Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Ritika Singh
Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 5:03 PM

More developments in the Jose Pimentel case: The Associated Press reports on how this case ended up in New York state court, rather than as a federal case:

The NYPD’s Intelligence Division had sought to get the FBI involved at least twice as the investigation unfolded. Both times, the FBI concluded that Pimentel lacked the mental capacity to act on his own, they said. The FBI thought Pimentel “didn’t have the predisposition or the ability to do anything on his own,” one of the officials said.

Oops. The New York Times has more on why the FBI did not pursue the case, reporting that, "there was concern [among the feds that an] informer might have played too active a role in helping Mr. Pimentel."

Meanwhile, Husain Haqqani, Pakistan's ambassador to the United States has resigned in the wake of a growing storm over a memo he allegedly wrote to Admiral Mike Mullen asking for help to thwart a coup of Pakistani officers, says the Times. His resignation is a blow to the already-fraught bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan, and starkly highlights the military's grip on Pakistani politics. It's also a reminder that one shouldn't judge a Haqqani without knowing if the word "network" comes after his name.

Daniel Maldonado, the high-profile witness in Tarek Mehanna's ongoing trial, testifies for a third day. Mehanna's attorneys tried to establish "in cross-examination of the high-profile witness that Mehanna was not the pro-jihad supporter of terrorism that prosecutors have portrayed, but rather a close friend who cited Islamic laws to express his beliefs." Maldonado's credibility is going to be a tricky sell, however, since he "was sentenced in a U.S. court to 10 years in prison for undergoing terrorism training in Somalia," reports the Boston Globe.

CIA mishaps in Lebanon are making headlines: Hezbollah has identified and captured a number of U.S. spies recently, reports the AP.

And from the department of getting rid of suspected Al Qaeda militants, Yemini government troops have reportedly killed six nasties, says the AP, and Turkish police have detained 14 suspected Al Qaeda members, again according to the AP.

And just in case congressional Republicans are still ticked off about President Obama's abandoning Iraq, the U.S. "will have several hundred military personnel, and at least an equal number or more U.S. contractors" in the country, the Washington Post informs us.

From the Empty Wheel blog, the estimable Ms. Wheel has a slew of new posts: Here is her take on the NDAA, on the detainee debate, on section 1031 of the legislation after Latif, and on President Obama's veto threat.

Beth Van Schaack, a professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law, argues  in the San Jose Mercury News that Nashiri's hearing "shows stark deficiencies of military justice."

And from the New York Times story on Jose Pimmentel, this quote is your Moment of Zen:

Mr. Pimentel. . .appears to be unstable, according to several of the people briefed on the case, three of whom said he had tried to circumcise himself.

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