1111 Third Avenue
30th Floor Conference Center
Seattle, WA 98101
- Charles D. Stimson, National Security Law Program Manager and Senior Legal Fellow, Heritage Foundation
Luncheon Address: "National Insecurity: Is the Law the Enemy's Weapon?"
11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
April 29, 2015
Panel II: "Are We @Cyberwar, and If So, How Should We Fight It?"
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Several significant cyber incidents, including the recent Sony hack, have been attributed to nation-states or groups closely associated with nation-states. The Intelligence Community's most recent Worldwide Threat Assessment predicts "an ongoing series of low-to-moderate level cyber attacks from a variety of sources over time, which will impose cumulative costs on U.S. economic competitiveness and national security." It identifies Russia, China, Iran and North Korea as Threat Actors. An expert panel will analyze whether any cyber incidents should be considered acts of war, whether U.S. responses be governed by the Law of Armed Conflict, what kinds of incidents warrant responses, and what those responses might be.
April 29, 2015
Welcome and Introduction
Panel I: "How to Manage the Intelligence Community"
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Since September 11, 2001, the intelligence community has been at the center of key national security events including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and other key terrorism figures, leaks by Edward Snowden, and disclosures about the CIA's rendition program. During that same period of time, the management of the intelligence community has been reformed, executive agencies have reorganized themselves to better interact with the intelligence community, and most recently, the CIA has announced a fundamental reorganization of its key functions. Our panel will consider how the government can best manage the intelligence community. We will discuss the role of Congressional oversight, the ability to demand accountability, whether the current structure of the intelligence community is optimal, and if effectiveness measures can be applied to intelligence work.
April 29, 2015
On January 21, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean.
The question in this case concerns the Federal Whistleblower Protection Act, which prevents the government from terminating an employee for revealing “any violation of any law, rule, or regulation” or “a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety”--unless that revelation is "specifically prohibited by law." The question here is whether a federal air marshal’s disclosure that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had decided to cut costs by removing air marshals from certain long-distance flights was a disclosure “specifically prohibited by law.”
In an opinion delivered by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court held by a vote of 7-2 that the disclosure in this case was not “specifically prohibited by law.” The judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was affirmed. The Chief Justice’s opinion was joined by Justices Scalia, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, and Kagan. Justice Sotomayor issued a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justice Kennedy.
To discuss the case, we have Kevin Govern, who is an Associate Professor of Law at the Ave Maria School of Law.