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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Let’s start today’s news roundup with drone news:

First they replace soldiers with drones; now, as if the pressures on the media industry weren’t bad enough, they’re going after journalists. The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Europe blog rounds up a number of items reporting on the potential for using drones in journalism.

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Tony Capaccio tells us that a deal has stalled between Northrop Grumman and South Korea for Global Hawk drones. Meanwhile, Voice of Russia reports that Grusha air drones have been incorporated into Russia’s Baltic Fleet. And since we can’t talk about drones without mentioning Iran, word is in from the Iranian Defense Minister, courtesy of the Iranian Students’ News Agency: turns out that Iran is, in fact, a pioneer in drone technology. Who knew?

Although the U.S. drone campaign continues to dominate headlines, we are still somewhat in the dark as to how many targets have been hit, and how much collateral damage there has been, writes Karen DeYoung over at the Washington Post.

Somehow, this AP story about Iran’s claim to have caught a U.S. spy slipped through the cracks Monday.

Take a chill pill, man: NPR Ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos responds to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-on-this-Blog‘s and his minions’ “scathing reaction” to Brian Naylor’s recent report on domestic uses of drones. The All Things Considered report was the first of a series of stories,  Naylor explains in his response, not the final word. You tell em, NPR.

Conor Friedersdorf over at The Atlantic declares it the “zenith of civil libertarian anger” at President Obama, who is “facing a backlash from civil libertarians that is more widespread and intense than anything he’s yet seen” over his decision to sign the NDAA.

The Long War Journal’s Thomas Joscelyn writes about the Reuters report that the Obama administration is contemplating transferring some detainees from Guantanamo to Afghanistan in an effort to engage with the Taliban.

The AP reports (via the Washington Post) that NATO airstrikes along the Afghan-Pakistan border are still on pause since last month’s strike that killed 24 soldiers. At the UN on Monday, Pakistan’s representative Raza Bashir Tarar argued that the attack was a violation of the UN Charter.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing for Thursday on “Memogate,” at which the government will be asked to provide more details about its knowledge of the memo then. The memo, which led to the recall of the Pakistani ambassador, asked for U.S. help in preventing a military takeover and promised help fighting militants in exchange. Salman Masood and Eric Schmitt over at the New York Times cover the story.

Josh Gerstein at the Politico reports on developments in the Bradley Manning trial, including the update on former Army Lt. Dan Choi, who was thrown out of the hearing on Monday for ” violat[ing] the terms of the hearing by being disruptive, calling out ranks and names of individuals in uniform supporting the procedures.” He will be allowed back in. Ellen Nakashima at the Post also writes on the trial’s proceedings.

Concerns continue to grow over the Shabab in Somalia’s use of Twitter. Jeffrey Gettleman’s covering the story at the New York Times. Gettleman notes that the Tweets are in English, and are believed to be meant for an external audience, not Somalis themselves. You can follow Shabab’s Twitter feed @HSMPress.

And Charlie Savage fans will enjoy this post by Conor Friedersdorf responding to Pajamas Media’s claim that Charlie Savage’s reporting is biased in favor of the Obama administration.

Read today’s LWOT over at Foreign Policy. 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 we may have missed at [email protected].