Benjamin Wittes

Benjamin Wittes

Biography: 

Benjamin Wittes is a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and codirector of the Harvard Law School–Brookings Project on Law and Security. His most recent publication is Speaking the Law (Hoover Institution Press 2013), cowritten with Kenneth Anderson. He is the author of Detention and Denial: The Case for Candor after Guantanamo, published in November 2011 by the Brookings Institution Press, and coeditor of Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change (forthcoming). He is also the author of Law and the Long War: The Future of Justice in the Age of Terror, published in June 2008 by Penguin Press, and the editor of the 2009 Brookings book Legislating the War on Terror: An Agenda for Reform. He cofounded and cowrites the Lawfare blog (http://www.lawfareblog.com/), which is devoted to nonideological discussions of hard national security choices, and is a member of the Hoover Institution's Task Force on National Security and Law.

His previous books include Starr: A Reassessment, published in 2002 by Yale University Press, and Confirmation Wars: Preserving Independent Courts in Angry Times, published in 2006 by Rowman & Littlefield and the Hoover Institution.

Between 1997 and 2006, he served as an editorial writer for the Washington Post specializing in legal affairs. Before joining the editorial-page staff of the Washington Post, Wittes covered the Justice Department and federal regulatory agencies as a reporter and news editor at Legal Times. His writing has also appeared in a wide range of journals and magazines, including the AtlanticSlate, the New Republic, the Wilson Quarterly, the Weekly StandardPolicy Review, and First Things.

Benjamin Wittes was born November 5, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from Oberlin College in 1990. He has a black belt in tae kwon do.

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Recent Commentary

Blogs

David E. Pozen On "Privacy-Privacy Tradeoffs"

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Monday, June 29, 2015

Readers who found engaging my recent paper with Jodie Liu, "The Privacy Paradox: The Privacy Benefits of Privacy Threats," will certainly want to check out a new draft paper by Columbia Law School professor David E. Pozen.

LawFare
Blogs

The Lawfare Podcast: Porn, Condoms, Pregnant Teens And The Privacy Benefits Of Privacy Threats

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Saturday, June 27, 2015

The other day, I gave a talk at the George Mason Law and Economic Center on Jodie Liu and my recent Brookings paper, "The Privacy Paradox: The Privacy Benefits of Privacy Threats."

Interviews

Rational Security, The "Schake And Awe" Edition With Kori Schake

by Benjamin Wittesinterview with Kori Schakevia Lawfare
Friday, June 26, 2015

Hoover Institution fellow Kori Schake joins us to discuss whether the shooting of nine people in Charleston, SC, was an act of terrorism, what happens now that Chinese spies know the secret sex lives of U.S. government employees, and the UN Human Rights Council special commission report on Gaza.

Lawfare
Featured Commentary

A Book Reception For "Speaking The Law: The Obama Administration'S Addresses On National Security Law"

by Benjamin Wittes, Kenneth Andersonvia Lawfare
Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Hoover Institution's D.C. office and Lawfare are having a reception for our recent book, Speaking the Law: The Obama Administration's Addresses on National Security Law (Hoover Institution Press Publication. Please join us for a drink and a discussion.

Blogs

Whose Fault Is The OPM Hack Really?

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, June 25, 2015

Everyone's mad at the Office of Personnel Management, and I totally get why. The hack is awful, the magnitude staggering. The consequences will be big, both for the country and for lots of individuals.

Blogs

What To Make Of The UN's Special Commission Report On Gaza?

by Benjamin Wittes, Yishai Schwartzvia Lawfare
Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The UN Human Rights Council’s Independent Commission of Inquiry report on the 2014 Gaza war, released Monday, is a bad piece of work - bad in almost entirely predictable and boring ways, but no less bad for being bad and predictable.

Blogs

Human Rights Council Commission Of Inquiry Report On Gaza Released

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Monday, June 22, 2015

Here it is. Here's the press release that accompanies it.

LawFare
Blogs

Jihadology And The Jihadology Podcast Now On Lawfare

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, June 18, 2015

I am very pleased to announce a new feature on Lawfare and a new feature as well among our staple of podcasts.

Cybersecurity
Blogs

Turns Out Privacy Groups Are Outraged About the OPM Hack—At Me

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, June 18, 2015

The other day, I wrote a little piece about the silence among our self-appointed privacy guardians at the monstrous breach of privacy perpetrated by the Chinese in the OPM hack.

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Blogs

Michael Hayden: "Those Records Are A Legitimate Foreign Intelligence Target"

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Don't blame the Chinese for the OPM hack, says former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden. If Hayden had had the ability to get the equivalent Chinese records when running CIA or NSA, he says, "I would not have thought twice.

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