War on Terror

George Mitchell former Senator George J Mitchell baseball steroids MLB Above the Law blog.jpg* Bush administration seeks greater power over promotions of military lawyers. [Boston Globe via How Appealing]
* Saudi king pardons rape victim who had been sentenced to 200 lashes (for being alone with a man at the time of the attack). [AP via New York Times]
* Limited effects of recent SCOTUS sentencing decision? [Chicago Tribune]
* CNN’s guide to Mitchell report players. [CNN]
* Law Blog’s guide to Sen. George Mitchell (including a funny story of a minor faux pas). [WSJ Law Blog]
* Poll suggests support for individual rights reading of Second Amendment. [CNN]
* Comcast v. NFL Network dispute produces another lawsuit. [
Sportsline]

* So, it’s gonna be illegal now, which means the CIA can’t do it, right? [Washington Post via How Appealing]
* New Jersey gets rid of the death penalty; now if they could just tackle that disgusting odor. [BBC]
* Prosecutors go 0-1-6 in Sears Tower trial. [CNN]
* Hey, look everybody! International law! They’ve got a court with judges and lawyers and stuff, and they even issue rulings! Just like it’s real! That’s cute. ICJ upholds treaty giving islands to Colombia. [Jurist]
* Hollywood writers take this strike thing up a notch. [AP via Reno Gazette-Journal]

Joshua Sohn Josh Sohn Joshua S Sohn DLA Piper Above the Law blog.jpgLast Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard oral argument in Arar v. Ashcroft, a high-profile lawsuit arising out of the U.S. government’s rendition of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, to Syria.
We interviewed DLA Piper partner Joshua Sohn (at right), co-counsel to Mr. Arar along with the Center for Constitutional Rights, about this interesting case and his firm’s work on it.
For readers who aren’t familiar with the case, what’s it all about?
It’s about the federal government’s extraordinary renditions program, which sends “people of interest” to sites around the world for indefinite detention and interrogation under harsh conditions — in this case torture. Mr. Arar, who is a computer engineer, Canadian citizen, husband, and father of two young children, was pulled out of the immigration line at JFK when he was attempting to change planes, but not enter the United States. Mr. Arar was interrogated at the airport, detained and interrogated at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, and ultimately flown by private jet in the dead of night to Jordan and delivered to Syria. Mr. Arar was never charged with a crime, was not allowed to consult with an attorney for many days when he was first detained and both he and his attorney were lied to about what was going to happen to him and the fact that he was being sent to Syria.
Mr. Arar made plain to those holding him that he feared being tortured in Syria and that he wanted to be sent to Canada-where he lived and was a citizen. Those pleas were ignored and Mr. Arar was sent to Syria where he was tortured and kept in a grave-like cell for almost a year. This case seeks to hold the federal officials who are responsible for Mr. Arar’s treatment, responsible.
Read the rest of the interview, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Arar v. Ashcroft: An ATL Interview with Josh Sohn of DLA Piper”

Jan Crawford Greenburg 3.jpgOne of our favorite Supreme Court reporters, the fabulous Jan Crawford Greenburg, gave a speech at Harvard Law School today. But she didn’t tarry in Cambridge:

Not sure what is going on, but JCG just finished giving a speech at HLS and said that:

a) She was turning around to go back to Washington immediately (this was not her original plan) and that the folks in DC had actually wanted her to turn around and catch the next shuttle back right away this morning after she landed.

b) We should be sure to watch the news tonight.

Not sure if there is anything to this, but checking Drudge and everything else there don’t seem to be any legal headlines going on. So the whole thing just seemed sort of weird.

Sure, I guess a few hundred bucks is nothing to ABC News, but the whole thing just seemed sort of odd. So I thought I’d throw it your way in case there were any other rumors flying about.

Correction / Update: We’ve been advised that the foregoing information actually came from the remarks introducing Jan Crawford Greenburg, not from the speech of JCG herself, and was mentioned only by way of explaining why the event was being cut somewhat short (with a planned lunch cancelled).
Has anyone heard anything? Nothing over at JCG’s blog, Legalities, hints at the reason for her rapid return to Washington.
Might Jan Crawford Greenburg’s hasty retreat back to DC be related to the embattled nomination of Michael Mukasey as Attorney General? Maybe Mukasey will give her an exclusive interview, in which he will declare waterboarding “not cool”?
Your speculation, informed or otherwise, is welcome in the comments.
P.S. On the subject of Mukasey and waterboarding, see this editorial cartoon.
Mukasey Mulls Waterboarding [The Illustrated Daily Scribble]
Bush Moves to Save Mukasey Nomination [New York Times]
Open Thread — The Nomination of Michael Mukasey [WSJ Law Blog]
Mukasey Confirmation Unlikely as Sen. Kennedy Joins Opposition to President’s AG Nominee [Blogonaut]

