Jack Goldsmith

David Sanger and Thom Shanker have a lengthy story in the New York Times about various National Security Agency techniques for penetrating foreign computers and networks, including a strategy for accessing seemingly air-gapped computers. Two thoughts:

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The U.S. government has never prosecuted a newspaper or journalist for publishing classified information, and in recent years even the theoretical legal possibility of doing so has evaporated. 

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Count me as very skeptical about the suggestions in recent days that neither the White House nor the congressional intelligence committees knew about NSA collections against leaders in allied countries.

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The Obama administration is engaged in an unprecedented campaign to control the flow of information to the press, characterized by “legal policies . . .

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It’s the best way to stave off the oncoming onslaught of cyber-attacks.

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Politico reports that a revised Syria AUMF is being drafted in the Senate:Some of the options being considered for the revised Authorization for the Use of Military Force include a 60-day period for Obama to launch “narrow, limited” strikes against Assad’s regime with the potential for a 30-day extension of that deadline.

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I have a pretty broad view of presidential power to use military force abroad without congressional authorization. On that view, which is close to the past views of the Office of Legal Counsel, the planned use of military force in Syria is a constitutional stretch that will push presidential war unilateralism beyond where it has gone before. There are many reasons why it is a stretch even under OLC precedents.

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How Obama Undermined the War on Terror

The President promised not to undercut the rule of law for expedience's sake. He did. Now we face the consequences.

When Obama took office, he promised not to expend "the rule of law" for "expedience's sake." He did, and now we all face the consequences.

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On Target

Obama's drone memo is exactly what he said it'd be

Obama's drone memo may seem shocking. But he never promised otherwise.

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“So much for the theory that the Court doesn’t leak,” a friend emailed me, dissing my TNR essay on Supreme Court secrecy in light of Jan Crawford’s blockbuster revelation about the internal deliberations behind the Obamacare decision less than a week after it was announced. “I am told by two sources with specific knowledge of the court’s deliberations that Roberts initially sided with the conservatives in this case and was prepared to strike down…the individual mandate,” Crawford said, on CBS’ Face the Nation.

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