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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, November 28, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Welcome back. I hope you ate your fill of turkey and pumpkin pie, and if you were one of the fearless souls who braved the Black Friday mobs, that you returned home triumphant, in one piece, and without having pepper sprayed anyone–and eager for the news and commentary that you missed over the long weekend.

Sens. Carl Levin and John McCain argue in an op-ed in the Washington Post that the NDAA’s “provisions on detainees represent a careful, bipartisan effort to provide the executive branch the clear authority, tools and flexibility of action it needs to defend us against the threat posed by al Qaeda.” The Post and the Hill report that the detainee debate starts up in the Senate today in the escalating battle that is developing between the White House and Congress over detention policy.

The Post described on Nov. 22 how Jose Pimentel’s arrest highlights the rivalry between the NYPD and the FBI. According to National Public Radio, the dispute between the two agencies “could help Pimentel build a defense.” In related news, Aitan Goelman argues in the New York Post that the “dysfunctional relationship between state and federal anti-terrorism authorities” hurts the fight against terrorism.

Tarek Mehanna’s trial continues; Kareem Abuzahra, a friend who planned to travel with Mehanna to Yemen in 2004, will take the stand this week. His testimony “could be pivotal” to the case, reports the Boston Globe.

Four people in the Philippines have been arrested for “allegedly hacking into AT&T’s phone systems as part of a plan to funnel money to a Saudi-based terror group,” reports the Associated Press.

A NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers has caused intense anger within Pakistan and has resulted in “a major setback to American hopes of enlisting Islamabad’s help in negotiating an end to the 10-year-old Afghan war,” says the AP. Afghan and U.S. special forces say they were attacked from the Pakistani side of the border, while Pakistan maintains the airstrike was unprovoked. The Times also has the story. Meanwhile, Sens. Jon Kyl and Richard Durbin called for the U.S. to take a “harder line” with Pakistan after the affair, according to the AP.

A Dutch  man by the name of Sabir K. is fighting his extradition to the United States on the grounds that he was “tortured for months in Pakistan before being deported to the Netherlands in April.” The AP tells us that he is wanted for “trying to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan and for allegedly aiding al-Qaida.”

CBS News informs us that Iran claims to have arrested 12 CIA agents. The announcement follows the recent bust of a CIA ring by Hezbollah. However, it is worth noting that “Iran periodically announces the capture or execution of alleged U.S. or Israeli spies, and often no further information is released.”

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into a prison north of Baghdad. This is “the third major attack in about a week in Iraq, and raises questions about the ability of the nation’s security forces to protect the country after U.S. troops leave in just over a month,” reports the Times.

Ronald Kessler, chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com, says that the FBI and CIA deserve the country’s thanks as much as its military does for keeping America safe post-9/11 “despite constant vilifying by the media and congressional threats to take away the tools needed to uncover plots.”

It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s a drone! Before you run the next red light, take a look at today’s Moment of Zen.

For more interesting law and security-related articles, follow us on Twitter, and visit the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law’s Security Law Brief as well as the Fordham Law Center on National Security’s Morning Brief. Feel free to email me noteworthy articles I may have missed at [email protected].