Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Ritika Singh
Friday, December 14, 2012, 2:27 PM

It’s Friday, folks---but there’s a fair bit going on.

The biggest story of the day is the horrific school shooting in Newton, Connecticut, which has claimed the lives of 27 people, including 18 children. A 20-year old man is thought responsible, but not much more is known. The Associated Press reports. As this does not seem to be a terrorist attack or otherwise have national security implications, we’ll leave this story to others---at least unless that changes.

As you’ve all heard by now, Susan Rice has withdrawn her name for consideration for Secretary of State. Here are the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Politico on the news, and here is Susan Rice herself with this op-ed in the Post. Lots of others have had a lot to say, but you get the gist.

Meanwhile, Washington is buzzing with SecDef options, with Chuck Hagel as the likely front runner, says Carlo Munoz at the Hill. Personally, I’m more interested in who will run the CIA next. Memo to the White House: I’m free---if you' don’t mind a foreign national who’s totally unqualified.

A suicide bomber struck a convoy outside the base which SecDef Leon Panetta was visiting in Kabul, Afghanistan, a few hours after he left. One American soldier was killed and three others wounded. The Times and Agence France Presse have the details.

Over at SCOTUSBlog, Lyle Denniston has this post on the denial of the stay in Hedges: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he writes, has “refused to block enforcement of a broad new grant of detention power for the government, indicating that she felt a need to be cautious about putting into effect a judge’s ruling that struck down that new law, at least while the issue was under review in a federal appeals court.” For those who can’t get enough of Hedges, Wells has more coming shortly.

Scott Shane of the Times tells us that the Senate Intelligence Committee approved that 6,000 page report on the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program---as did Ben this morning.

As we noted yesterday, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of Khaled El-Masri. One of his attorneys, James A. Goldston, of the Open Society Justice Initiative, has this op-ed in the Times about his client's ordeal and the impact of the ruling on the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program:

Although the case was filed against the Macedonian government and the court does not have jurisdiction over the United States, the ruling is a powerful condemnation of improper C.I.A. tactics and of the abject failure of any American court to provide redress for Mr. Masri or the other victims of Washington’s discredited policy of secret detention and extraordinary rendition.

The 17 judges in the European court’s grand chamber, several of whom grew up under Communism, have done what the United States Supreme Court has declined to do: condemn an egregious abuse of an innocent man by out-of-control security services.

The Wall Street Journal yesterday featured a story by Julia Angwin about the National Counterterrorism Center’s new guidelines for storing and analyzing information about U.S. citizens. Matt shares his thoughts here. Shane Harris of Washingtonian discusses the story---and argues the guidelines don’t vary much from existing norms of information collection.

Mark your calendars, boys and girls: Hillary Clinton is to testify in front of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on the Benghazi attacks next Thursday, says the Hill.

Mark your calendars again, boys and girls: President Obama and Afghan President Karzai will be meeting on January 7 to discuss---you guessed it---Afghanistan post-2014. That’ll be a party. Carlo Munoz of the Hill reports.

As I said in yesterday’s roundup, yesterday’s hearing on IED attacks in Afghanistan led to some finger-pointing at Pakistan. Here is Mark Thompson of Time on the issue.

And The Onion brings us this important story related to the North Korean missile launch, perhaps inspired by the ending of the excellent novel, The Orphan Master’s Son: 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 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.