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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, April 1, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Google’s come out with a brand-new product. All I can say is, “Wow. Why didn’t we think of that?”

You ought to read Peter Finn’s detailed Washington Post story about Ahmed Warsame’s interrogation, Mirandizing, and cooperation.  Regarding the latter, Finn also describes some intelligence Warsame provided; it involved Anwar Al Aulaqi.

Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald reported last week on GTMO detainee treatment matters.  Countering detainees’ complaints, the camp’s Commander insisted that water provided to detainees is safe: indeed, the Commander attested, he drinks the very same stuff himself.

Over to North Korea.  Russia’s Foreign Minister called the back-and-forth between the DPRK and the U.S. a “vicious cycle,” reports NPR.  For its part, North Korea insists that nothing—not even economic sanctions—will stop it from rebuilding its economy and expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal.  (DPRK personnel characterize the latter as “the nation’s life.”)  Read Choe Sang-Hun’s story in the New York Times. As for South Korea, it will strike back if the North attempts to invade its territory, according to this Reuters story.

Suspicion falls on Sven Olaf Kamphuis, as authorities search for the perpetrators of last week’s DDoS cyberattack against European company Spamhaus.  Eric Pfanner and Kevin O’Brien provide details on Kamphuis, an internet freedom advocate,  over at the Times.

Over the weekend the AP reported on the resolution of a spat between the governments of the United States and Afghanistan.  At the insistence of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, U.S. special operators have withdrawn from Wardak province’s Nirkh district and handed off security duties to Afghan counterparts.  The Afghan leader earlier had claimed (and the United States stoutly denied) that American soldiers had tortured, kidnapped and summarily executed suspected militants in the area. And, Kevin Sieff of the Post has this piece about the continuing involvement of the U.S and coalition forces in Parwan detention center, despite the transfer of custody of prisoners to Afghan authority:

But while the formal handover transferred all prisoners to Afghan custody, it has hardly produced a stand-alone Afghan justice system to try them. Afghanistan has retained a controversial American practice that will keep about three dozen detainees imprisoned without trial. Even the court’s top judges and attorney say they remain dependent on foreign assistance to operate.

“Without the coalition, there is no way this court can survive,” said one of the court’s top judges, Hayatullah. “Afghan forces cannot even transport the detainees here for their trials.”

In North Africa, Islamist fighters returned to Timbuktu for the first time since French and Malian forces gained control over that city. Scott Sayare gives the full run-down over at the Times.

John Bellinger already noted this piece in Foreign Affairs about the Kiobel case.  The Council on Foreign Relations also interviewed John, on drones and the Administration’s targeted killing program.

Slate’s David Weigel notes a shift in the public’s attitude towards the targeted killing, by drones, of Americans abroad:

…The net rating at the time was positive: 65 percent for, 26 percent against.

Today, after a month of Rand Paul-driven discussion of drone warfare, Gallup asks basically the same question: Should the U.S. “use drones to launch airstrikes in other countries against U.S. citizens living abroad who are suspected terrorists?” The new numbers: 41 percent for, 52 percent against.

The lede of the poll is even kinder to Paul, finding as high as 79 percent opposition to targeted killing in the United States.

Today, the headline above Sari Horowitz’s story for the Post reads as follows: “Woman Among Those Under Consideration to Lead FBI.” The occasion, she reminds us, is FBI Director Robert Mueller III’s coming departure this September.  Here’s Horowitz on possible successors:

Among the names that have surfaced as contenders are [Lisa] Monaco, who oversaw the National Security Division at Justice before moving to the White House; Merrick B. Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; James B. Comey, deputy attorney general in the George W. Bush administration; Neil MacBride, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Patrick J. Fitzgerald, former U.S. attorney in Chicago.

China’s gotten wind of a provision in the continuing resolution passed by Congress last week—one that limits the importation of certain Chinese technology by NASA and the Departments of Justice and Commerce. Chinese officials are not too pleased about the measure, which they decry as “discriminatory.” Here’s Paul and The Volokh Conspiracy’s Stewart Baker on the provision, and Reuters on the Chinese response.

NPR reports on efforts by the Pakistani army to rehabilitate former members of the Taliban.

The City of New York is searching for the remains of 9/11 victims, in 60 truckloads’ worth of debris collected over the past two and a half years. Here’s the New York Daily News.

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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