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In The Good Wife episode 7.15 titled, Targets, Alicia Florrick is selected for a small panel of legal advisers to partake an a legal analysis of some executive order that pertains to killing enemy combatants of the United States. She is one of two selected civilian lawyers, being the wife of the current sitting Illinois Governor.

7.15 Transcript:

And I'm Oren Cleary, Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It's a mouthful, I know. This is a confidential session. All of the items and materials discussed here are subject, under penalty of law, to confidentiality rules.

You may take notes during this session, but those notes must be relinquished before we've finished. And no items or evidence may be taken from this room. Understood? Good.

As I'm sure you're aware, the executive branch has taken flack lately for its legal justification regarding Executive Order 12333. The president has asked for a broader consensus on action item 56-984B. Our two civilian consultants have been granted TS/SCI clearance to take part. Please break the seal on your briefing materials now.

My question is, do panels like this with some civilian lawyers actually exist to help advise the President on legal matters, especially to help determine an execution of an enemy combatant or terrorist? How realistic is this?

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    Interesting. Certainly, they are possible (indeed quite sensible) under the National Security Act of 1947 but by their very nature I suspect it would be difficult (if not impossible) to obtain evidence of their existence (and thus realisim( since they would be classified. – Paulie_D Oct 22 '18 at 14:59
  • Maybe it was a bad question to ask! I just thought it was interesting, but you're probably right, there probably isn't a lot if any public evidence... – Darth Locke Oct 22 '18 at 15:16
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    I like the question and an answer is possible but it would be on the lines of "It's possble but probably unproveable" at least in the context of the question. :) – Paulie_D Oct 22 '18 at 15:19
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    White House Counsel is a real position that advises the President on legal matters, and I would expect the person appointed to that position to meet most standard definitions of "civilian" (i.e. non-military) at least some of the time. I assume you want to know if they'd ever bring in outside legal professionals (i.e. not those who are part of regular White House staff) for additional opinions? Are you only interested in opinions on military actions? – Anthony Grist Oct 22 '18 at 15:51
  • @AnthonyGrist. You are correct! To be true to the situation featured in the episode, I am interested in both civilians or really "outsiders" and in relation to military matters, such as identifying and targeting an enemy combatant. In this episode, I believe a member of the Justice Department was running the panel, in which there was another inner circle legal analyst, two civilian layers (a conservative and a liberal), and a military attorney. – Darth Locke Oct 22 '18 at 15:57

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