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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Today’s top story is the President’s maybe-a-little-too candid remarks on the CIA’s drone program, as Ben discussed here. Here are the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times on the story.

Lots of other drone news: Andrew Stobo Sniderman and Mark Hanis of the Genocide Intervention Network argue in the Times that we should use our Predators to do just that, while David Bell of the New Republic makes a historical argument for drone warfare. Also, Adam Serwer of Mother Jones discusses Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s remarks on CBS’s 60 Minutes about the targeting of Anwar al-Awlaki. Here is the relevant clip from the interview.

The extradition hearing of Faruq Khalil Muhammad ‘Isa, an Iraqi-Canadian “charged with the murders of five U.S. soldiers in Iraq” has been delayed until May, says the Edmonton Journal.

Washingtonian magazine has a lengthy feature story by Shane Harris about Palantir Technologies, a Silicon Valley software company, whose “expertise is in finding connections among people, places, and events in large repositories of electronic data.” Turns out they may have produced the “Killer App” in the fight against terrorism.

Barry Friedman, a law professor at NYU, had this op-ed in Sunday’s Times discussing issues of privacy and security arising out of the recent Supreme Court ruling in the GPS case. He asserts that “we have given the government wide-open access to all [our] information” in the digital age. The Times also has a piece informing us that “[t]ens of thousands of Americans” are already stalking other people using GPS technology “for purposes as seemingly benign as tracking an elderly parent with dementia or a risky teenage driver.”

Seton Hall law professor Jonathan Hafetz argues in Al-Jazeera that:

The decision [to throw] out the civil suit of former enemy combatant Jose Padilla is troubling, both in its result and potential sweep. It not only threatens core freedoms protected by the [C]onstitution, but also undermines the principle that government officials should be held accountable for their illegal conduct.

And if you thought DHS had a sense of humor about the innocent, young Twitterers, today’s Moment of Zen will prove just how wrong you were.