upcoming event: debating the al-Aulaqi lawsuit (Michael Lewis and Arther Spitzer), Tuesday September 21st at G’town Law

September 17, 2010

* Upcoming Event: Debating the al-Aulaqi suit and the question of targeted killing in the context of an American citizen: Michael Lewis (Ohio Northern) & Arthur Spitzer (ACLU)

This will be great – don’t miss it if you are able to go:

Tuesday Sep. 21, from 12:00 to 1:00 at Georgetown Law

Guests that do not have Georgetown ID’s should go to the Second Street entrance to McDonough Hall which is between E Street and Massachusetts Avenue. That side of the Law Center is most easily accessed from the Judiciary Square Metro stop.

I’ll pass along the audio if they end up recording it.


nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Mascheroni (D.N.M.) (indictment)

September 17, 2010

* United States v. Mascheroni (D.N.M.) (indictment re classified nuclear weapons data)

The indictment is attached; details from the press release follow:

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced that a scientist and his wife, who both previously worked as contractors at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico, have been indicted on charges of communicating classified nuclear weapons data to a person they believed to be a Venezuelan government official and conspiring to participate in the development of an atomic weapon for Venezuela, among other violations.

The 22-count indictment, which was returned yesterday by a federal grand jury in the District of New Mexico, was announced by David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Kenneth J. Gonzales, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico and Carol K.O. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division.

The defendants are Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni (Mascheroni), 75, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Argentina, and Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni (Roxby Mascheroni), 67, a U.S. citizen. Both were arrested by FBI agents this morning and made their initial appearance in federal court in Albuquerque today. If convicted of all the charges in the indictment, the defendants face a potential sentence of life in prison.

The indictment does not allege that the government of Venezuela or anyone acting on its behalf sought or was passed any classified information, nor does it charge any Venezuelan government officials or anyone acting on their behalf with wrongdoing. Further, the indictment does not charge any individuals currently working at LANL with wrongdoing.

Mascheroni, a Ph.D. physicist, worked as a scientist at LANL from 1979 to 1988 and held a security clearance that allowed him access to certain classified information, including “Restricted Data.” His wife worked at LANL between 1981 and 2010, where her duties included technical writing and editing. She also held a security clearance at LANL that allowed her access to certain classified information, including “Restricted Data.” As defined under the Atomic Energy Act, “Restricted Data” is classified information concerning the design, manufacture or use of atomic weapons; the production of special nuclear material; or the use of special nuclear material in the production of energy.

The indictment charges the defendants with conspiring to communicate and communicating “Restricted Data” to an individual with the intent to injure the United States and secure an advantage to a foreign nation. They are also charged with conspiring to and attempting to participate in the development of an atomic weapon, as well as conspiring to convey and conveying classified “Restricted Data.” The indictment further charges Mascheroni with concealing and retaining U.S. records with the intent to convert them to his own use and gain, as well as six counts of making false statements. Roxby Mascheroni is also charged with seven counts of making false statements.

U.S. Attorney Gonzales said, “Our laws are designed to prevent ‘Restricted Data’ from falling into the wrong hands because of the potential harm to our national security. Employees at the Los Alamos National Laboratory who have access to ‘Restricted Data’ are charged with safeguarding that sensitive information, even after they leave the lab. This is absolutely necessary for our national security, and it is what the public expects. Consistent with its responsibility to protect our national interests, LANL has cooperated fully in the investigation leading to the indictment of Dr. Mascheroni and Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni.”

According to the indictment, Mascheroni had a series of conversations in March 2008 with an undercover FBI agent posing as a Venezuelan government official. During these conversations, Mascheroni discussed his program for developing nuclear weapons for Venezuela. Among other things, Mascheroni allegedly said he could help Venezuela develop a nuclear bomb within 10 years and that, under his program, Venezuela would use a secret, underground nuclear reactor to produce and enrich plutonium, and an open, above-ground reactor to produce nuclear energy.

During these talks, Mascheroni allegedly asked about obtaining Venezuelan citizenship and described how he expected to be paid for his classified nuclear work for Venezuela. He also told the undercover agent he should be addressed as “Luke,” and that he would set up an email account solely to communicate with the undercover agent. Mascheroni later used this account to communicate with the agent and to arrange for deliveries of materials at a “dead drop” location, which was a post office box.

In July 2008, the undercover agent provided Mascheroni with a list of 12 questions purportedly from Venezuelan military and scientific personnel. In response, Mascheroni delivered to the dead drop location in November 2008 a disk with a coded 132-page document on it that allegedly contained “Restricted Data” related to nuclear weapons. Written by Mascheroni and edited by his wife, the document was entitled “A Deterrence Program for Venezuela” and laid out Mascheroni’s nuclear weapons development program for Venezuela. Mascheroni stated that the information he was providing was worth millions of dollars, and his fee for producing the document was $793,000, the indictment alleges.

