Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Ritika Singh
Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 3:00 PM

Jennifer Steinhauer of the New York Times reports on the breakup of the Senate’s “three amigos”---John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham---with Sen. Lieberman set to retire at the end of this Congress. Whether the rump group will be able to maintain its high profile despite the shake-up remains to be seen.

Speaking of this group of three, Susan Rice met today with Sens. McCain, Graham, and a new musketeer, Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Scott Wong of the Politico has the story, as do Sara Murray of the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press. Unfortunately for Ms. Rice, her efforts to mollify GOP senators seem to have fallen flat.

And, David Rothkopf argues in Foreign Policy that it is President Obama’s prerogative to select the Secretary of State he wants.

Meanwhile, Mike Mount of CNN’s Security Clearance blog reports that Bradley Manning will testify about the “torture” he faced while he was held at Quantico before his trial. A spokesman for the Bradley Manning Support Network said that “Manning was required to stand nude in front of guards outside his cell, was prevented from exercising, and had to respond every five minutes---around the clock---to loud verbal queries to ensure he was not trying to commit suicide.”

Philip B. Corbett of the Times has this interesting post about the proper way to use military terms.

Benjamin Weiser of the Times discusses the community of national security lawyers that represent terrorist defendants in New York.

Del Quentin Wilber of the Washington Post has the inside scoop on the FBI sting operation that led to Amine El Khalifi’s arrest. Recall that this was the gentleman who pleaded guilty in September to attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction because he wanted to blow up the Capitol building wearing a suicide vest.

For those of you that have been worrying that the day would come when machines will take matters into their own hands and we’ll all be living in a “Terminator” world: rest assured that drones will not (yet) make the decision to kill you. The Pentagon intends to keep the decision-making process entirely in human hands, reports Spencer Ackerman of Wired’s Danger Room. Ben also linked to the DoD’s “Autonomy in Weapon Systems” directive this morning. My many fans will recall that in my interview with MIT Professor Missy Cummings, we discussed how the line between autonomous and semi-autonomous weapons is becoming an increasingly-thin one---a point that Shane Harris also made in the first episode of the Lawfare Podcast. So don’t get your hopes up: it’s a slippery slope.

Tom Odula of the Associated Press reports that four gentlemen---who were sent illegally to Uganda from Kenya and are suspected of killing 76 people watching the World Cup soccer final in 2010---claim they were abused by FBI agents during their interrogations.

According to Zahar Khan of the Associated Press, prominent Pakistani TV anchor Hamid Mir narrowly survived an assassination attempt in Islamabad yesterday, when a bomb was found under his car. No group has claimed responsibility yet, although the Pakistani Taliban threatened him and other journalists for their coverage of Malala Yousufzai’s shooting last month.

It wasn’t just regular old confetti: Shredded confidential police documents from the Nassau County Police Department ended up sprinkling the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City; a parade watcher noticed someone’s social security number on a scrap of paper, some license plate numbers, and other such goodies. has the story.

And, how were the poor souls at the People's Daily Online, the Chinese Communist Party’s English newspaper, supposed to know that this story from The Onion was a joke? Poor dears. It’s today’s Moment of Zen.

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