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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, July 8, 2013 at 1:15 PM

I’m back!  I missed you terribly, dear readers, while I was busy eating home-cooked food. And fear not, I won’t be going anywhere for some time. A big round of applause goes to Raffaela for steering the news ship while I was away.

John F. Burns of the New York Times reports that Abu Qatada has been deported to Jordan to face terrorism charges. So ends the decade-long saga, signaling a victory for top counterterrorism officials in both Britain and the United States.

Bolivia joined Venezuela and Nicaragua in offering asylum to Edward Snowden, says Reuters, after Bolivian president Evo Morales’s plane was forced to land in Austria and was searched on its way back from Russia last week.

Max Ehrenfreund of the Post discusses the Latin American club of Snowden supporters. And Jeremy Herb of the Hill reported last week that Snowden has applied for asylum in six more countries.

As Ben already noted, the Times broke a big story over the weekend about the FISA court’s secret rulings allowing the NSA to gather vast amounts on information on people involved in bad behavior—albeit not always the terrorist kind.

Jennifer Valentino-Devries and Siobhan Gorman of the Wall Street Journal report on the word “relevant” in the Patriot Act—the term that has led the FISC to issue rulings permitting the broad surveillance of Americans.

The European Parliament passed a resolution on America’s birthday calling for an explanation of the NSA surveillance program and its impact on the privacy of the citizens of the European Union.

Timothy B. Lee of the Post discusses the ramifications of America’s spying on its allies.

Information about the Osama bin Laden raid has been permanently deleted from DoD computers and moved to the CIA’s databases, where officials hope it is less likely to be leaked, according to the Associated Press.

Craig Whitlock of the Post describes the case of one Abdiwali Warsame, a Somali-American who created an allegedly radical website.  This caught the eye of a military contractor and eventually the FBI. Warsame, it seems, was the subject of a counter-propaganda campaign–called a “psychological operation”—-by the contractor and the Department of Defense.

Last week’s drone strike on a suspected Haqqani Network compound in North Waziristan also killed an Al Qeada commander, Abu Saif al Jaziri, and a Haqqani Network leader, Maulana Akhtar Zadran. Bill Roggio of the Long War Journal has more.

The AP reports that Fazil Ahmad, the chief of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council in Ghazni, was critically injured by a roadside bomb. In addition, 14 Afghan soldiers and 64 Taliban militants were killed over the last 24 hours.

Major-General Mohammad Sharif Yaftali, commander of Afghan forces in seven major provinces along the Pakistan border, offers a bleak assessment of the security situation there.  He says that “insurgent numbers were up around 15 percent [compared to] last year’s summer fighting months, with an estimated 5,000 insurgents now in his area.” Reuters has the story.

Zakaria Kandahari, an Afghan-American interpreter, has been arrested and is being questioned for allegedly torturing and killing civilians while working for an American Special Forces Unit. Rod Nordland of the Times and Sayed Salahuddin of the Post report.

Jonathan Easley of the Hill tells us that Mos Def (For our readers over 40: he’s a rapper) underwent the same force-feeding procedure as Guantanamo Bay detainees in order to draw attention to the ongoing hunger strike there. The Guardian obtained the distressing video, made by human rights organization Repreive.

Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald reports that 106 prisoners are still on a hunger strike, and 45 are being force-fed.

For all the single ladies: Mohammed Rahim al-Afghani, the last detainee to be brought to Guantanamo Bay, has a Match.com profile, reports Chris Lawrence of CNN—it’s Today’s Moment of Zen.

For more interesting law and security-related articles, follow us on Twitter, visit the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law’s Security Law Brief, Syracuse’s Institute for National Security & Counterterrorism’s newsroll and blog, 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.