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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, September 20, 2013 at 10:56 AM

As the U.N. considers the proposal to remove chemical weapons from Syria, the Economist writes about the implications of such a deal for the United States’ role in the international community. The Washington Post’s Max Fisher offers draft text for an email President Assad can send to President Obama.

More information about Aaron Alexis, the Navy Yard shooter: FBI Director James Comey said that he was “wandering around looking for people to shoot.” Carrie Johnson has a piece over at NPR. A trio of reporters at the New York Times talk about rather disturbing warning signs caught by employees of the hotel at which Alexis was in Rhode Island. Senator Kelley Ayotte is demanding information from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus regarding Alexis’s military record, writes The Hill’s Carlo Munoz.

Joseph Goldstein and Michael Schmidt say in the Times that the government contractor responsible for Edward Snowden’s security check also handled Aaron Alexis’s. Joe Davidson at the Post suggests that federal workers and contractors may be subjected to higher standards in the security clearance process. And two scholars from Yale wrote a Washington Post op-ed discussing the impact that social isolation can have on the mentally ill’s penchant for violence.

When, I wonder, is the President going to nominate a replacement for the now-departed former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano? Randy Beers is currently the Acting Secretary.

Here are some recaps of yesterday’s House hearing on the Benghazi review board’s review: NPRThe Hill, and the AP.

If Wells’s almost-live blogging hasn’t satisfied your need for all things military commission, here are other reports on the goings-on at Guantanamo this week: Carol RosenbergABC News, Reuters, and Fox News.

The new President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, penned this op-ed in the Washington Post explaining why Iran is looking to constructively engage with the international community. He speaks before the U.N. General Assembly next week, and the Economist discusses his “charm offensive.” The Post calls it a “rhetorical U-turn.”

FBI Director James B. Comey gave his first lengthy interview with reporters this week. Here’s Sari Horwitz with one take at the Post.

Over at Forbes, Andy Greenberg reports on a recent event at the Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs, wherein a top-tier cybersecurity contractor proposed that victims of cyber breaches (government or private sector) be permitted to hack back against the perpetrators.

In southern Yemen, Al Qaeda militants killed 33 Yemeni soldiers in what looks to be a coordinated attack on two targets. The New York Times reports.

The reports earlier this week that the Taliban had killed more than two dozen Afghan policemen and kidnapped 12 more is in dispute: Rod Nordland writes about the challenges in verifying such information given the Afghan government’s sensitivity about transparent reporting on attacks against its forces.

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 the Roundup Team 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.