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Executive & Military

Multiple Choice: Who Said This on Transparency and Targeted Killings Across State Borders?

Question: Who said this?

“While the U.S. regards attacks on terrorists being protected in the sovereign territory of other States as potentially justifiable when undertaken in self-defense, a State’s ability to establish the legality of such an action depends on its willingness openly to accept responsibility for the attack, to explain the basis for its action, and to demonstrate that reasonable efforts were made prior to the attack to convince the State whose territorial sovereignty was violated to prevent the offender’s unlawful activities from occurring.

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New Cybersecurity Primer by the Center for a New American Security

Last week the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released a new report on cybersecurity authored by Richard Danzig titled “Surviving on a Diet of Poisoned Fruit: Reducing the National Security Risks of America’s Cyber Dependencies.” CNAS hosted a panel discussion featuring the author and fellow cyber luminaries from DARPA, Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and others.…   continue »

The Accountability Matrix Widens: Torture, Black Sites and the European Convention

Long awaited decisions by the European Court of Human Rights emerged last week (initially reported here) that substantially address torture and the complicity of European states in C.I.A led practices of rendering individuals to “black sites” for sustained interrogation interlaced with allegations of torture and ill-treatment once detained.…   continue »

A Last Word on Lisa Monaco and AUMF Reform

In light of various offline comments, and Ben’s latest Lawfare post, let me briefly elaborate upon my post from this morning with respect to Saturday’s remarks by Lisa Monaco and the ongoing debate over AUMF reform. To my mind, folks are misreading Monaco’s comments because they are conflating three very different questions:

  1. What, if anything, is going to happen to the September 2001 AUMF?
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The Problems with Counterterrorism Stings: A Response to Samuel Rascoff

[Editor's note: Don't miss, Samuel Rascoff's rejoinder to David Cole's post, which was subsequently published here on Just Security.] 

In his guest post yesterday, NYU Law Professor (and former director of intelligence analysis for the NYPD) Samuel Rascoff defends the US’s use of sting operations as a counterterrorism tool on three grounds: (1) even if we may have entrapped some individuals who would never have committed a terrorist offense, such initiatives have a deterrent effect on others; (2) if we had fewer sting operations, we might well have more intrusive surveillance, because the state needs some way to identify and disrupt potential threats; and (3) sting operations are not unique to counterterrorism operations, but a central feature of criminal law enforcement more generally, and especially in the war on drugs.…   continue »

Guest Post: Sting Operations and Counterterrorism: What’s Really at Stake?

Attorney General Eric Holder was in Europe last week, touting the virtues of American-style counter-terrorism, including the prominent use of stings operations against would-be terrorists. According to the New York Times, Holder’s remarks were offered against a backdrop of deepening fears in European capitals about the potential for veterans of the ongoing hostilities in Syria returning home and deploying their battle-tested techniques against civilian populations.…   continue »