War on Terror

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]

waterboarding 2 water boarding torture interrogation Above the Law blog.jpg* Does a federal district court have to recruit pro bono counsel for a pro se litigant? [Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals via How Appealing]
* DOJ cool with torture tough interrogation techniques. [New York Times]
* Bush doesn’t care about poor kids. [AP via Athens Banner-Herald]
* The ACLU doesn’t want to let Bush protect us. [Jurist]
* Falcons want their money back; so do Falcons fans (last week’s fine win notwithstanding). [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

Under Armour Under Armor underwear briefs Guantanamo Bay Above the Law blog.jpgLife for detainees at Guantanamo Bay, while difficult, isn’t 100 percent grim. From yesterday’s Washington Post:

Undergarments from Under Armour, the sports apparel line, offer “all-day performance, delivered in a lightweight compression fit,” at least according to the company’ s promotional material. While “unprecedented” in its ability to deliver comfort, Under Armour underwear is not standard issue for detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. So when two men in detention there were found to possess the contraband briefs, the Navy attorney contacted their attorneys. One of the detainees in question is Shaker Aamer, whose release the British government wrote to request from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in August.

But before turning to the larger question of whether Aamer will stay or go, there’s the question of what he’s wearing. And as the recent exchange between the Navy lawyer and Aamer’s attorney Clive Stafford Smith illustrates, in the legal wrangling over detention, even details on intimates can lead to contentious debate…

You read excerpts from the hilarious correspondence, which showcase the dry British wit of Clive Stafford-Smith, over here.
But for those of you who like to look at original documents — and we know that, since you’re mostly lawyers, you love yourselves some primary docs — we’re pleased to present the complete correspondence (with original letterhead, signatures, etc.). Just click here (PDF). Enjoy!
Correspondence Between Staff Judge Advocate, U.S. Navy, and Clive A. Stafford-Smith [PDF]
An Incursion of Briefs at Guantanamo [Washington Post]

Clarence Thomas 2 Justice Clarence Thomas Above the Law blog.jpgEd. notes: First, B. Clerker is unavailable this morning, so we’re doing Morning Docket ourselves. Second, by the time you read this, we’ll be attending this event. But we’ve arranged for previously written posts (like this one) to be published in our absence.
* John Edwards tries to put a noble spin on the financial desperation of his flailing campaign. Stick a fork in him; he’s done. [WP; NYT]
* Jena One released on bail. [AP]
* Fourteen “high-value” terrorism suspects will be allowed to request lawyers. KSM will use his to sue Teleflex. [WP]
* In Pakistan, the Supreme Court gets involved in elections too. From the gallery: “Go, Musharraf, go!” [AP via WP]
* Set your TiVo, judicial groupies: Justice Thomas will be on 60 Minutes this Sunday. Thankfully, his interview — in which he’s rumored to call Anita Hill “a nappy-headed ho” — doesn”t conflict with the season premiere of Desperate Housewives. [WSJ Law Blog]

Michael Mukasey Chief Judge Michael B Mukasey SDNY Above the Law blog.jpgNo official announcement has been made (despite the claim of Wikipedia that “[o]n September 16, 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Mukasey to serve as the 81st Attorney General of the United States”). But numerous news outlets are reporting that President Bush has selected Michael B. Mukasey — currently a partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler in New Yorker, and former chief judge of the S.D.N.Y. — as his attorney general nominee, to replace Alberto Gonzales.
We’ll have more to say after an official announcement, which could come as early as tomorrow morning. In the meantime, read Judge Mukasey’s interesting, frequently cited Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, on the Jose Padilla case (which he handled in part).
If you have firsthand experience with Judge Mukasey — e.g., as a litigant who has appeared before him, or as one of his law clerks — please share your thoughts in the comments, or by email. Thanks.
Bush plans to pick Mukasey for A.G. [Politico.com]
Bush Settles on Mukasey to Replace Gonzales [Washington Post]
Bush Expected to Name Judge as Gonzales’s Successor [New York Times]
Judge Top Contender to Replace Gonzales: Aide [Reuters]
Bush Picks Mukasey as Attorney General [AP]
Sources: Retired judge may replace Gonzales [CNN]
Jose Padilla Makes Bad Law [Wall Street Journal]
Michael B. Mukasey [Wikipedia]

Fox 24 twenty-four Jack Bauer Kiefer Sutherland Above the Law blog.jpgWe’re not being sarcastic. This course, to be offered at Georgetown Law in spring 2008, sounds awesome. To the average law student, it’s probably way more interesting than securities regulation (or even ERISA — one of our favorite law school classes). [FN1]
From the GULC course catalog:

The Law of “24”
Professor W. Sharp
LL.M Course 853 (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The award winning Fox Television drama series 24 explores America’s fictional response to international terrorism through the eyes of Jack Bauer, a U.S. counter-terrorism agent. Oftentimes without remorse or regard for the law, Agent Bauer is willing to do what has to be done when faced with the threat of kidnappings, assassinations, nuclear detonations, and bioterrorism on U.S. soil – despite traitors in his family, his unit, and the White House; partisan politics; sleeper cells; and hidden agendas.

This course provides a detailed understanding of a very wide-range of U.S. domestic and international legal issues concerning counterterrorism in the context of the utilitarian and sometimes desperate responses to terrorism raised by the plot of 24. Course requirements include active classroom discussion and a paper of approximately 25 pages.

If Jack Goldsmith’s new book is correct, it seems some members of the Bush Administration legal team might benefit from this class.
The instructor, adjunct professor Walter Sharp, sounds pretty badass. He’s a Naval Academy grad who currently serves as Associate Deputy General Counsel for International Affairs at the Defense Department. He previously served as Deputy Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Pretty cool!
[FN1] We followed, with interest and amusement, this recent spirited commenters’ debate over whether you can get a “real” legal education at Yale. For those of you who care, we offer some thoughts on that subject after the jump.
The Law of “24” [Georgetown University Law Center]
Faculty bio: Walter Gary Sharp [Georgetown University Law Center]

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Best Law School Course Ever?”

* Who needs lawyers? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Take the deal, Vick. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Buyer’s remorse on the surveillance law? [New York Times]
* I want a new drug website. [BBC]
* Being the creepiest guy on earth is apparently not a crime. [CNN]

Jose Padilla 2 Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgJose Padilla: committed al-Qaida terrorist, or harmless (and not very good) student of Arabic?
After a three month trial, the jury deliberated for a day and a half. Now they’ve reached a verdict.
We’ll bring you the details as soon as we have them. A day and a half isn’t very long given the length of the trial. Is that a bad sign for the prosecution or the defense?
Update: A bad sign for the defense: Jose Padilla has been convicted of federal terrorism support charges. Next time around, Jose, don’t fill out a written application to join the terrorists.
Verdict Reached in Padilla Terror Case [Associated Press]
Jury reaches verdict in Padilla terror trial [CNN]

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