Summing up their history of the statutory Inspector General at the CIA, the authors conclude that “The ‘independent watchdog’ of a statutory IG did not expose major shortcomings that otherwise would have gone unnoticed.
Liberty, Terrorism, and Laws of War | This issue includes analysis of Germany’s and China’s responses to national security threats and international efforts to establish counterterrorism standards.
It is impossible to have a meaningful debate over whether a civilian court or a military commission is a more appropriate forum for trying terrorism suspects so long as serious questions remain over whether the commissions may constitutionally exercise jurisdiction over particular offenses and/or offenders.
The assessment of facts to determine if peacetime law or the law of armed conflict is the correct choice involves the same analysis used in resolving other choice of law questions. Lawyers and judges constantly make choice of law decisions.
The practical consequence of the Constitutional Court’s balancing approach to maintain both security and liberty has been a shifting jurisprudence, a fact that is bound to buoy and bother American conservatives and progressives in equal measure.
China’s legal approach to national security threats, and emergency situations in general, is more complex and subtle and thus richer in implications for comparative law and for understanding transnational legal influence.
Seen from the great height of global comparison, the number of new anti-terrorism laws that criminalize terrorism, block terrorism financing, develop new international monitoring mechanisms to spot terrorists, and increase vigilance about the international movements of persons is extraordinary. Up close, however, widespread compliance [with the Security Council Resolution 1373 framework] looks less like a tightly coordinated strategy than diverse variations on a theme.
The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) excoriated the legal work done by John Yoo and Jay Bybee of the Office of Legal Counsel on the torture memos, but DOJ’s ultimate decision stopped short of referring Yoo and Bybee for professional discipline. Serious questions remain, particularly since the OPR was unable to obtain the testimony of many high-level officials who played critical roles in authorizing torture.
“Stewart Baker has written an enthralling, yet alarming, account of the difficult road we as country have traveled since 9/11.1 Part memoir of a veteran senior government official, part lesson in interdepartmental infighting and bureaucratic power games, part philosophical musing on technology’s benefits and potential costs, and part vigorous advocacy enlivened by saucy humor and snappy prose, Baker’s book summons us to think hard about how new technologies – air travel, computer functionality, biotechnology – jeopardize our lives and our way of life even as they also promise to brighten our futures.”