Blog of Rights

Jameel
Jaffer

Jameel Jaffer (@JameelJaffer) is an ACLU deputy legal director and director of the ACLU's Center for Democracy, which houses the organization's National Security Project, Human Rights Program, and Speech, Privacy & Technology Project. He has testified before Congress about issues relating to government surveillance and, since 2004, has served as a human rights monitor for the military commissions at Guantánamo. His book, Administration of Torture (co-authored with Open Society Justice Institute attorney Amrit Singh), was published by Columbia University Press in 2007. Prior to joining the ACLU, he clerked for Amalya L. Kearse, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, and Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada. He is a graduate of Williams College, Cambridge University, and Harvard Law School. (Photo: Redwell Imaging)

The Surveillance Memos, and a Suggestion for Jack Goldsmith

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 1:55pm
As I noted in a previous post, the two Bush administration surveillance memos we obtained last Friday are very heavily redacted. They’re interesting nonetheless.

Secrecy and Surveillance

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 6:09pm

Over the last decade, lawyers for the Bush and Obama administrations have contended, controversially, that many government surveillance programs are effectively immune from judicial review. They’ve argued that surveillance programs can’t…

How to Decode the True Meaning of What NSA Officials Say

How to Decode the True Meaning of What NSA Officials Say

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy & Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 12:09pm

This piece was originally published on Slate.

James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, has been harshly criticized for having misled Congress earlier this year about the scope of the National Security Agency's surveillance activities.…

NSA Surveillance: No Checks, No Balance

NSA Surveillance: No Checks, No Balance

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 1:18pm

About two weeks ago, Sens. Patrick Leahy and Chuck Grassley, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court asking questions about the court's operations in advance…

Freedom for Sale

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 4:30pm

(Originally posted on Open Salon.)

Benjamin Franklin famously warned that "they who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." But over the last decade, Americans —…

An Ally or a Spy Target, But Not Both

An Ally or a Spy Target, But Not Both

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:48am

The revelation that the National Security Agency is engaged in dragnet surveillance of American allies is just another indication...

Sens. Wyden and Udall Weigh in on ACLU Patriot Act FOIA Case

Sens. Wyden and Udall Weigh in on ACLU Patriot Act FOIA Case

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 6:09pm

"Contrary to core principles of American democracy." That's how two U.S. senators describe the Justice Department's refusal to release a secret legal interpretation of the Patriot Act.

Last year, we filed a request under the Freedom…

Could the Government Outlaw Lying?

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 1:12pm

Could the government outlaw lying? Not just lying that causes injury — lying that defames, for example, or defrauds — but could the government outlaw lying more generally? The Justice Department appears to think so. In a case called…

Jameel Jaffer: See No Evil

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 2:49pm

The report issued Tuesday by Glenn A. Fine, the Justice Department's Inspector General, is overflowing with new information about the development and implementation of the Bush administration's torture policies. The report's most important finding…

While U.S. Elections Loom, It's Another Day at the Kangaroo Court

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 1:00am
Right now, Guantánamo Naval Base seems very far away from the election going on in the United States. There are restrictions on what members of the military can say in uniform, so there aren't a lot of public conversations about politics. I haven't seen…
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