali al-Bahlul, a Yemeni who is serving a life sentence for serving as Al Qaeda’s videographer. After Hamdan had his conviction vacated by the DC Circuit last year because material … Continue reading

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    Sarah Cleveland? Not a judge. Greg Craig? Not a judge. William Dodge? Not a judge. Jeh Johnson? Not a judge. David Kris? Not a judge. David Martin? Not a judge. Daniel Meltzer? Not a judge. And Trevor Morrison? Also not … Continue reading

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  • 02/21/13--11:47: Targeted Killing Timeline
  • A timeline! I’ve been working on this timeline for almost nine months, trying to pull together the known dates about strikes against Americans, the evidence supporting the strike against Anwar al-Awlaki, the legal cases surrounding both targeted killing and torture, … Continue reading

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    When I compared what appeared in Eric Holder’s March 2012 targeted killing speech and the targeted killing white paper, I discovered two sections that appear in Holder but not the white paper: a section on leaders as targets. Furthermore, it is … Continue reading

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    As I noted in this post, Daniel Klaidman has identified the author of the targeted killing white paper as Stuart Delery. At the time he wrote the white paper, Delery was Senior Counselor to Attorney General Eric Holder. Last March, … Continue reading

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    I’ll have more to say about Jeh Johnson’s skeptical speech on a drone and/or targeted killing court later. But I wanted to point to this detail: Our government finds itself in a lose-lose proposition: it fails to officially confirm many … Continue reading

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    At a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing for Department of Homeland Security today, Trent Franks implored DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to consider the threat of electromagnetic pulse or geomagnetic disturbance to the electrical grid because “we have additional information that seems to indicate the threat is more significant than we have been aware of.” Franks […]

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    There are multiple reports that President Obama is considering nominating Jeh Johnson to head DOD. I get the attraction. Obama and Johnson get along well. Johnson only recently left DOD, so he knows it — and the legal loopholes it exploits — well. And in Johnson, Obama would have someone who would gloss his warmaking […]

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    There is a distinct problem in this country with excessive inbreeding of politicians, lobbyists and journalists. In a country where so many are now ruled by so few in power, it is becoming, if not already become, the biggest threat to American democracy. I would add in corporations, but, heck, who do you think the […]

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    When last we checked in on claims the US was going to cyber-deter China, I suggested people should understand the underlying dynamics at work. Before people start investing belief in unicorn cyber deterrence, they’d do well to understand why it presents us such a tough problem. That was 11 days ago. Since then, James Clapper has […]

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    The policy discussion about the many ways that the Cyber Information Sharing Act not only doesn’t do much to prevent the hacking of public and private networks, but in key ways will make it worse, must be making its mark. Because the Financial Services Roundtable, one of the key corporatist groups backing the bill, released […]

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    I’ve been comparing the Manager’s Amendment (MA) Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein introduced Wednesday with the old bill. A key change — one Burr and Feinstein have highlighted in their comments on the floor — is the integration of DHS even more centrally in the process of the data intake process. Just as one example, the MA adds the […]

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    There’s a name missing from Charlie Savage’s latest — a description of the legal analysis behind Osama bin Laden’s killing: Caroline Krass, who served as Acting Head of DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel from January to September 2011. She’s not mentioned, apparently, because she was not among the four lawyers who collaborated on five memos deeming the […]

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    Any bets that the sources for the (critically important) Bloomberg story on Russians hacking the voting infrastructure of 39 states won't even be investigated.

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    Nothing in today's Senate Intelligence Committee's hearing nor the House Intelligence Committee hearing changed the fact the U.S. election system was penetrated last year. We should be very concerned.