Hillary Clinton witch Hillary Rodham Clinton Above the Law blog.jpg* Happy Birthday, Mrs. President! Scott Shrake conducts an astrological analysis of Hillary Clinton. [Huffington Post]
* Speaking of witch, is Stephen Colbert “the best-scripted candidate this side of Hillary Clinton”? [Radar Online]
* “‘Terrorism,’ Censored Legal Briefs & The Blogosphere: Awesome Together.” [Fishbowl NY]
* Lawsuit of the Day: Mom of “Let’s Go Crazy” Baby fights back. [ABC News]
* Benchslap of the Day: federal judge tells SEC lawyer, to “sit down” and “shut up.” [WSJ Law Blog]

Cleary Gottlieb Steen Hamilton office bomb threat Above the Law blog.jpgThis email was sent around Cleary Gottlieb earlier this afternoon:

There has been a bomb threat received by one of the tenants of OLP [One Liberty Plaza] that is not specific as to details of the threatened event. The police have been conducting an investigation of the premises, including with dog squads, and have turned up nothing. No recommendation has been made by the police or other authorities that we evacuate the building, although one or two tenants have taken it upon themselves to do so.

The police do not believe this is a credible threat, but we felt that our employees should have the benefit of this information nevertheless.

If you have any details about the incident, please add them in the comments, or email us. Thanks.

Garrison Keillor stalker crazy lady Above the Law blog.jpg* Dems to propose new surveillance bill? [Newsweek]
* Only a Garrison Keillor stalker would call it “transcendental love.” [CNN]
* Pearl drops lawsuit against terrorists. [MSNBC]
* Law firm World Series. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Today’s stupid crimes from Court TV. [CourtTV]

Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman blind sheik Above the Law blog.jpg* Mistrial in case against Muslim organization; retrial likely. [AP; New York Times]
* California wildfires lead lawyers to flee from their homes and offices… [The Recorder via Law.com]
* … and may give rise to insurance battles, too. [CNN]
* Ex-stripper convicted in “Last Seduction” trial. [MSNBC]
* White House accused of doctoring environmental testimony. [MSNBC]
* Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) retracts her expressions of concern over the prosecution of an L.A. councilman. [Washington Briefs]

Under Armour Under Armor underwear briefs Guantanamo Bay Above the Law blog.jpgHere’s a quick follow-up to our prior coverage of the mysterious Under Armour briefs that somehow made their way into the hands, and onto the loins, of Guantanamo Bay detainees. From Reuters:

The U.S. military has ended an inquiry into who smuggled unauthorized underwear and a bathing suit to two prisoners at Guantanamo Bay without learning the source of the contraband skivvies, an attorney said on Wednesday.

The investigators concluded more vigilance was needed to prevent contraband from entering the camp that holds 330 suspected al Qaeda operatives, said Capt. Pat McCarthy, the military’s chief lawyer for the detention operation at Guantanamo.

Is the inability to solve the Riddle of the Briefs a sad commentary on the state of military intelligence? Or is this perhaps a mystery that they didn’t want to be solved?
Mystery underwear stymies Guantanamo investigators [Reuters]
Earlier: Guantanamo Bay Perk Watch: Under Armor Briefs!

Jacques Vergès Jacques Verges Terror's Advocate Above the Law blog.jpgWe always get excited about law-related movies. E.g., Michael Clayton; A Lawyer Walks Into a Bar. If you hear of any in the pipeline, please let us know.
Today we’re pleased to present an exclusive clip for the upcoming release by Magnolia Pictures, Terror’s Advocate, which opens in theaters tomorrow. Here’s a brief blurb about this legally-themed film:

TERROR’S ADVOCATE is a controversial documentary that explores the legal practices of the charismatic and devious-until-proven-innocent French lawyer Jacques Vergès. He is best known for defending Carlos the Jackal and members of the Nazi party. In addition, TERROR’S ADVOCATE features the recently arrested former Khmer Rouge Second in Command, Nuon Chea.

“Jaw-dropping and all the more amazing for being true.” A.O. Scott – NY Times

“A riveting drama. This fascinating drama is fresh and epic” – Time Magazine

An Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival.

You can check out the ATL exclusive clip, an interview with this rather charming defender of terrorists, by clicking here. Additional information, including the official trailer, is available at the film’s website.
Terror’s Advocate [film clip]
Terror’s Advocate [official website]
L’Avocat de la terreur [IMDb]

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