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Paula Newberg Appointed Director of Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy

From the Georgetown Blue & Gray:
Paula Newberg, a specialist in democracy, rights and development in crisis and transition states, has been appointed the new director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy (ISD), Walsh School of Foreign Service Dean Robert Gallucci announced Jan. 12.
“ISD has been an invaluable resource for both the university and the diplomatic community, and we …

International Criminal Court Begins First Trial Today

The New York Times reports:
More than six years after openings its doors, the International Criminal Court in The Hague began its first trial Monday, as Thomas Lubanga, a former Congolese warlord, took his seat in the dock, facing a crowded court and public gallery.
Mr. Lubanga, 48, once the leader of a powerful and violent militia, is accused of war …

Obama Issues Executive Orders on Interrogation, Guantanamo, Detainee Policy, and Memo on al-Marri

President Obama issue three historic executive orders today:

Review and Disposition of Individuals Detained at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and Closure of Detention Facilities
Review of Detention Policy Options
Ensuring Lawful Interrogations

The President also signed a memorandum directing a review of the al-Marri case.
These are truly remarkable documents. Here is an excerpt from the E.O. on Interrogations:
Sec. 3.  Standards and Practices for …

DNI Nominee Blair Pledges New Approach to Intelligence

The New York Times is reporting:
Dennis C. Blair, the retired admiral who is President Obama’s choice as the nation’s top intelligence official, pledged in testimony to be delivered on Thursday that he would require counterterrorism programs to operate “in a manner consistent with our nation’s values, consistent with our Constitution and consistent with the rule of law.”
Mr. Blair appeared to …

Obama Planning to Issue Executive Order on Guantanamo

President Obama is planning to issue an executive order on Guantanamo soon. The ACLU has posted a draft of the order here. Bobby Chesney comments:
I reprint and summarize the key passages below.  Note that the draft order holds the door open to prosecution options other than federal criminal prosecution, and in fact appears to leave the door open to non-criminal …

BREAKING NEWS: Judge Suspends 5 Detainee Trials

The Washington Post is reporting:
A U.S. military judge Wednesday suspended the trial of five detainees accused of involvement in plotting the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, acceding to a request from military prosecutors in accordance with a directive from the new Obama administration late Tuesday.
The suspension halts until late May the trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the avowed mastermind of …

More Office of Legal Counsel Memos from Bush Administration Released

Courtesy Bobby Chesney–

LEGAL AUTHORITIES SUPPORTING THE ACTIVITIES OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY DESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT (January 19, 2006) (added 01/16/09)
PRESIDENTIAL SIGNING STATEMENTS (January 31, 2007) (added 01/16/09)
REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION UNDER THE ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS PRIVACY ACT (November 5, 2008) (added 01/16/09)

Congrats to Marty Lederman — New Deputy Assistant AG in OLC

Jack Balkin posts:
Some of you may have noticed that Marty Lederman has not been blogging recently at Balkinization. The reason is that he has been working on the Department of Justice Transition team. As of today, the commencement of the Obama Administration, he begins work as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel. There he will be …


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Welcome! Who am I?



Anthony Clark Arend is Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the Director of the Master of Science in Foreign Service in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Commentary and analysis at the intersection of international law and politics.