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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Lots of coverage of FBI Director Robert Mueller’s testimony before a House appropriations subcommittee yesterday. The New York Times describes Mueller’s warning about “terrorist hacking.” CNN’s Security Clearance blog reports that Mueller told the subcommittee that the “High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group. . . set up to interrogate captured terror suspects has been mobilized more than a dozen times in the past two years.” Who knew? And Mueller also said that the Supreme Court’s January decision in Jones “will inhibit our ability to use [GPS tracking devices] in a number of surveillances where it has been tremendously beneficial,” according to the Associated Press. Read the full transcript of Mueller’s testimony here.

The Times has more on Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey’s and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s testimony before the Senate Armed Services committee yesterday about Syria: “they emphasized the risks and said that the administration still believed that diplomatic and economic pressure was the best way to protect Syrians from the Assad government’s repression.” The Washington Times has the story on the U.S. pledge of $10 million in aid to the Syrian opposition. Here is the transcript, and you can watch the video here.

In case you have strong feelings about having drones flying around in your airspace, the Federal Aviation Administration “has asked for public comments on the agency’s selection process for picking unmanned aircraft system test sites,” says the Los Angeles Times. Somehow, I doubt they’re going to pick D.C.

The Times reports that Michael B. Ward, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Newark, NJ office said that “The New York Police Department’s surveillance of Muslims in New Jersey has undermined efforts by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to build relationships there since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.” The AP also reports on this little lovers’ spat.

Speaking of lovers’ spats, David Ignatius of the Post writes that the U.S. and Pakistan seem to be taking a “breather. . . after several years of a passionate but star-crossed courtship.” Maybe they’re seeing a marriage counselor.

The Post editorial board argues that the waivers in the Obama administration’s policy directive on NDAA implementation “rightly preserve presidential prerogatives to use any and all tools to deal with a threat against the homeland.”

The Times has this fascinating account of Pakistani Army brigadier Shaukat Qadir’s “personal quest to clarify bin Laden’s last days.”

The AP informs us that a former Army soldier with the excellent name of Craig Benedict Baxam has been indicted for the not-so-excellent conduct of–drum-roll, please–trying to join Al Shabab. He “faces a maximum sentence of 15 years if convicted.” 

And in case you need more commentary on Eric Holder’s recent speech–and from a voice of fake authority no less–enjoy today’s Moment of Zen (hat-tip: Alice Beauheim):

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