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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, February 27, 2012 at 10:59 AM

A bomb went off in Katmandu, Nepal, killing at least three people. Claiming responsibility for the attack  is the United Ethnic Liberation Front, reports the Associated Press.

Over the weekend, the AP released a study indicating that the civilian casualty rate in drone attacks is likely smaller than Pakistanis might think. The research was based on interviews with villagers and comes close to the numbers announced by Pakistani military authorities, not politicians, who have claimed that “nearly 100 percent” of deaths in drone attacks are civilians.

Charlie Savage of the New York Times reported over the weekend on the letter written by lawyers for the most high-profile Guantanamo detainees complaining about deteriorating conditions in Camp 7. The letter alleges that the worsening of conditions “appear to coincide” with Rear Admiral David Woods’ arrival at the base. Because the letter reports a potential violation of the laws of war, the military is mandated to investigate and respond to any abuses.

The AP’s Robert Burns collects the details on the possible case of Ali Musa Daqduq, and explains the complications associated with trying him in a military commission–one of which is the fact that he’s still in Iraqi custody. Dina Temple-Raston is all over this as well, with this report over at NPR.

Writing in Jurist, Gabor Rona, the International Legal Director of Human Rights First, opines on Jeh Johnson’s speech last week; Rona argues that the United States’ targeted killing policy is not justified.

We missed this one last week: Josh Gerstein notes that a class-action lawsuit was filed that challenges the CIA’s policy on FOIA requests.

Time‘s Mark Thompson is awfully excited about the fact that Winslow Wheeler, a weapons analyst, will be blogging on Time’s Battleland blog about the Reaper drone.

Over at the Washington Post last week, our own John Bellinger III previewed the Supreme Court arguments in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum.

Over at Fox News, meanwhile, Trish Turner covers the letter written by Senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham, pushing for the U.S. to use drones to monitor human rights abuses in Syria.

So we might have a Wikileaks-Anonymous partnership. Looks like when Stratfor was hacked in December, email correspondence outlining its work product for clients may have gotten into Wikileaks’s hands. Somini Sengupta at the Times reports. Also read this analysis by Nicole Perlroth and John Markoff at the Times on the report slated to be released this week on Anonymous’s attack on the Vatican last summer.

More bad news from Afghanistan: Matthew Rosenberg and Thom Shanker document U.S. concerns that Afghanistan is not yet ready for the United States to withdraw its troops. And Alissa Rubin and Graham Bowley note another suicide attack on a NATO base (this time in Jalalabad). Greg Jaffe over the weekend also noted the doubts in connection with the U.S. pullout and the recent protests over U.S. military officials’ burning of korans.

The Washington Post’s two Gregs (Jaffe and Miller, that is), detail the cable allegedly written by Ryan C. Crocker last month that effectively admits that U.S. efforts to impede the Haqqani network’s activity are failing.

Eric Schmitt at the Times tells us that a new Yemeni-U.S. alliance on combatting Al Qaeda in Yemen has been formed; it includes both a military overhaul in Yemen and a joint effort to collaborate on tracking and killing and capturing the two dozen most dangerous Al Qaeda operatives.

The AP reports that the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad has been demolished.

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  singh.l[email protected].

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