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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 …

A New Hope: Obama’s Inaugural Address and American Foreign Policy

It was critical that President Obama send the right signal to the rest of the world about a new approach to foreign policy. He did just that in his Inaugural Address:
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter …

Remembering Martin Luther King and the Work Ahead

On this day in which the United States commemorates the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jesse Jackson has an op-ed in the New York Times describing Dr. King’s last birthday– January 15, 1968. Jackson writes:
Dr. King spent his 39th birthday working. I remember him coming to the basement of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. He walked in that day around …

6 More Persons Transferred From Guantanamo

From the January 17 DoD Press Release:
The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of six detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Four detainees were transferred to Iraq, one to Algeria and one to Afghanistan.  These detainees were determined to be eligible for departure following a comprehensive series of review processes.
The transfer is a demonstration of the United States’ desire not …


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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.