At the Times, John Schwartz gives us an idea of what to expect in the military tribunal that will be hearing the case of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales over the deaths of Afghan civilians a little over a week ago. Bales is not subject to the Afghan criminal justice system based on a status of forces agreement between the U.S. and Afghan governments, Schwartz tells us.
Ellen Nakashima at the Post had this story yesterday on the injection of funding into cyberweapons development, totalling $500M over 5 years at DARPA.
Dozens have been killed in attacks taking place across Iraq as the Arab League summit taking place next week draws near. Alice Fordham and Aziz Alwan at the Post report, as does Jack Healy at the Times.
Karen Greenberg from Fordham Law’s Center on National Security has this lengthy op-ed at the Huffington Post on the impact the war on terror has had on civil liberties:
[T]he legal gray zone Washington has, over the course of a decade, plunged us into — and everything that goes with it, including punitive measures, attempts to bypass constitutional guarantees, the spread of secrecy and surveillance, a growing distrust of American citizens, and straightforward killing — isn’t something we will soon put behind us. The move away from the rights and liberties enshrined in the Constitution and the law is very clearly the way of the American future in our new age of enemies.
Josh Gerstein reports over at the Politico on U.S. interpretation of of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, about which Senators Wyden and Udall wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder late last week. The provision gives the FBI the authority to:
make an application for an order requiring the production of any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution.
(2) An order under this subsection shall not disclose that it is issued for purposes of an investigation described in subsection (a).(d) No person shall disclose to any other person (other than those persons necessary to produce the tangible things under this section) that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained tangible things under this section.
Don’t ever let people tell you that we’re neglecting our veterans: a bipartisan bill introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representative Walter Jones (R-NC) will not only promote all military dogs to being considered “members” of the armed services (up from their previous classification as equipment), but it would also establish nonprofit organizations to pay for some or all of their health care costs in retirement.
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