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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Over at USA Today, Kevin Johnson writes on the details coming to light about Amine El Khalifi, who was arrested last Friday for plotting to bomb the Capitol.

A U.S. District Court Judge in the Northern District of Texas has ruled that Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a Saudi accused of attempting to target former President George W. Bush’s home, is mentally competent to stand trial. The Associated Press has the story.

Agence France Presse interviews Richard Kammen, Abd Al-Rahim Al Nashiri’s attorney, who describes Military Judge James Pohl’s decision on reviewing attorney-client privileged communications. James Connell, the appointed defense attorney who recently filed suit challenging the order on mail review by Rear Admiral David Woods, said that there would be “significant problems” if the decision were applied to other inmates (most likely his own, Ammar al Baluchi, as we note below).

Jane Sutton of Reuters notes that there may be a plea deal coming for Guantanamo detainee Majid Khan, and Carol Rosenberg at the Miami Herald reports on the implications for that plea deal on Ammar Al Baluchi’s case.

Drones, drones, everywhere. There is still lots of concern about the recently-proposed FAA rules regarding drones in U.S. domestic airspace. Elizabeth Flock at the Washington Post reports on the various potential uses of drones in the U.S., and Somini Sengupta at the New York Times covers rumblings about potential lawsuits over domestic surveillance using them, and Nick Wingfield reports on the media’s use of drones. Meanwhile, Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic argues that the impending use of drones here in the U.S. may force us to rethink privacy policy. Venkatesh Rao shares his “Top Ten” things to do with your own drone over at Forbes. Rob Crilly at The Telegraph challenges those advocating for the use of drones in Syria to monitor the turmoil there, saying that Russia and China, the dissents in the UNSC against taking action, are unlikely to be persuaded.

Job Henning of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress and former director of legal affairs at the Project on National Security Reform has this op-ed in the New York Times attempting to clarify the drone debate.

Brendan Sasso at The Hill notes that the ACLU does not, despite DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano’s statement last week at the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, support the cybersecurity bill. He also writes on the warnings by media advocacy groups about the cybersecurity bill. Ellen Nakashima at the Washington Post  reported last week on the divisions that are becoming clearer in the cybersecurity bill debate.

Spencer Ackerman at Wired’s Danger Room blog shares the news that four special ops officers were killed in Djibouti when their U-28 plane crashed.

Yesterday, the Department of Justice dropped its case against 22 defense contractor-defendants caught in a sting operation last year. Jeremy Herb at The Hill covers the story, as does Politico’s Josh Gerstein.

Tony Rennell discusses William Shawcross’s new book, Justice and the Enemy, at the Daily Mail. Read Jack’s review here, and Wells’ here.

A Syrian senior state prosecutor and a judge were assassinated over the weekend, the AP’s Bassem Mroue and Brian Murphy report.

Over in Azerbaijan, members of a suspected terrorist group with connections to Iran’s secret service have been arrested, reports the AP.

Josh Gerstein wrote yesterday about an amicus brief written on behalf of a broad coalition of news organizations; the brief argues that the Fourth Circuit must apply the reporters’ privilege in the James Risen case to shield Risen from having to disclose his sources. A few weeks ago, a Seventh Circuit en banc panel held oral arguments in Vance v. Rumsfeld, which you can read about at Constitutional Law Prof blog.

Mark Thompson over at Time’s Battleland blog shares the news that Marines are no longer allowed to access his blog. Here’s hoping Lawfare–which has sometimes been blocked on some military web sites–isn’t next.

For more interesting law and security-related articles, follow us on Twitter, visit the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law’s Security Law Brief, Fordham Law’s Center on National Security’s Morning Brief, and Fordham Law’s new Cyber Brief. Email us noteworthy articles we may have missed at  [email protected]  and  [email protected].