National Security Challenges for the Next Administration: AALS Panel Discussion

by Jessica Dorsey

The Association of American Law Schools is hosting its 110th annual meeting, which starts today and goes through Sunday in New York City.

The program is vast, but one item of note takes place Saturday, 9 January, from 10:30am-12:15pm at the New York Hilton Midtown, Gramercy West, Second Floor. At this event, Deborah will be moderating a panel discussion entitled: “National Security Challenges for the Next Administration,” along with panelists John Bellinger, Gil Avriel, Marty Lederman, Hina Shamsi, and Dakota Rudesill. More information on the AALS meeting can be found here.

The description of the panel is as follows:

As the country embarks upon presidential election season 2016, this panel identifies and explores the most important challenges in national security law facing the next administration. While relatively discrete legacy issues from the U.S. response to the attacks of 9/11 remain, the emergence of new security threats from organizations such as ISIL has brought into sharp relief the broader unresolved questions surrounding the domestic and international legal framework for combating violent non-state and quasi-state actors. This panel assembles a distinguished group of experts on U.S. constitutional law, international law, and counterterrorism to consider which legal problem the next U.S. President should place highest on his or her to-do list – and what the President should do to address it.

3 Responses

  1. why didn’t Bellinger resign?

  2. I have said before that this lineup is appalling. Read John Rizzo’s Company Man on Bellinger’s role in putting in place the US torture regime that spanned 54 countries. Read it carefully. When we were leading the ultimately successful effort in 2006 to get the Centennial Resolution on Laws of War and Detainee Treatment done in ASIL, those opposing it said that people like Bellinger were working on the inside of the administration to derail the torture. John Rizzo’s book makes no mention of such efforts. I voted against him being an ASIL counselor years later. His efforts to soft pedal the torture program at the UN human rights periodic reviews during the Bush Administration are well known as was his attack on the customary international humanitarian law compilation of Henckaerts. I understand he was in the UK pitching legal Mumbo-jumbo recently to encourage UK bombing in Syria of their own citizens. To place such a person on the podium at such an event sponsored by such organizations as the AALS national security section and the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security of which I am a member of both is appalling.

    And then there is Marty Lederman who has opposed torture prosecutions for high-level US civilians as long as people like me have been working for that accountability.

    Whether Democrat or Republican, these two are emblematic of the national security establishments unrelenting willingness to protect its own members no matter from accountability for the torture and notwithstanding the devastation to the public trust of that torture.

    Whether it is Jamie Gorelick representing James Mitchell the psychologists torturer on a stipend allegedly paid by the CIA according to Scott Horton to help him avoid trial or any other of these high-powered Washington lawyers who said they were conflicted out when I talked at the standing committee meeting about starting a reflection on the extent of any ABA role in enabling the torture, the kit and caboodle reeks.

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