Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Ritika Singh
Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 11:15 PM

Apologies for the delay on this post today. It was in every sense Ben's fault.

Protests have erupted at Bagram over NATO personnel who disposed of Korans by burning them. The New York Times and Wired's Spencer Ackerman have the story.

The AP reports that the D.C. Circuit ruled that "the families of two Guantanamo detainees who the government says hanged themselves in their cells cannot sue for damages in U.S. courts." Here is Chief Judge Sentelle's opinion, about which Steve commented here.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Penninsula has lost a senior leader in a "bloody family feud," says the AP.

New York Times' Room For Debate features this discussion on the drones in civilian airspace.

The AP reports that lawyers for Ali Abdul Aziz Ali (aka Ammar al Baluchi), nephew of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, filed a motion on Friday arguing that he was being "accused of a relatively minor role in the Sept. 11 attack, compared to his co-defendants, and his case should be downgraded to a non-capital case." Aziz Ali "is accused of sending money in 2000 to some of the Sept. 11 hijackers and providing other logistical help as they passed through the United Arab Emirates." The Miami Herald also has the story.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Afghan leaders intend to "spy on their own soldiers. . . to identify and weed out any potential troublemakers."

Journalist Mansfield Frazier writes in the Daily Beast about how federal authorities "create" terrorist plots so that they can then bust them.

Sam Rascoff, whom Ben interviewed for the second episode of The Lawfare Podcast, argues in this op-ed in the Times on the same subject as the podcast interview that "the government is increasingly in danger of establishing an 'official Islam,' a project that is at best ill-fated if not illegal."

David Ignatius ponders what Pakistan knew about Osama bin Laden.

The AP informs us that the NYPD "monitored Muslim college students far more broadly than previously known, at schools far beyond the city limits, including the elite Ivy League colleges of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania." Money quote:

Police. . . even sent an undercover agent on a whitewater rafting trip, where he recorded students' names and noted in police intelligence files how many times they prayed.

Ronald E. Neumann, ex-U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, aruges in this op-ed in the Post that American troops will remain in Afghanistan past the withdrawal deadline of 2014.

Andrew J. Bacevich, professor at Boston University, discusses the "third round" of the War on Terror in the Los Angeles Times.

According to the AP, Umar Patek, alleged mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings, insists that he knew nothing about Osama bin Laden's hideout in Abbottabad--even though Patek was captured in the same city.

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