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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, January 9, 2012 at 2:32 PM

I have returned from my undislosed location and seized control of Headlines and Commentary once again.

In terrorism trials news, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber, was denied his request for a new lawyer, says the Detroit Free Press. And Jose Pimmentel’s indictment has been delayed again, reports the AP.

Meanwhile, here’s a new trial: An alleged Islamic extremist by the name of Sami Osmakac was charged for plotting an attack on crowded locations around the Tampa Bay area, reports the Washington Post.

Coverage continues on the findings of the Afghan commission that wants Parwan back. Rachel Martin reported on the story on NPR’s Weekend Edition, and the Associated Press has more.

According to the New York Times, “the pause in C.I.A. missile strikes–the longest in Pakistan in more than three years–is offering for now greater freedom of movement to an insurgency that had been splintered by in-fighting and battered by American drone attacks in recent months.” So much for finishing off Al Qaeda.

The BBC informs us that “Israel has said it will respond to cyber-attacks in the same way it responds to violent ‘terrorist’ acts after the credit card details of thousands of its citizens were published online.”

The Times has this piece about the “show” put on by Iraqi security forces–which, among other things, parades detainees in front of the media and broadcasts taped confessions–demonstrating its crackdown on terrorism.

In connection with the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility on Wednesday, the Miami Herald‘s editorial board argues that “Congress is moving backward in upholding civil liberties” with “grandstanding members of Congress [attaching] odious provisions [to the NDAA] that cast a shadow over the freedom of individual Americans.”

Reuters announces that the trial in Saudi Arabia of 16 suspected Al-Qaeda members “accused of killing a policeman and plotting attacks on government officials and military weapons facilities” has begun.

Rajan Menon, professor of international relations at Lehigh University, argues in this op-ed in the Los Angeles Times that the Taliban’s political office in Qatar is nothing to be optimistic about:

The Taliban’s adage has been that the Americans have the watches but it has the time. Its leaders know that the insurgency lacks the muscle to defeat the U.S. troops. But that has never been the Taliban’s strategy. Its plan all along has been to persist till war weariness and the weakening of allied support nudge the United States toward the exits. . . . [T]here’s no distinction between war and peace in the Taliban’s mind.

Adam Serwer of Mother Jones states that the NDAA might have eroded the civil rights of Americans while increasing those of detainees abroad. That’s ironic.

David Ignatius has this piece in the Washington Post on the Obama administration’s “rebalancing” in America’s foreign policy strategy.

And for those of you who have been weeping the last three weeks for lack of a Moment of Zen, here is today’s–from America’s Finest News Source–on what U.S. Navy Seals really found when they broke into Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad:

 
2011 Top Story: Navy SEALS Discover Bin Laden Gained 300 Pounds

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