Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Ritika Singh
Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 2:05 PM

Keith Bradsher of the New York Times reports that Hong Kong is likely to extradite Edward Snowden if asked to by the U.S. government.

From the Department of You Really Can’t Make This Up: Russia has called Snowden a “human rights activist” and has said it would consider an asylum request from him. Julian Assange, meanwhile, has invaluable advice for Snowden: “I would strongly advise him to go to Latin America.” CNN has more.

The Post tells us that a full-scale investigation has begun into how Snowden was able to gain access to the information he leaked. The Times also reports on how and why Snowden gave his media contacts the information he did. And Kim Zetter of Wired magazine explains why what Snowden did was the “ultimate insider attack.”

The Los Angeles Times, however, reports that Snowden’s claims that “at any time [he could] target anyone, any selector, anywhere” are a huge overstatement of what the NSA can legally do.

Politico has ten things to know about Edward Snowden for the next time you’re playing Trivial Pursuit.

To those who thought these revelations would lead to a robust public debate about the government’s surveillance capabilities: the Times thinks otherwise, saying the highly classified nature of these programs and the lack of political pressure from Congress may not lead to much. The Post also discusses the reluctance of the courts to stand up to the government in the face of national security concerns. Bobby is quoted in the piece.

Glenn Kessler of the Post gives President Obama “one Pinnochio” for the president’s claim over the weekend that “every member of Congress has been briefed on this program.”

Anjali Dalal, Resident Fellow at the Yale Law School, explains in Balkinization why the secrecy surrounding surveillance “threatens both the deliberative process and public accountability.”

Editorials abound: The Times,on the questions our leaders could answer about these surveillance programs. The Wall Street Journal arguing that the only real scandal here is that Snowden leaked highly classified material. And the Post, arguing that:

there is no indication that the court or principal members of Congress were cut out of the loop as the government applied this authority. Nor is there any evidence that the authorities were abused or that the privacy of any American was illegally or improperly invaded. If there is a scandal here, it is that a government contractor of Mr. Snowden’s stature had access to highly classified material.

Carlo Munoz of the Hill reports that a bipartisan group of eight senators introduced legislation today requiring the Attorney General to declassify significant FISA court opinions.

Beyond the Beltway, a Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll reveals that most Americans aren’t fussed about this scandal:

Fully 45 percent of all Americans say the government should be able to go further than it is, saying that it should be able to monitor everyone’s online activity if doing so would prevent terrorist attacks. A slender majority, 52 percent, say no such broad-based monitoring should occur.

In other news, Ellen Nakashima of the Post reports that the U.S. intelligence community sabotaged the publication of the latest issue of Al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine.

As Wells noted last night, Guantanamo Bay detainee Abd Al Hadi Al-Iraqi has been charged in the military commissions. Reuters has more, as does the Associated Press.

Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald previews Abd al Rahim al Nashiri’s pre-trial hearings, which Wells and Raffaela are live reporting from Fort Meade.

Jason Burke of the Guardian discusses de-radicalization camps, and whether they actually work, at the Guardian.

According to Carlo Munoz of the Hill, Taliban militants have targeted members of the country’s supreme court in their latest attack. 17 civilians were killed and 40 were critically wounded.

And, as Jen and Steve mentioned yesterday, Rep. Adam Schiff has introduced a bill today to sunset the AUMF by the end of 2014, reports Tal Kopan of Politico.

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