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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 9:45 AM

The top story of the day should be about the results of a Department of Energy investigation into the security of our nuclear facilities. Turns out that a contractor sent the questions and answers for a recertification exam to the guards at the Y-12 National Security Complex. This revelation follows, of course, revelations that an 82-year old nun successfully gained access to a government-owned nuclear weapons storage facilities this past summer. Yes, our nuclear facilities are oh-so-safe.

However, it’s more likely that everyone will be talking about the revelation that the GOP might have a chance at winning certain blue states.

The Department of Justice has sued Triple Canopy, a private security company for submitting false firearms proficiency test results in an effort to get paid for unqualified guards it hired in Iraq. Passage of the test was required under the contract. Here’s Sari Horwitz of the Washington Post with more details about the lawsuit.

The Wall Street Journal has this editorial on the Hurricane Sandy-proof oral arguments in Clapper v. Amnesty International.

In response to Ambassador Kurt Volker’s op-ed last week in the Washington Post, James Jeffrey, former deputy national security adviser and current visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, writes to the Post editor:

Once drones are accepted as a form of force, we can apply rules to them. Mr. Volker tried this; he just picked the wrong rule. For major “conventional” (his word) operations, the Powell Doctrine is spot on, but it is not helpful for raids and special operations against rogue states and non-state actors, such as rescuing Americans from pirates, the Osama bin Laden raid or the 1986 bombing of Libya. These short-of-war uses of force have their own risks and rules. Drone operations should adhere to them. Nothing less, nothing more.

Another day, another drone FOIA request. AFP tells us that the Electronic Frontier Foundation has requested details about the Department of Homeland Security’s use of drones along the border.

The U.S. is in the process of sending along new proposals for the ITU conference this December, and seems to have now gotten caught up in the hype about the alleged UN takeover of the internet. Here’s Jennifer Martinez of The Hill with more.

No, we can’t go a day without a story about the attack in Libya on September. Today, we’ve got Newt Gingrich making claims on national television that a "fairly reliable" senator told him that the media has emails "from the national security advisor’s office telling a counterterrorism group to stand down," and NSC spokesman Tommy Vietor denying the allegations. Not sure how much credence I’d give to an unnamed "fairly reliable" member of Congress these days.

Meanwhile, Senator Lindsey Graham is continuing to push hard against Tunisia’s refusal to allow access to a suspect in the attacks who was extradited there from Turkey.

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