Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Raffaela Wakeman
Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 10:18 AM

Remember all that concern for our infrastructure that supporters of  cybersecurity legislation have been mentioning in their pleas to Congress to get something done? Well it looks like computer networks that are managing major natural gas pipelines have been attacked. Brendan Sasso at The Hill has the scoop, and says it seems the attack is believed to have begun in December.

Late yesterday, the National Security Council announced the intelligence community had foiled a plot to attack a commercial airliner on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death. Carlo Munoz at The Hill has the story, as does the AP, Eric Schmitt and Scott Shane at the New York Times and Greg Miller and Karen DeYoung at the Washington Post. And on the heels of that news comes this Reuters piece about the tactics the U.S. government has utilized to thwart terrorist efforts, including the use of technology and data collection.

Oh, and U.S. Cyber Command's director, General Keith Alexander, without explicitly supporting any of the cybersecurity bills rolling around in Congress, recently wrote a letter to Senator John McCain recommending that Congress go further than a voluntary, market-driven system for private companies to share data breaches on as members continue to consider various proposals in the Senate. Ellen Nakashima at the Washington Post reports on the letter. Tom Gjelten at NPR breaks down the competing bills in the Senate on Morning Edition, with a particular focus on those provisions that are proving to be deal breakers.

Following a U.S. drone strike in Yemen, armed militants connected to Al Qaeda in Yemen stormed a Yemeni military base, killing at least 20 soldiers. Sundarsan Raghavan at the Post breaks the news.

Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman has this op-ed in Bloomberg on the KSM trial. Quote of the day:

A tribunal is a Catch- 22 situation: It needs to allow a defense in order to make the trial look credible, but the defense will use the opportunity to impugn the credibility of the tribunal.

Not that we ever thought that the rule of law in Iraq is a model, but an Iraqi court has ordered the release of Ali Musa Daqduq, whom Lawfare readers may recall we had quite a lot to say about (read all our posts about Daqduq here), writes Jack Healy and Charlie Savage at the New York Times. Daqduq, a Lebanese national and member of Hezbollah, confessed to helping to plot a deadly January 2007 raid on U.S. forces in Karbala. Custody of Daqduq and other detainees in Iraq's prison system was formally handed over to Iraqi authorities by the U.S. as part of the American wind-down.

Declan Walsh at the New York Times reports on the video released of Al Qaeda kidnap victim Warren Weinstein.

Bobby reminded us yesterday that it's the start of NDAA season again. Carlo Munoz at The Hill previews the House GOP's current version, which is being marked up by the House Armed Services Committee this week.

Speaking of military funding, Spencer Ackerman dissects that odd revelation that the Air Force is requesting money for its Predator drone program, while it has also grounded the drones it's got. Ackerman clarifies the situation:

Chances are the new Predator cash is for replacement sensors or spare parts. And about $26 million worth of cash for the Reapers, similarly, is for spare parts. But the committee also wants to give the Air Force nearly $159 million for 12 new Reaper planes.

For more interesting law and security-related articles, follow us on Twitter, visit the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law’s Security Law Brief, Fordham Law’s Center on National Security’s Morning Brief, and Fordham Law’s Cyber Brief. Email us noteworthy articles we may have missed at wakeman.lawfare@gmail.com and  singh.lawfare@gmail.com.