In June 2009, Mascheroni received from the dead drop location another list of questions, purportedly from Venezuelan officials, and $20,000 in cash from the undercover agent as a first payment. On his way to pick up these materials, he allegedly told his wife he was doing this work for the money and was not an American anymore.

In July 2009, Mascheroni delivered to the dead drop location a disk that contained a 39-page document with answers to the questions. According to the indictment, the document was written by Mascheroni, edited by his wife, and contained “Restricted Data” related to nuclear weapons. In the document, Mascheroni allegedly reiterated that the information he had provided was classified and was based on his knowledge of U.S. nuclear tests that he had learned while working at LANL, but that he would state the document was based on open information found on the Internet if “our relationship/alliance does not work…”

In August 2009, the indictment alleges, Mascheroni and his wife met with the undercover agent at a hotel, where Mascheroni further discussed his nuclear weapons development program for Venezuela. Several months later, FBI agents questioned Mascheroni and his wife about the classified information Mascheroni had provided to the undercover agent, among other things. Both made a series of false statements in response, the indictment alleges.

100917 Mascheroni Indictment EF.pdf


publication opportunity – Virginia Journal of International Law Online

September 17, 2010

* Publication Opportunity – Virginia Journal of International Law Online

From VJIL:

The Virginia Journal of International Law (VJIL)is pleased to announce its launch of an online companion to the journal, VJIL Online. Now in its fiftieth year, VJIL is the oldest continuously-published, student-edited international law journal in the United States. VJIL Online will publish high-quality articles on public and private international law written by academics, practitioners, judges, and law students of all levels. This extension of VJIL’s printed pages seeks to facilitate discussion of current issues in the international legal community. VJIL Online specifically invites submissions that focus on provocative, cutting-edge topics in international law, and we also welcome timely responses to articles in VJIL’s print journal.

VJIL Online is currently accepting submissions for its November 2010 launch. We welcome submissions of between 3,000 and 4,000 words with light citations. VJIL Online accepts submissions on a rolling basis, and accepted essays will be placed on an expedited production schedule for timely publication.

Essays or print article responses may be sent to the Managing Editor of VJIL Online at jn5g with the subject line “VJIL Online Submission.” We also welcome submissions through our print journal’s ExpressO account.

Additional submission information is available at http://www.vjil.org. We very much hope that you will consider publishing with VJIL Online, and that you will spread the news of our launch to your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us

Very truly yours,

Jennifer A. Nelson


job opening: Brennan Center Liberty & National Security Project Director Position

September 17, 2010

* job opening: Director, Liberty and National Security Project, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law

From NYU’s announcement:

Background: The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law seeks a Director for its Liberty and National Security (“LNS”) Project, an initiative of its Justice Program. The Project strives to ensure that our government’s response to terrorism conforms to the nation’s deepest Constitutional values. Building on our work on checks and balances and detention policy, we are expanding our efforts on government transparency and accountability, and domestic counterterrorism policies, particularly those that may lead to ethnic or religious profiling and undue invasions of privacy. We deploy policy analysis, research, scholarship, public education, convenings, counseling of officials and activists, legislative drafting and advocacy, and litigation. We publish reports and books; wage legislative advocacy campaigns; work with affected communities; and conduct litigation (including before the U.S. Supreme Court).

The Position: The Director develops and implements the Project’s overall vision and strategy, is deeply involved in substantive initiatives, and manages a team of attorneys, policy associates, research associates and consultants. In addition, the Director works closely with the Development Department to raise funds and with the Communications Department to coordinate public education and media strategies.

Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have a law degree, an extensive background in issues involving the intersection of national security and civil liberties, and human rights, and a demonstrated commitment to pursuing justice. We seek a candidate with exceptional leadership and vision, and a broad array of skills including: excellent research, writing, and analytical ability; demonstrated skill as a litigator and/or policy advocate; outstanding communications and public speaking skills; a strong work ethic and capacity for juggling multiple responsibilities; ability to work with diverse clients, coalition members, and governmental officials; ability to fundraise; and demonstrated ability to supervise staff. Lawyers in public interest, private practice, government, journalism, academia, or the military are encouraged to apply. The job is located in New York or Washington, D.C.

The Brennan Center, an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, is strongly committed to diversity and welcomes applicants of all races, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations, including people who have been previously incarcerated.

Salary: Commensurate with experience.

Applications: Applications should be submitted by October 15, 2010 at http://brennancenter.theresumator.com/apply/hAdysK/Director-Liberty-And-National-Security-Project.html/source:staff . Please upload, as one document: a cover letter, resume, two writing samples, and the names and phone numbers of three references.

The Center: The Center is a nonpartisan public policy and law institute that focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice. The Center has approximately 55 staff, including attorneys, researchers, and public affairs professionals. The Center operates offices in New York and in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit: http://www.brennancenter.org .