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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 3:40 PM

A tale of two confirmations:

Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller of the Washington Post start us off with more on John Brennan’s confirmation vote, which has been delayed for two weeks as Congress dials up the pressure on the Obama administration for more information on its targeted killing program. Pam Benson of CNN’s Security Clearance blog has more.

Wrangling over SecDef nominee Chuck Hagel continues as well, report Tim Mak and Manu Raju of Politico. Senate Democrats don’t have the 60 votes they need to end debate on the Senate floor tomorrow and proceed to a vote. Here is the Hill on that. James Fallows of the Atlantic expresses disgust at the tactics being used against Hagel.

Actually, it’s a tale of three confirmations: Senator Lindsey Graham and others are also gearing up to block a vote on CENTCOM Commander Gen. Lloyd Austin, says Carlo Munoz of the Hill.

Meanwhile, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein disclosed that Senate staffers review records of drone strikes—and even watch videos—in monthly field trips to the CIA. Josh Gerstein of the Politico has more.

A medal for drone operators? DoD has announced the Distinguished Warfare Medal “designed to recognize service members directly affecting combat operations who may not even be on the same continent as the action.” The press release goes on to say “The most immediate example is the work of an unmanned aerial vehicle operator who could be operating a system over Afghanistan while based at Creech Air Force Base, Nev.” See Jack’s End of War Timeline about how our wars are not, in fact, ending anytime soon.

Much ado continues over the Esquire magazine interview with the Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden. Brookings’s Mike O’Hanlon and Lt. Col. John Barnett, writing in the Wall Street Journal, evaluate the military’s compensation system in light of the article.

The New York Times has an editorial on a potential court for targeted killings, which argues that “[c]reating an even stronger court to approve targeted killings is the first step Mr. Obama can take if he is serious about bringing national security policy back under the rule of law.” Ben says he will respond at a time and in a manner of his own choosing.

Another day, another material support prosecution: The Associated Press has the latest on the trial of a gentleman by the name of Hafiz Khan, a Miami-based Muslim cleric who faces four counts of material support and conspiracy for aiding the Taliban.

John Reed discusses China’s cyber activities with Rep. Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Intelligence committee in this piece in Foreign Policy.

And, in the spirit of Valentines Day, express your love to that special someone with these Twitter hashtags (hat tips to Stephanie Dahle and Tamara Cofman Wittes). I took the liberty of including some of my favorites—today’s Moment of Zen.

#UAValentines:

Drunk Predator Drone@drunkenpredator

You’re just too good to be truuuue / Can’t take my multispectral targeting system off of youuuu #UAValentines

Matthew Schroyer@matthew_ryan

BEST VT CARD EVER. ‏RT: @drunkenpredator Why would you sense and avoid me, girl? Let’s integrate into each other’s airspace #UAValentines

#natsecvalentines:

Michael Ross@mrossletters

Roses are red, Violets are blue, Because I’m a spy, I’ll steal secrets from you. #natsecvalentines

AllThingsHLS@AllThingsHLS

@mrossletters Roses are red The Bureau is blue We’ve wired your house And know all that you do #natsecvalentines

#dronevalentines:

Shane Harris@shanewharris

My love for you knows no legal bounds. #dronevalentines

Hayes Brown@HayesBrown

My love for you is High Altitude, Long Endurance. #dronevalentines

For more interesting law and security-related articles, follow us on Twitter and check out the Lawfare News Feed, visit the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law’s Security Law Brief, Syracuse’s Institute for National Security & Counterterrorism’s newsroll, and Fordham Law’s Center on National Security’s Morning Brief and Cyber Brief. Email Raffaela Wakeman and Ritika Singh noteworthy articles to include, visit the Lawfare Events Calendar for upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings at the Lawfare Job Board.

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