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.

Filter By:

Topic

Type

Recent Commentary

Blogs

No Need To Prosecute Bowe Bergdahl?

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Friday, March 27, 2015

I normally make a point of not arguing with New York Times editorials, contenting myself with my role as their unofficial fact-checker on national security legal matters. (Don’t thank me.)

I find myself called, however, to say a substantive word about today’s editorial, “No Need to Prosecute Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.” There’s no specific factual error in it that I want to correct. It’s the very premise that requires comment.

Blogs

Private Defamation Action Dismissed On State Secrets Grounds

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, March 26, 2015

This is a very interesting case. The other day, federal district judge Edgardo Ramos in New York threw out a defamation lawsuit between two private parties on the government’s intervening motion asserting the state secrets privilege. The case is Restis v. American Coalition Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI). The 18-page opinion is worth reading.

Blogs

For Your Listening Pleasure . . .

by Benjamin Wittesfeaturing Kori Schakevia Lawfare
Thursday, March 26, 2015

The latest episode of Rational Security and the latest Chess Clock Debate.

Benjamin Wittes
Blogs

Thoughts On The Israeli Election

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, March 19, 2015

Over at the increasingly excellent Markaz site, my Brookings colleagues Natan Sachs and William Galston—the latter writing with Lawfare‘s Yishai Schwartz—have terrific commentary on the Israeli elections this week.

Blogs

The Washington Post Fingers The Person Behind The Snowden Disclosures!

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Wednesday, March 18, 2015

In what is surely a typographical error, the Washington Post has named NSA General Counsel Raj De as the man behind the Snowden disclosures

Blogs

Did The New York Times Editorial Page Accuse General Petraeus Of A Crime Spree?

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I’m not sure, but I think so.

Blogs

Recidivism Among Espionage Act Convicts

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Monday, March 16, 2015

Anyone remember Samuel Loring Morrison? Espionage Act nerds certainly do.

Blogs

This Week’s Episode Of Rational Security

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Thursday, March 12, 2015

We talk about the David Petraeus plea, ISIS propaganda, and John Brennan’s plans to reorganize the CIA

Blogs

Radiolab Episode On Japanese Balloon Bombs

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

This is an excellent bit of radio about one of the weirder forms of attack during World War II—the only one I know of that produced casualties in the continental United States: balloon bombing.

Blogs

The Future Of Violence: Robots And Germs, Hackers And Drones—Confronting A New Age Of Threat

by Benjamin Wittes, Gabriella Blumvia Lawfare
Tuesday, March 10, 2015

We’re thrilled to announce the publication today of our new book, The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones——Confronting A New Age of Threat .

The book takes on what we think is a pretty big question: How do you govern a world in which anyone can attack anyone from anywhere?

Pages