Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Ritika Singh
Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 3:07 PM

You’ve all, I’m sure, heard more than you want to about yesterday’s terrorist attack at Boston marathon---given the paucity of real information available about it---so I’m not going to try to round up all the relevant news coverage. Let me just begin by pointing you to a few sources that have the best, up-to-the minute information: Alan put together this list of Twitter feeds that have provided useful live updates as they have emerged; CNN has a running list of what we know so far; the New York Times’s “The Lede” blog, the Washington Post’s “The Early Lead” blog, and the Boston Globe are all keeping up with what you need to know.

There is an abundance of commentary out there as well; here is a selection of the more interesting opinion pieces I have seen: New America Foundation’s Peter Bergen and Jennifer Rowland inform us that “since 9/11, 81 [terrorists] were able to obtain explosives or the components necessary to build a bomb. . . .Of those, 51 were right-wing extremists, 23 were militants inspired by al Qaeda's ideology, five have been described as anarchists and one was an environmentalist terrorist.” Haider Javed Warraich, a Pakistani doctor in Boston, offers his thoughts on what comes next in the Times. Joel Achenbach of the Post says that terrorists can’t win, and John Arquilla writes in Foreign Policy about the increasing power of small groups and individuals.

Every major newspaper has an editorial on the terrorist attack. Here are the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and the  Boston Globe.

In other news, the Washington Times tells us that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has cancelled the Distinguished Warfare Medal for drone pilots that his predecessor, Leon Panetta, created shortly before leaving office.

Reuters informs us that two gentlemen from New Jersey who were arrested in 2010 have been sentenced to 22 and 20 years in prison for attempting to join Al Shabaab.

The Guardian reports that Haroon Aswat, aide to the radical British imam Abu Hamza, has been deemed unfit to be extradited to the United States by the European Court of Human Rights because of the severity of his mental illness.

Secretary of State John Kerry told CNN what conditions North Korea needs to meet for talks. And Frida Ghitis argues in CNN that “[t]his standoff is not over, but Pyongyang has already won.”

According to the Hill, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters yesterday that President Obama is still committed to closing Guantanamo Bay---and that Congress has raised obstacles to it actually happening. The latter is certainly true, though methinks the former is a big, fat fantasy.

From Pakistan comes the news that ex-President Pervez Musharraf’s bid to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections has fallen flat. His petition was rejected in three districts, and although it was approved in Chitral district, the Peshawar High Court quickly overturned it, reports the Wall Street Journal. Technically, Musharraf could appeal to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, but as I posted earlier this week, disagreements between the civilian leadership and the judiciary are commonplace in Pakistan, and Musharraf has many more enemies than friends in the court.

CNN’s Nic Robertson---to whom Musharraf admitted last week that Pakistan had consented to some U.S. drone strikes---writes about the Saboon School for Boys in the Swat Valley, a facility set up to deradicalize boys that were once Taliban militants. U.N. Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson is quoted in the story about how drone strikes led to the radicalization of a new generation. Here is the British Telegraph on Emmerson’s comments.

Captain Hugh Miller writes in the Times about his experiences in Afghanistan and Zero Dark Thirty.

The Times has the latest details of the bumps in the road over the trial of one Beate Zschäpe, the sole survivor of a neo-Nazi cell in Germany that killed ten people.

And, it doesn’t seem like an appropriate day for a Moment of Zen, so I'll pass.

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.