Speaking the Law
Speaking the Law

Speaking the Law

The Obama Administration's Addresses on National Security Law


552 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: Hardcover, ebook: EPUB, Mobipocket

Hardcover, $34.95 (US $34.95) (CA $41.99)

Publication Date: May 2015

ISBN 9780817916541


eBook Editions Available

Will it work on my eReader?
Price: $34.95


When Barack Obama came into office, the strategic landscape facing the United States in its overseas counterterrorism operations was undergoing a shift. Even before the rise of drones necessitated the articulation of legal doctrine, the Obama administration had to explain itself. In Speaking the Law, the authors offer a detailed examination of the speeches of the Obama administration on national security legal issues. Viewed together here for the first time, the authors lay out a broad array of legal and policy positions regarding a large number of principles currently contested at both the domestic and international levels. The book describes what the Obama administration has said about the legal framework in which it is operating with respect to such questions as the nature of the war on terrorism, the use of drones and targeted killings, detention, trial by military commission and in federal courts, and interrogation. The authors analyze this framework, examining the stresses on it and asking where the administration got matters right and where they were wrong. They conclude with suggestions for certain reforms to the framework for the administration and Congress to consider.

Author Biography

Kenneth Anderson is a professor of international law at Washington College of Law, American University in Washington, DC, and the author of Living with the UN. He is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he is also a member of the Task Force on National Security and Law. Benjamin Wittes is a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, the codirector of the Harvard Law School–Brookings Project on Law and Security, and a member of the Hoover Institution Task Force on National Security and Law. They both live in Washington, DC.