Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Raffaela Wakeman
Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 11:39 AM

More than a dozen Afghan soldiers were arrested today after the Afghan Defense Ministry discovered 10 suicide vests and learned of a plot to attack the Ministry and buses with government employees. Matthew Rosenberg and Jawad Sukhanyar report at the New York Times.

Amnesty International yesterday urged EU countries to investigate their involvement in the CIA rendition program. Read the AP story over at the Washington Post. Back in 2007, a Swiss politician alleged that 14 European governments either carried out rendition flights or permitted the CIA to run detention centers in their countries.

The AP  tells us that CIA Director David Petraeus offered Pakistan concessions with regards to the agency's drone program back in January--including more advance notice and limits on who could be targeted. The offers were rejected by Pakistan's Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, who heads up the country's spy agency. This report comes as President Obama is meeting with Pakistan's prime minister today.

Brookings nonresident senior fellow John Villasenor, and one of the panelists in next week's event on drones at Brookings, has this op-ed in the LA Times on what has now been dubbed (for better or worse) domestic "drone proliferation."

Public Radio International's The World has this article by William Troop, who also writes on drone proliferation.

Bloomberg News breaks the mostly unsurprising news that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales held a mid-level secret security clearance, which is more norm than exception among military personnel stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

Looks like more than two-thirds of those surveyed in a recent New York Times/CBS News poll are of the mind that the U.S. should not be at war with Afghanistan (up from 53 percent just four months ago).

Dina Temple-Raston has this report on NPR about the shift in focus for terrorist threat analysts from Al Qaeda to state-sponsored terrorists and other more traditional sources.

The Economist gives drone technology a "thumbs up," and reports on those MIT nerds we mentioned last week who are teaching drones to respond to hand gestures.

While the DOD confirmed that it has paid the families of the victims of Staff Sgt. Bales' massacre, Afghan officials have indicated that the payments were not intended to compensate the families for their loss. Also, on that elusive 17th death, Jeremy Herb at The Hill says that it was the result of "the investigation moving forward after the initial reporting by the Afghan government." This comes from General John Allen's remarks yesterday at the Pentagon; Gen. Allen also issued a warning that the rogue attacks from Afghan soldiers on NATO troops will continue.

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