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)

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 be challenged in court except by those who can prove definitively that their own communications have been monitored. Because only the government knows for certain whose communications have been monitored, the upshot of their argument is that a great deal of government surveillance is simply beyond the reach of the courts, and beyond the reach of the Constitution.
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...

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…

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.

The first memo, written by Office of Legal Counsel lawyer John Yoo…

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…

Further Reflections About John Brennan's Targeted Killing Speech

Further Reflections About John Brennan's Targeted Killing Speech

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 11:48am

The president's chief counterterrorism advisor delivered a speech yesterday at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. We issued a first reaction here. Here are some further thoughts:

1.…

A Brewing Battle Over Warrantless Wiretapping

A Brewing Battle Over Warrantless Wiretapping

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 1:14pm

It's almost certain that we'll have a hard-fought battle over domestic surveillance this year, both in the courts and in Congress.

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 —…

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…

David Hicks: "Unprivileged Belligerent"?

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 1:00am
We have just come back from the Clipper Club, which is the only restaurant on the leeward side of the Base that is open after seven o'clock. We spent most of the day on the other side of the Base, meeting with military officials and attending the commission…
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