Tag Archives: Latest Issue

This tag is for the front page slider. Articles from the most recent issue get both issue “category” and “latest issue” tag.

The Attack on the Capitol Calls for a Measured Response

By Emily Berman

There are many indisputable facts about violent and deadly incursion into the Capitol building on January 6th. It is beyond debate that the fiasco included multiple criminal acts. Nor is there any question that it represents a colossal security failure on the part of those whose mission is to safeguard the premises and the people inside.

Finally, as many observers have noted, the differential treatment afforded to the largely White crowd of President Donald Trump’s supporters compared to the Black Lives Matter protestors who took to the streets this summer to protest acts of police violence against Black individuals was, to say the least, stark. Each of these facts—the criminal acts, the security failure, and the differential treatment afforded to those protesting—demand thorough investigation and a vigorous response. But that response need not—indeed must not—include measures that ultimately repress peaceful protest and restrict the right to assembly for Americans of all political stripes …

A Besieged Capitol: The Need to Objectively Assess the Nature of the Violence

By David E. Graham

As the world watched, in real time, a mob descended upon the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and, spurred on by the words of the then President of the Unites States, engaged in destructive and deadly acts of violence. Pundits, politicians, present and former government officials, and, yes, any number of attorneys, have since referred to the actions involved, alternatively, as a “riot”, “mob violence”, “domestic terrorism”, “sedition”, “a coup”, “rebellion” and “insurrection”. The headline in The Washington Post on the morning of January 7 declared that the President had incited his supporters to commit “acts of insurrection [and] violence”. And, on January 11, the House of Representatives, in apparent confirmation of the Post’s conclusion, impeached President Trump on the charge of “incitement of insurrection”.

Here’s the question, however. While the President, individually, has been charged with inciting “insurrection”, did the collective acts engaged in by those who stormed the Capitol actually rise to the level of what can objectively be viewed as such? With this in mind, it would perhaps be prudent for the National Security Law community to take a step back, draw a deep breath, and undertake an analysis as to what the actions of those who descended upon the Capitol should most accurately and realistically be termed-bearing in mind that, as the saying goes, words actually do matter. The brief thoughts that follow are intended to engender this assessment …

The Capitol Insurrection and Pineapples on Pizza

By Paul Rosenzweig

The events of January 6th will echo in American history for years to come. While other essays in this special edition may focus on root causes of the insurrection or legal issues relating to the definition of domestic insurrection, in this brief essay I want to look at the role that cybersecurity efforts played in saving our Nation. Along the way, I will also explore the role Hawaiian pizza played (but more on that later).

Cybersecurity may not have the most obvious nexus to the insurrection, but it assuredly did. To see this most clearly, we might begin with a thought experiment grounded in the assault on the Capitol …

From 9-11 to January 6: The Limits of Surveillance Authority and the Democratic State

By Marc Rotenberg

A Constitutional democracy that seeks to monitor the private lives of its citizens must do so in the most minimally intrusive manner, ensure that its conduct is lawful and permissible, subject to public oversight and transparent, and also that it is effective. Implicit in the willingness of citizens to permit some degree of intrusion by the state is the assurance that the government will act appropriately on the information it obtains. If the government fails to act, it calls into the question the legitimacy of all surveillance authorities.

Others will comment on the extraordinary breakdown in agency coordination and intelligence assessment that made it possible for a mob to seize the Capitol of the United States on January 6, 2021. But a meaningful analysis of January 6 should also take account of the failure of the extraordinary surveillance authorities established after September 11 …

Taking Congress and the Capitol Seriously as National Security Institutions

By Dakota S. Rudesill

Responsibility for the seditious violent attack on the United States Congress of Jan. 6, 2021, rests with serious afflictions within our civic culture, with a series of costly errors regarding the security of the Capitol, and with then-President Donald Trump’s mendacious inspiration, assembly, and direction of a massive, frenzied, armed mob to march on the Capitol.

Also operating here to leave the Congress insufficiently warned and the Capitol inadequately defended was a general, longstanding failure among many to regard the Congress and the Capitol as national security institutions of paramount importance. Although the crowd was large and violent, it is hard to imagine such a mob ever – or at least so quickly and extensively – penetrating security at other public sites well understood to be vital to the nation’s security, such as the White House or the Pentagon, and halting for hours their ability to execute their responsibilities under the Constitution.

Better protection would certainly flow from a proper appreciation of the nation’s legislature and the iconic temple of democracy in which it meets as central to the nation’s survival and very identity. Ultimately, better security must be balanced with the public access imperative in an open society, in a way that preserves both …