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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Today was the big Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the Benghazi attack. You can watch it  on C-SPAN here. Here are a number of stories about the 4 State Department employees who have lost their positions: NPR, the Washington Post and the New York Times.

And don’t forget the New York Times editorial today on the report.

Senator Kerry says that Secretary Clinton will testify on the issue before the committee in January.

Former Senator Chuck Hagel is getting support from Obama administration officials in response to the attacks on rumors of his nomination. Mike Allen of Politico reports that a White House official says that Obama “honestly has not decided who he’s going to pick” but that Chuck Hagel “would walk into the Pentagon and command immediate respect based just on his resume…the attacks on him as somehow anti-Israel are patently unfair and can be explained…”

Paul Rosenzweig isn’t the only one disappointed in the results of the WCIT negotiations in Dubai. U.S. ambassador Terry Kramer voiced his reaction over at American University this week. Here’s Jennifer Martinez of The Hill on his remarks.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who suffered from a stroke this week, is going to Germany for medical treatment, and is in stable condition, write Chris Cottrell and Duraid Adnan of the Times.

The Army has decided that it will seek the death penalty for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians back in March. Here’s the AP story and The Hill on the announcement.

Senators Feinstein, Levin and McCain are calling on the producers of Zero Dark Thirty to warn viewers that the torture scenes are “not based on facts, but rather part of the film’s fictional narrative.” Here’s the Washington Post story on that.

U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras has ordered that a Navy linguist charged with two counts of felony for taking classified documents to his personal quarters in Bahrain be released from jail and placed in home detention and forced to wear a GPS monitoring device. Here’s Josh Gerstein on that decision.

The U.N. Security Council is expected to vote on authorizing an African military force to Mali. Rick Gladstone reports on the draft resolution offered by France. Meanwhile, over in Mali, the Islamist group Ansar Dine, whom this U.N.-sanctioned force would be attacking, is planning an expansion of its forces farther into the country. Here’s the AP on that announcement.

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