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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 4:36 PM

The Associated Press reports that the deputy commander of the Pakistani Taliban has been fired for “allegedly holding peace talks with the government”–a practice that is definitely frowned upon in the organization. Agence France Presse also describes the sacking.

Thought the United States would refrain from interfering in Syria? According to the Hill, “[t]alk of intervening in the conflict in Syria is escalating on Capitol Hill, though there’s little consensus on what the path forward should be.” Arizona Senator John McCain argues in this New Republic piece that America must use airpower to support the Syrian opposition. Wired magazine’s Danger Room blog tells us that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is keeping all military options on the table. And Foreign Policy reports that the “Obama administration is moving to provide direct assistance to the internal opposition in Syria for the first time, marking a shift in U.S. policy toward a more aggressive plan to help oust President Bashar al-Assad.”

David Cole has this essay in the New York Review of Books about Eric Holder’s speech at Northwestern Law School. He argues for judicial review of targeted killing, saying:

We have long recognized that those charged with law enforcement or security are at risk of overestimating their own certainty, and have therefore required that the government obtain a warrant from an independent judge before conducting a search, unless there is not time to do so. If we require such process even for the search of a backpack, shouldn’t we demand at least as much before the President orders the non-battlefield killing of a human being?

Bloomberg News argues in this editorial that “Holder’s vague and elastic justification won’t do.”

Here’s something you don’t hear often: Hamas taking the high road! Or so says the Washington Post, anyway: “A spokesman for Gaza’s Hamas rulers says the militant group won’t strike Israel if there is a war between Iran and the Jewish state.”

Statehouse Bureau reports that the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim students “was widely known among the state’s law enforcement officials.”

The AP describes FBI Director Robert Mueller’s comments on cyberterrorism during his testimony to a House appropriations subcommittee yesterday.

And if you happened to interpret Ben’s post this morning as the opening salvo in savage war to finish off graphic designers, as opposed to a simple effort to engage Lawfare’s readership, you apparently wouldn’t be the only one, according to–of all places–the Washington Post in today’s Moment of Zen.

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