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News Roundup and Notes: December 19, 2014

Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news. 

U.S.-CUBA RELATIONS

President Obama will use “broad executive power” to “defy Congress” and lift a number of restrictions against Cuba, including travel, commerce and financial activities, report Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael R.…   continue »

Guest Post: Torture Is Still on the Table

The recent Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA interrogations is a parade of horribles. Detainees by the dozen arrested wrongfully and later released, including innocent nobodies and even men with mental disabilities. Poorly vetted interrogators with disciplinary problems and financial conflicts of interest.…   continue »

News Roundup and Notes: December 18, 2014

Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news. 

U.S.-CUBA RELATIONS

The U.S. and Cuba have agreed to restore diplomatic ties, severed since January 1961, and the U.S. will reestablish an embassy in Havana, President Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced yesterday.…   continue »

International Law and Cyber Attacks: Sony v. North Korea

Sonypicturesentertainmentoffices

It could only happen in the movies. A major Hollywood company produces a film starring well-known comedic actors which involves the tongue-in-cheek assassination of the leader of a remote and rather bizarre dictatorship. The “supreme leader” apparently orders a secret group of cyber warriors calling themselves “The Guardians of Peace” (in actuality, the State-run “Bureau 121”) to retaliate by attacking the company’s IT system.…   continue »

The Washington Post Editorial Board’s (mis)conception of Congress’s role in war authorizations

In Monday’s Washington Post, the editorial board called for the next Congress to prioritize passage of an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against ISIL, but also admonished Congress not to place conditions on its authorization. The editorial states:

“Congress’s role is to authorize wars and their aims, not micromanage how they are waged.”

In other words, the proper role for members of Congress is to authorize the war, specify its objectives, and then get out of the way.…   continue »

The Torture Report and the “Glomar Fig Leaf”

Glomar2

The Glomar Explorer, the CIA ship after which the much-abused legal doctrine is named

Buried in the SSCI’s report is an arresting passage that suggests that the CIA was quietly releasing information about the torture program to journalists while it was contending in court that release of such information to the public would compromise national security.…   continue »

Torture: Unreliable and Inestimably Costly

A few years ago, I served as a member of the Constitution Project’s Task Force on Detainee Treatment – an 11-member, bi-partisan group of former, high-ranking officials in the judiciary, Congress, the diplomatic service, law enforcement, and the military – and other experts in medicine, law, and ethics.…   continue »