Annual Review Conference earlybird deadline ends October 30 – keynote speakers announced

October 29, 2009

* ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security, 19th Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law Conference registration and hotel deadline extended:

The Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia School of Law; the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security and the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security at Duke University School of Law

proudly announce the

19th Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law Conference

November 12 and 13, 2009

Renaissance Washington DC Hotel ** 999 Ninth Street NW,  Washington, DC

Early Bird Rate Ends FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30

Panels include: Executive and Legislative updates on developments in national security law; Emerging Issues in National Security Law: Narco-Violence Along the Border; Modern Piracy: Legal and Policy Options; Revised Military Commissions: Lingering Questions; Cyber Security and Cyber Warfare and Ethics Challenges for National Security Lawyers.

The opening reception for registered attendees, hosted by the law firm of Arnold & Porter will be on Wednesday, November 11, in their Garden Room, 555 12th Street, NW in Washington from 6-7:30 p.m.

Conference keynote speakers include:

  • DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano
  • Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg
  • Jamie S. Gorelick, WilmerHale

Registration form is attached and full program information is posted on the Committee’s website –

Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan (en banc granted); ODNI GC on congressional notification; United States v. Headley and Rana; Beard on Law and War in the Virtual Era

October 27, 2009

1. Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan (9th Cir. Oct. 27, 2009)

The Ninth Circuit has granted en banc review in this important case involving the state secrets privilege (thus delaying or potentially averting Supreme Court engagement with the issue).  The short order granting review is here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Al Sattar v. Obama; Noori v. Obama; HPSCI hearing re notification laws; national security archive blog

October 26, 2009

1. Al Sattar v. Obama (D.D.C. Oct. 21, 2009) (GTMO habeas)

Judge Bates has granted the government’s motion to dismiss this habeas petition (without prejudice), on the ground that counsel has been unable to obtain al Sattar’s consent to the representation (al Sattar has declined on five occasion to meet with counsel, it appears, and tore up a letter from counsel asking him to reconsider and to authorize their representation).   The short opinion explaining the decision appears here.

2. Noori v. Obama (D.D.C. Oct. 22, 2009) (GTMO habeas)

Judge Urbina has given putative counsel in this GTMO habeas proceeding 30 days to make a second attempt to secure authorization for representation, and has stayed consideration of the government’s motion to dismiss in the interim.  The opinion ishere.

3. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Subcommittee on Intelligence Community Management, Hearing on Congressional Notification of Intelligence Activities (Oct. 22, 2009)

Two substantive statements for the record are here:

Mr. L. Britt Snider
Former Inspector General, Central Intelligence Agency

Mr. Fritz A.O. Schwarz
Former Chief Counsel, Church Committee

4. New blog from the National Security Archive

United States v. Amawi; symposium on religion and national security; collateral review of military commissions; forthcoming scholarship

October 23, 2009

1. United States v. Amawi (N.D. Ohio Oct. 21, 2009)

Judge James Carr has sentenced three men in connection with a conspiracy to kill people outside the United States, including U.S. military personnel in Iraq.  The government’spress release summarizes the allegations in the case as follows:

In February 2007, Amawi, El-Hindi, and Mazloum were charged in a superseding indictment with conspiring to kill or maim persons outside the United States, including U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq, and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. Amawi and El-Hindi were also charged individually with distributing information regarding the manufacture or use of explosives, including suicide bomb vests and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Read the rest of this entry »

united states v. mehanna (terrorism conspiracy arrest in Massachusetts)

October 21, 2009

* United States v. Terek Mehanna (D. Mass. Oct. 21, 2009)

According to a criminal complaint and accompanying affidavit filed yesterday, Mehanna, Ahmad Abousamra, and others collaborated in an effort to go abroad to participate in jihad and to carry out attacks within the U.S. as well.  Mehanna already had been arrested, and charged earlier this year with making false statements to the FBI (in connection with questions regarding the activities of his associate Daniel Maldonado, an American who traveled to Somalia to obtain military-type training and who then became the first person prosecuted under 18 USC 2339D, which forbids the receipt of such training from a designated foreign terrorist organization).    The complaint charges a conspiracy to violate the 1994 material support law (18 USC 2339A), based on the provision of various forms of support and resources with the knowledge and intent that they would be used (presumably by Mahanna and Abousamra themselves) in furtherance of anticipated violations of 18 USC 956(a) (prohibiting conspiracies to commit unlawful violent acts outside the US) and 18 USC 2332 (prohibiting the murder of US nationals overseas).  In that respect, this looks like a good example of the use of the material support concept in coordination with conspiracy liability to enable prosecutorial intervention at a relatively early/preliminary stage, something we’ve seen many examples of in recent years.

The complaint and affidavit are available here.

Doe v. Holder; new statutory rules governing GTMO transfer/release

October 21, 2009

1. Doe v. Holder (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 20, 2009)

This long-running litigation involves an Internet Service Provider whom the FBI served with a national security letter (i.e., a type of administrative subpoena) many years ago. The legal framework governing NSLs includes an option for forbidding the recipient of an NSL from disclosing the fact that it has received such a request.  At the time this particular NSL first was issued, it was not clear that the relevant statutes permitted the recipient to challenge the nondisclosure requirement in court (or even discuss the situation with a lawyer).  As a result of multiple rounds of litigation and statutory revisions, however, it is now clear that the government must initiate judicial review of an NSL nondisclosure provision and that the government has the burden of showing (by more than a conclusory assertion) that there is good reason to believe that the gag provision is necessary to avoid a substantial risk of harm in relation to the underlying investigation.

Yesterday, the district court (Judge Marrero) applied this new standard, and ruled in the government’s favor. The opinion is posted here. Read the rest of this entry »

Job Opportunity: Human Rights First seeks Law and Security Program Director

October 20, 2009

* Human Rights First seeking new Law & Security Director

HRF is seeking a new director for their Law & Security program – see the details in the attached document (including contact info for those who are interested).