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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, December 16, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Rejoice Greatly! The Iraq War is officially over–“after nearly nine years, 4,500 Americans dead, 32,000 wounded and more than $800 billion,” says the Associated Press. Here are the Washington Post and the New York Times acounts.

There have been a slew of op-eds about our departure from the Land of No WMDs: Kirk W. Johnson, a former reconstruction coordinator in Iraq, argues that the Obama administration has done nothing to help our Iraqi allies who remained loyal to us in our time there; Reidar Visser, a research fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, asserts that we are leaving behind an unstable, volatile, pro-Iranian country; the editorial board of the Times reflects on the nearly-decade-long war; and David Ignatius at the Post describes Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as “a man of the shadows.”

In related news, Andy Rosenthal at the Times‘s Loyal Opposition blog has this post about President Obama caving to political pressure on the NDAA, and additional thoughts on the bill in this piece.

Some developments over the past few days in Tarek Mehanna’s trial. The Boston Globe describes the testimony of terrorism expert Marc Sageman, of Sageman Consulting LLC, put on by the defense this week. “Defense attorneys had sought to use his testimony to argue that Al Qaeda does not seek to recruit members or secure financing online, thereby diluting the argument that Mehanna provided ‘material support’ to the organization.” The Globe reports that closing statements are set for today.

Republican presidential candidates are misstating the Obama administration’s policy on the FBI’s terrorism training, according to the AP. Imagine that.

Carol Rosenberg has a piece about why Obama can’t close Guantanamo. Money quote:

In a strange twist of history, Congress, through its control of government funds, is now imposing curbs on the very executive powers that the Bush administration invoked to establish the camps at Guantánamo in the first place.

The Obama administration released its domestic counterterrorism strategy earlier this week: The Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.

From the Department of Trials and Tribulations: the AP reports that three Austialian men “who plotted a suicide attack against an Australian army base because they believed Islam was under threat from Western nations were sentenced Friday to more than 13 years in prison.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg informs us that “the networks of at least 760 companies, research universities, Internet service providers and government agencies were hit over the last decade by the same elite group of China-based cyber spies.”

The Washington Times has more on the security lapses that have come to the surface as Bradley Manning’s trial begins.

And if the idea of Iran’s being concerned about the civil liberties implications of the NDAA amuses you, check out this piece from Iranian English-language outlet, Press TV, for 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 us noteworthy articles we may have missed at [email protected] and  [email protected].

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