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... supports Professor William Snyder's sections of National Security Law, Counterterrorism Law, and Prosecuting Terrorists at the Syracuse University College of Law.

Bellinger & Smith Look at Legality of Using Force Against Iran

Sep 30th, 2012 war powers

John Bellinger, who is a senior contributor at the Lawfare blog, posts about an op-ed he coauthored in the September 27, 2012, Washington Post entitled: Providing a legal basis to attack Iran.  The op-ed notes the lack of a national discussion about the legality of such an attack, and it argues that the presidential candidates “should publicly commit to seeking specific congressional authorization to bolster the president’s constitutional authority to defend the United States.”

Two things to note, especially for students: First, this would make a great final examination question for anyone now studying National Security Law. Second, if you are newcomer to this field, you should be aware of who Bellinger is and of his credentials:

He served as The Legal Adviser for the Department of State from 2005–2009, as Senior Associate Counsel to the President and Legal Adviser to the National Security Council at the White House from 2001–2005, and as Counsel for National Security Matters in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice from 1997–2001. (From his blog post.)

His coauthor for the op-ed is Jeffrey H. Smith.

Mr. Smith is a former General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and currently serves on the Director of CIA’s External Advisory Board. He has also served as General Counsel of the Senate Armed Services Committee and was Senator Sam Nunn’s designee to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Iran/Contra Committee. Prior to working for the Senate, he was the Assistant Legal Adviser for Law Enforcement and Intelligence at the State Department. Earlier, as an Army Judge Advocate General officer, he served as the Pentagon’s lawyer for the Panama Canal negotiations.

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