As Paul noted here, the cybersecurity bill failed in the Senate yesterday. Oh well. Another day, another policy initiative collapses in the face of partisan polarization. Here are the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times on the news.
The Senate has been successful in approving the ambassador to Afghanistan, however. James Cunningham will take over Ryan Crocker’s delightfully easy duties as American troops prepare to withdraw, reports the Hill.
According to Reuters, Egypt has asked the United States to free the last Egyptian held at Guantanamo Bay, Tarek El Sawah. The request, in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the new Egyptian Foreign Minister, Kamel Amr, is at least a little less laughable than Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s promise during the campaign to seek freedom for Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman–which he hasn’t followed up on since his election. But don’t hold your breath on this one either.
Al Jazeera reports that “a Russian, a Russian of Chechen descent and a Turk”—no, they didn’t walk into a bar. They were arrested in Spain for possible links to Al Qaeda and alleged plans for an attack in Europe. By the way, they also seem to have been particularly interested in unmanned aircraft. The Wall Street Journal says:
“In the La Línea home, police also found training manuals to fly ultralight airplanes, which can land and take off on small airstrips, and radio-controlled model aircraft, [Spain's Interior Minister Jorge] Fernández said.
CNN’s Security Clearance blog reports that U.S.-Pakistan talks this week have been “substantive, professional, and productive,” according to a senior U.S. official. Here’s hoping CNN’s sources are not bluffing. Nobody wants unsubstantive, unprofessional and unproductive negotiations.
The Miami Herald tells us that Military Judge James Pohl has allowed media groups and the ACLU to argue for greater openness in the 9/11 case at Guantanamo.
Just in case you were worried that the Taliban and Al Qaeda might need marital counseling about the state of their relationship, the Taliban is denying the claim that it is severing ties with Al Qaeda, reports the Long War Journal.
From the Department of Anxiety about Drones: Philip Mudd argues in the Daily Beast that drones are “a potential revolution in how we think about the projection of American power, and the capability we have given future Presidents to intervene without human intervention.” And Eugene Robinson writes in the Washington Post about how “we can—and must—restrain” the use of drones.
And in just in case you thought insect-sized surveillance drones were only a thing of the future, check out this dragonfly-shaped drone the CIA put together decades ago. It’s “Insectohopter” and it’s Today’s Moment of Flying Insect Zen:
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