National Security Law

Last October, Col. Morris Davis resigned as chief prosecutor of the military commissions, claiming that Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann had interfered with the prosecutor's office, pressured him to use classified evidence -- requiring sessions to be conducted behind closed doors -- and encouraged the use of evidence obtained through waterboarding.  Col. Davis filed a formal complaint at the time, but...

My thanks to Chris for posting on the Georgian conflict as it has unfolded.  I've been watching, unsure what exactly to say about policy.  I'm still unsure.  I mean, it's easy to agree with both the Obama and McCain campaign reactions (I paraphrase) ...

Salim Hamdan has been sentenced to 66 months in prison, far short of the 30 years-to-life sentence the prosecution requested.  Good news for Hamdan? Probably not, as Colonel Morris Davis -- the third chief prosecutor of the military commissions, who resigned because of political interference by the Pentagon -- pointed out in the comments to my ex post facto post: The...

Greg Fox of Wayne State University Law School has posted a new article on SSRN that examines the proposed US/Iraq Status of Forces Agreement (SoFA) from a unique angle. Discussions in U.S. academic journals and blogs have tended to focus on the constitutionality under U.S. law of the Administration pursuing the completion of a long-term security arrangement with Iraq under...

On behalf of all of us at Opinio Juris, I want to thank Benjamin Wittes  for joining us this week for a symposium his book Law and the Long War.  We also want to thank  Bobby Chesney,  Geoff Corn, Marty Lederman, Glenn Sulmasy, and Steve Vladeck for their guest-blogging with us. Their contributions were invaluable. We also want to thank everyone else from the Opinio Juris...

Today’s discussion of Ben’s book focuses on what kind of detention law we should have going forward. Given that I am in Israel now I thought it might be useful to offer a comparative example. Such a comparison is particularly useful when proposed legislation is under consideration and another country has similar terrorist threats. The Israeli...

Thanks for the detailed reply, Ben – already enjoying this discussion. I’ll leave it to Marty and his own considerable blogging skills to discuss his views about the role of Congress. Let me get back to you for now about the courts. You write that you are “deeply disquieted by any substantial role for judges in the design of...

My apologies for implying that Ben is a neoconservative, but I think that the title of my last post -- "Damning International Tribunals With Faint Praise" -- is accurate. Stray or not, Ben's comment praises the international tribunals for (ostensibly) not offering defendants the same kinds of protections that defendants enjoy in U.S. civilian courts.  The belief that the Rome...