Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Emily Dai
Tuesday, September 28, 2021, 3:18 PM

The Senate Armed Services Committee heard testimony today from top Pentagon officials about the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, reports CNN. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and Commander of the United States Central Command Gen. Kenneth McKenzie faced questions about the Biden administration’s plan for conducting counterterrorism missions in the future and an airstrike that resulted in the death of 10 civilians. 

The State Department is working to get approximately 100 U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who are still in Afghanistan but want to leave the country on flights out of Afghanistan, says Reuters. Since U.S. forces departed from Afghanistan on Aug. 31, 85 U.S. citizens and 79 legal permanent residents have left the country with government assistance.

The Department of Homeland Security announced a proposed rule on Monday to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, according to CNN. The DACA program protects undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that although this proposed rule would “preserve and fortify” DACA, it would not be a final substitute for congressional action. 

The International Criminal Court’s new chief prosecutor Karim Khan sought on Monday to resume a war crimes investigation into Afghanistan and shift the focus from U.S. forces to the Taliban and the Islamic State, reports Deutsche Welle. While Khan did not explicitly name the U.S., he acknowledged that prioritizing alleged crimes by these terrorist groups would “deprioritize other aspects of this investigation,” which could refer to investigations of potential crimes committed by American and Afghan government forces. The announcement prompted backlash from human rights campaigners who warned that the move could grant the U.S. “impunity for torture.”

Greyhound Lines will pay $2.2 million to settle a lawsuit with the state of Washington over the company’s practice of allowing warrantless sweeps of its buses, the company will also prohibit the practice in the future, says NBC News. Reports of Border Patrol sweeping buses increased under the Trump administration and resulted in a few cases of detaining legal immigrants.

A Russian hacker, sentenced to nine years in jail in the U.S. for cyber crimes, was detained at a Moscow airport Tuesday after being deported by the United States, according to the Hill. Alexei Burkov pleaded guilty to charges including computer hacking, money laundering, fraud and identity theft. Prisoner returns between the United States and Russia are considered rare because the countries do not have an extradition treaty.


ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Jacob Schulz sat down with Benjamin Haddad to discuss the factors underlying the French reaction to the AUKUS security pact and its implications for the future of transatlantic relations and U.S. strategy.

Timothy Edgar discussed how judges should follow the technical approach laid out in Van Buren v. United States when reading laws about computers. 

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