Blog of Rights

Jameel
Jaffer

Jameel Jaffer (@JameelJaffer) is a deputy legal director of the ACLU and director of its Center for Democracy, which houses the organization's work on human rights, national security, free speech, privacy, and technology. He has litigated many cases relating to government surveillance, including challenges to the Patriot Act's "national security letter" provision, the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program, and the National Security Agency's call-tracking program. He has also litigated cases relating to targeted killing and torture, including a landmark case under the Freedom of Information Act that resulted in the release of the Bush administration's "torture memos" and hundreds of other documents relating to the Bush administration's torture program. He is currently working on a book about individual privacy and official secrecy, a project he began as an Open Society Fellow in 2013. Before joining the staff of the ACLU, he clerked for Judge Amalya L. Kearse of the 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.

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…

Targeted Killing and the Courts

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 5:03pm

Weeks after 9/11, Alan Dershowitz notoriously proposed that judges be empowered to issue warrants authorizing interrogators to use torture against suspected terrorists. His theory was that government interrogators would torture prisoners whether or…

Secrets

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 6:11pm

Which secrets should be kept, and which should be exposed? Those questions are at the heart of Doug Liman's new film, Fair Game, which tells the story of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. Joe Wilson, remember, was the former U.S. diplomat who exposed one…

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 —…

A Framework for Impunity

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 6:04pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

Since 2003, the ACLU and other U.S. human rights organizations have filed dozens of cases relating to the abuse and torture of prisoners. Some of these cases seek to enforce requests under the Freedom of Information…

The Torture Report

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:25am

(Originally posted on Huffington Post.)

Since 2004, the ACLU and its partners — the Center for Constitutional Rights, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense, and Veterans for Peace — have been litigating under…

John Yoo's Dragnet

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 5:22pm
(Cross-posted to CBSNews.com and Daily Kos.) In a recent Wall Street Journal piece, former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo defends the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program with the claim that, after the September 2001 terrorist attacks,…

Accountability for Torture

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 6:04pm

Since 2004, the ACLU and its partners — the Center for Constitutional Rights, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense, and Veterans for Peace — have been litigating under the Freedom of Information Act for documents concerning…

Obama Was Right to Release Torture Memos

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 12:16pm

(Originally posted on Index on Censorship’s Free Speech Blog. Index on Censorship is a British organization and magazine that promotes freedom of expression.)

Last week the Obama administration released four legal memos that supplied the…

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