Washington Post scoop:

FBI gave #RonJohnson defensive briefing in 2020 warning he was being targeted by Russia to spread disinformation on Biden.

What did he do?

He considered it “completely useless and unnecessary”

With his usual paranoia, he thought FBI briefing was a trick
2. And then, worse of all, Johnson continued to use his office to act as a conduit for the Russian disinformation campaign to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.

As @AshaRangappa_ and I detailed at length here.👇

justsecurity.org/71947/how-sen-…
3. Here’s the Washington Post report.

The headline is about Giuliani,
But lots of details about FBI’s warning Senator Johnson.

(scoop by @nakashimae @shaneharris @thamburger)

washingtonpost.com/national-secur…
4. Ron Johnson in his own—self-incriminating—words:

“I suspected that the briefing was being given to be used at some future date for the purpose that it is now being used: to offer the biased media an opportunity to falsely accuse me of being a tool of Russia despite warnings.”
5. Worth recalling this is not a partisan issue.

Fellow Republican Senators—including Richard Burr and Marco Rubio—warned Johnson that he was using his congressional powers in a way that could aid the Kremlin’s efforts.

@AndrewDesiderio report in 2020:
politico.com/news/2020/02/2…

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More from @rgoodlaw

13 Sep
Monday @just_security:

We have dozens of questions for Congress, reporters, investigators to ask to get to bottom of what happened with U.S. #DroneStrike in Kabul on Aug 29.

cc: @EricSchmittNYT @mgordonwsj @helenecooper @barbarastarrcnn @missy_ryan @JenGriffinFNC @laraseligman
2. Example

As @ICRC explains, the presumption of civilian status is a part of binding laws of war. Isn’t it true that @DeptofDefense has highly anomalous view that considers this rule NOT part of binding laws of war? Does the US government as a whole agree with DoD’s position?
3. Who were the most senior DoD officials who authorized or signed off on the strike?

Before taking the strike, what did DoD estimate would be total number of civilian casualties killed?

What did DoD consider would have been acceptable level of civilian casualties?
Read 4 tweets
10 Sep
Many important insights and things that needed to be said in @BCFinucane @StephenPomper essay.

A most important read on:

War Powers
Executive Branch lawyering
Congressional oversight
National security

Should be centerpiece @ABANatSec @asilorg with @charlie_savage as discussant
2. On the list of things that needed to be said is the use of the “legally available" standard in Executive Branch lawyering to get to yes on contentious policies.

An issue that @charlie_savage spotlighted in his book Power Wars.

charliesavage.com/books/power-wa…
3. The @just_security essay then reveals new details of how that standard has supported counterterrorism warfare.

cc: @barbarastarrcnn @missy_ryan @EllieCKaufman @MarkMazzettiNYT @glubold @mgordonwsj @Meghann_MT @karendeyoung1 @GregJaffe @alexbward @joshtpm @dklaidman
Read 5 tweets
23 Aug
One of most important accounts to follow on #Afganistan👇

If Mr. @AmrullahSaleh2 forms a government-in-exile, it significantly changes equation on recognition of Taliban, on United Nations credentials for Taliban, on interpretation of US sanctions and their humanitarian impact.
2. To spell some of this out, if @AmrullahSaleh2 forms a competitor government, it provides countries with great flexibility in withholding recognition from the Taliban.

@FCDOGovUK @CanadaDOFA @eu_eeas @GermanyDipl

@HouseForeign @SFRCdems @SenateForeign
justsecurity.org/77794/expert-b…
3. If @AmrullahSaleh2 forms a competitor government, it provides UN Member States with great flexibility in denying Taliban a seat at the #UnitedNations.

@UKUN_NewYork @irishmissionun @franceonu @NorwayUN @EstoniaUN @EUatUN @MexOnu

justsecurity.org/77957/the-huma…
Read 5 tweets
19 Aug
Good observations by @AaronBlake.👇

We just published opinion piece by @LisaCurtisDC.

"I witnessed first-hand the Taliban’s obstinance to breaking ties with al-Qaeda ... The most the U.S. negotiators could extract from the Taliban was a flimsy pledge."

justsecurity.org/77823/take-tim…
2. Longer (without internal ellipses):

"I witnessed first-hand the Taliban’s obstinance to breaking ties with al-Qaeda during countless hours of negotiations in Doha, Qatar. The most the U.S. negotiators could extract from the Taliban was a flimsy pledge"
justsecurity.org/77823/take-tim…
3. Her larger point here is about the decision whether (if ever) to recognize the Taliban government, the need for #HumanRights conditions, and to see actual compliance with human rights and #counterterrorism demands.

And a critique of both Trump and Biden actions.
Read 4 tweets
18 Aug
Despite the headline, there’s a lot in here that points instead to an intelligence failure.

1. The timing of some of these warnings came very late in the game (including when it was increasingly obvious that Afghan mil could collapse)

<thread>

nytimes.com/2021/08/17/us/…
2. “Key American decisions were made long before July, when the consensus among intelligence agencies was that the Afghan government could hang on for as long as two years, which would have left ample time for an orderly exit.”

That’s called an intelligence failure.
3. “As late as a week before Kabul’s fall, the overall intelligence analysis was that a Taliban takeover was not yet inevitable.”

That’s more evidence of an intelligence failure.
Read 9 tweets
16 Aug
Important statement by over two dozen United Nations experts that meets the moment.

"It is unacceptable for States to stand on the sidelines when a [UN] listed terrorist organization overruns the territory of #Afghanistan and engages in acts that may amount to war crimes..."
2. "International law requires that those engaged in acts of terrorism be dealt with fully with the considerable capacity of the law and practice that has developed since the Taliban were first designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations Security Council."
3. Their statement also calls for UN member states "to apply to the fullest extent and consistent with international law, the international sanctions on designated terrorist organizations, including the obligations of all States to suppress and prevent terrorist acts."
Read 4 tweets

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