John Bellinger: If the War Is Illegal, Just Change the Law

By: Saturday November 27, 2010 12:45 pm

John Bellinger has been publicly suggesting the Obama Administration had exceeded the terms of the AUMF for some time. So it is unsurprising that he took the opportunity of a Republican House, the incoming Armed Services Chair’s explicit support for a new AUMF, and the Ghailani verdict to more fully develop his argument in an op-ed. It’s a well-crafted op-ed, such as in the way it avoids explicitly saying the government has been breaking the law in its pursuit of terrorism, when he pretends the only people we’ve been targeting in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia are al Qaeda leaders.

 

Guantanamo “Compromise”: Cap’n Jack’s Crackerjack Logic!

By: Friday September 10, 2010 9:25 am

The correct response, for someone in Goldsmith’s position, would be to say, “stop being such cynical assholes, Republicans, this is about law, not your political stunts!” But instead, he wrings his hand and invents a new legal system to work around the difficulty created by his colleagues in the Republican party.

The Illegal War on Latin American (!) Terrorism

By: Sunday June 6, 2010 1:15 pm

The UN has vague concerns and John Bellinger, former Legal Adviser to the United States Secretary of State during the Bush administration, very specific ones about the way in which we’re using cover of a war on terrorism (which has, after all, been renamed a war against violent extremism, with no specificity to al Qaeda or terrorism) to target people we’ve got no legal basis targeting.

Obama and JSOC Targeting People Not Included under AUMF

By: Friday June 4, 2010 6:45 am

The WaPo has an important story today–apparently following up on the NYT’s JUnc-WTF story from last week–describing the way Obama has expanded the scope of the use of special operations forces. I have no illusions about the many obscure ways our government has used special operations for years, even in countries where we shouldn’t be deployed. But this just seems like a very dangerous morphing of the war on terror in a way that could include extremists of all sorts.

Were The Torturers Bypassing OLC in July 2004?

By: Saturday March 13, 2010 6:00 pm

It appears that early in July 2004, the White House dictated to DOJ what torture methods would be approved. And only after Congress got involved did the White House agree to niceties like OLC opinions.

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