The Talking Dog

September 18, 2009, Law and the long war

Well, one could argue that those are the twin themes of this blog, which celebrates its eighth anniversary, today. It's also the title of a tome by legal commentator Benjamin Wittes, a tome suggesting the controversial premise that our current laws aren't sufficient for the "all new unique to the history of the world conflict against terrorism" we are facing... and so, new ones are needed.

Well, I'm delighted to report that my colleague and friend Thomas Nephew of the great Newsrack blog and I will be taking on the task of analyzing Mr. Wittes's book, chapter by chapter, more or less in the order Thomas suggests in his announcement post here.

I'll try to control my own quite set-in-defense-of-the-rule-of-law viewpoint (yes, I am one of those irritating legal absolutists who believe that the powerful don't get to make up the law as they go along, and existing law really does have an answer to all situations... whether it is "the right answer" notwithstanding) and I promise to be somewhat objective... or at least explain my own "biases," which include (but are not limited to) the results of my experiences as a practicing attorney for 23 years, including one who started his career with the United States Department of Justice, and these days among other things, tries to help out another attorney and friend who represents two GTMO detainees, and an adult life spent in America's premier terrorist targets (I was, inter alia, across the street from WTC on 9-11, and my college education here in New York included spending two years in the same graduating class (and major) as the President of the United States). I'm also someone who has read much of the literature in the English language associated with the law of the "war on terror", and I've explored this area as a citizen journalist, and otherwise... as an all around pain in the ass.

Well... there we have it. Happy blogiversary to this blog... and we'll all look forward to this great project... Kudos to Thomas for suggesting it. And to my landsmen, I wish you all a "L'Shanah Tovah;" indeed, the very first blog post here also occurred on Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year... it seems what's old is new again... best wishes to all.


Happy eighth anniversary to my favorite blog.... Perhaps in another eight... oh well, no sense going there.

Posted by hcgorman at September 18, 2009 9:20 PM

Happy anniversary! Congratulations on a great blog, and I'm looking forward to our work together on "Law and the Long War."

Posted by Thomas Nephew at September 18, 2009 9:58 PM

Happy New Year to you and yours (including kittens) from an admirer. Your blog is so on the mark--if only THEY would listen.
Tonstant reader

Posted by Carol Wheeler at September 19, 2009 1:34 PM

Hi TD,
Happy eighth birthday from a relative youngster and a great admirer of your work.
And as you know I'll be following with great interest the deconstruction of Mr. Wittes' book ...

Posted by Andy Worthington at September 19, 2009 5:54 PM

That's a relative youngster in blogging terms, that is ... not so much in the real world, where your enthusiasm for marathons also impresses me -- so long as I don't have to join in ...

Posted by Andy Worthington at September 19, 2009 5:58 PM