Which body of law to apply? You decide. But I did require students to point to a treaty, statute, regulation, executive order, directive, or judicial decision in support of their answers.
The questions ask whether a certain activity is legal, not whether the action is ethical or effective or a good idea.
Get them a try if you like a challenge.
Is it legal for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to:
- Conduct surveillance of a U.S. citizen in Denver who is suspected of having ties to Esuskadi ta Askatasuna (ETA)?
- Work out of the U.S. embassy in Belgrade under diplomatic cover?
- Infiltrate a mosque in Brooklyn, New York suspected of having links to militant groups in Gaza?
- Recruit a Russian embassy official in Quito, Ecuador in an attempt to collect information about Russian intentions regarding Iran, Syria, and North Korea?
- Clandestinely enter South Waziristan, one of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas?
- Hack into an e-mail account of a Yemeni citizen living in Ta'izz, Yemen? The e-mail account resides on a server in California.
- Take into custody a Russian citizen, of Chechen origin, studying at the University of Virginia and then transport this person to a facility in Bulgaria for questioning about his possible ties to terrorist groups operating in Iraq?
- Break into the apartment of an American defense contractor living in London, who is suspected of passing national security secrets to the Chinese government, in order to tap his phone?
- Break into the office of a French defense contractor in Toulouse, France, who is suspected of selling high-tech missile technology to the North Korean government?
- Enter Somalia using the cover of an aid worker from the International Committee of the Red Cross?
- Become a drug trafficker in order to penetrate the Mexican drug cartels?
- Tap into an underground communications cable that runs out of the South African embassy in Washington?
- Tap into an underground communications cable that runs out of the Chinese embassy in Oslo, Norway?
- Forge a Canadian passport for use in traveling to Iran?
- Use sleep deprivation as a means of wearing down the resistance of a U.S. citizen under interrogation after being captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan fighting alongside the Taliban?
- Use sleep deprivation as a means of wearing down the resistance of a non U.S. citizen under interrogation?
- In New York City, question U.S. businessmen from Goldman Sachs returning from a business trip to China about conditions in China?
- In New York City, question journalists from the New York Times who just returned from assignment in Beirut, Lebanon?
- Bribe an employee of a power company in Jakarta, Indonesia to shut off the power grid in the neighborhood of the Israeli embassy for one hour?
- Recruit as an asset a member of Al-Qaida known to have participated in the planning for the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya in 1998?