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Posts by Clara Spera

Clara Spera is an M.Phil student at the University of Cambridge. She was a summer intern for Lawfare in 2013. She graduated from The University of Chicago in 2012. She has deferred her enrollment at Harvard Law School until the Fall of 2014, when she will join the Class of 2017.

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, April 11, 2014 at 8:23 AM

In the wake of 9/11, the FBI dramatically shifted its focus from a fighting domestic crime to preventing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. The Washington Post digs deeper into the FBI’s counterterrorism policy, revealing a lesser known side of their efforts: aiding in secret operations against al Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan. As Yishai explained . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Edward Snowden is back with more inflammatory revelations. Speaking via video to the Council of Europe yesterday, Snowden said the United States has spied on staff members of prominent human rights organizations, explains the Guardian. He said: “The NSA has specifically targeted either leaders or staff members in a number of civil and non-governmental organizations . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Monday, April 7, 2014 at 10:28 AM

The crisis in Ukraine has spread beyond the Crimean peninsula. Reuters reports that pro-Russian protesters seized government buildings in three eastern Ukrainian cities yesterday. Members of the Ukrainian government are blaming President Vladimir Putin and ousted Ukrainian president Yanukovich for helping to coordinate the attacks. The interim Ukrainian president has called an emergency meeting of . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, April 4, 2014 at 9:03 AM

In the aftermath of Wednesday’s tragic shooting at Fort Hood, we begin to consider how this could have happened. The New York Times explains that Wednesday’s deadly shooting is eerily reminiscent of a shooting at Fort Hood in 2009. The article points to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s commitment to further secure military installations; but it . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, March 28, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Russian troops are amassing and gathering at the Ukrainian border. The Washington Post reports that U.S. is worried that Russia is preparing for another “major incursion” and not preparing for simple military exercises, as Russia is claiming. Both chambers in Congress have passed their own versions of a comprehensive aid package for Ukraine. The bills . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Suliman Abu Gaith was convicted of conspiring to kill Americans today. The Al Qaeda spokesman was also convicted of providing material support to terrorists and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. The jury returned its verdict after less than two full days of deliberations. The New York Times covers the story.  As Ritika noted yesterday, a . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, March 21, 2014 at 10:48 AM

President Obama has expanded sanctions on Russia just as President Putin formally completed Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The New York Times reports that Obama has blacklisted a bank and “several wealthy businessmen” that have close ties with Putin. Meanwhile, military officials are warning the President Putin is seeking to expand Russian influence in Latin America. Russia . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 11:55 AM

The Malaysian government has turned to the United States for help in solving the mystery of missing flight MH370. The New York Times reports that Malaysia has asked the F.B.I. to help recover data from a flight simulator that one of the pilots of the jet had built in his home, in the hopes that . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, March 14, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Politico reports that the House Intelligence Committee is nearing a bipartisan agreement on legislation that would end the NSA’s bulk telephony data collection program.  The plan would allow telephone companies to hold on to the data; the NSA would need to ask to search specific records. Most of the nitty gritty details are still hazy, . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 12:15 PM

As we’ve been explaining, there’s drama in the U.S. Senate.  It’s not just your usual partisan bickering, either. Yesterday, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D–CA) took to the Senate floor to accuse the CIA of searching through computers used by staffers on the Senate Intelligence Committee. The Washington Post has more; and NPR has a great breakdown of the . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, March 7, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Russia has officially thrown its weight behind the secession of Crimea. The New York Times reports that the Russian parliament announced that Russia would support Crimea if it were to secede from Ukraine and become part of Russia. The Ukrainian and United States governments both have blasted the secession-by-referendum move as a violation of Ukrainian and . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 8:16 AM

The world still is still watching Ukraine. The New York Times reports that President Putin stood by his recent actions in the Crimean Peninsula. Russia’s President made his first public appearance since ordering, and subsequently halting, the advance of Russian troops into the contested area.  He presented a version of events that is “fundamentally at odds” . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 10:34 AM

President Obama is preparing a plan that would withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The plan, according to the National Journal, is a contingency—and meant to account for Afghan President Karzai’s continuing refusal to sign the bilateral security agreement with the United States. If concluded, the deal would keep American . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, February 21, 2014 at 9:38 AM

After a set of emergency talks involving multiple countries, the government of Ukraine has announced a tentative resolution to the bloody civil conflict centered in Kiev. The deal does not include President Viktor F. Yanukovych’s stepping down from power, which is likely to disappoint opposition protesters, but it hopefully avoids U.S. sanctions that were being . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, February 14, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Yesterday, Ritika and Yishai told you about the NSA memo that reveals that Edward Snowden used the login information of a civilian employee of the NSA to gain access to classified documents. A group of Senators has since released a report claiming that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is unable to monitor and account for “core” intelligence contractors.  Read more . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 8:37 AM

French President François Hollande is in the United States, visiting President Obama. Last night, Hollande was honored at an extravagant State Dinner, before which President Obama affirmed that U.S.—France relations have never been stronger. At a joint press conference, the two leaders spoke most extensively on issues surrounding the Syrian conflict. Hollande and Obama have . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, February 7, 2014 at 10:23 AM

The plans to reform the NSA that President Obama laid out in his speech in January are taking shape. On Wednesday, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court reportedly approved a new procedure, whereby the NSA will seek court approval before accessing records it already has collected. Speaking of surveillance, a U.S. diplomat was overheard in a moment of, . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 2:43 PM

There isn’t much consensus anywhere on NSA-related issues—from Edward Snowden to the agency’s surveillance programs themselves. At various House and Senate hearings yesterday, it became clear that there are sharp divisions, in both chambers of Congress. Snowden’s former employer Booz Allen Hamilton has recently posted a new job listing: Insider Threat Analyst. The main job duty? To catch potential future . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Friday, January 31, 2014 at 10:49 AM

As Ritika relayed yesterday, Navy Vice Admiral Michael S. Rogers has been tapped to be President Obama’s nominee to head up the U.S. Cyber Command and to serve as the next Director of the NSA. Obama’s nomination likely causes some disappointment among members of his NSA review panel, who had recommended that the president split . . .
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Last night, President Obama delivered his State of the Union Address. You can find the full video here. The speech focused on a strong call of action and a promise to go it alone if Congress doesn’t advance various policies. President Obama briefly touched on issues of national security; here are some reactions to that . . .
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